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H.B. 383 Enrolled






Chief Sponsor: James R. Gowans

Senate Sponsor: Dennis E. Stowell

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill amends a provision relating to the general adjudication of water rights.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    allows the state engineer to petition the court to amend or substitute a list of
             14      claimants in an action to determine water rights;
             15          .    allows the clerk of the court to change an address when the state engineer's records
             16      are amended;
             17          .    requires the state engineer to hold public meetings; and
             18          .    makes technical changes.
             19      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      AMENDS:
             25          73-4-3, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2007, Chapter 136
             26          73-4-11, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2007, Chapter 136
             28      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             29          Section 1. Section 73-4-3 is amended to read:

             30           73-4-3. Procedure for action to determine rights -- Notice to and list of claimants
             31      -- Manner of giving notice of further proceedings -- Duties of engineer -- Survey -- Notice
             32      of completion.
             33          (1) Upon the filing of any action by the state engineer as provided in Section 73-4-1 ,
             34      or by any person claiming the right to use the waters of any river system, lake, underground
             35      water basin, or other natural source of supply that involves a determination of the rights to the
             36      major part of the water of the source of supply or the rights of ten or more of the claimants of
             37      the source of supply, the clerk of the district court shall notify the state engineer that a suit has
             38      been filed.
             39          (2) (a) The state engineer then shall give notice to the claimants by publishing notice
             40      once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper designated by the court as most likely
             41      to give notice to such claimants.
             42          (b) The notice shall state:
             43          (i) an action has been filed;
             44          (ii) the name of the action;
             45          (iii) the name and location of the court in which the action is pending; and
             46          (iv) the name or description of the water source involved.
             47          (c) Claimants to the use of water shall notify the state engineer within 90 days from
             48      the date notice is given of their names and addresses.
             49          (d) After the expiration of 90 days, the state engineer shall prepare a list that shall
             50      include the names and addresses of all claimants then of record in the state engineer's office
             51      and all claimants who have notified the state engineer of their addresses, and this list shall be
             52      certified by the state engineer as complete and filed with the clerk of the court.
             53          (e) At any time during the action:
             54          [(e) The] (i) the court upon petition may by order permit the addition of names and
             55      addresses to [this list at any time during the pendency of the action, and] the list prepared
             56      under Subsection (2)(d);
             57          (ii) the court upon petition by the state engineer may by order permit amendment or

             58      substitution of the list prepared under Subsection (2)(d); and
             59          (iii) the clerk of the court may, without court order, upon notice from the claimant and
             60      upon amendment of the state engineer's records note any change of address.
             61          (f) If any claimant appears in this action by an attorney, the clerk shall note on the list
             62      the address of the attorney.
             63          (g) After the list is filed by the state engineer, notice of further proceedings, after
             64      service of summons, may be given without court order by mailing a copy thereof to the
             65      persons listed at the addresses listed and by mailing a copy thereof to any attorney of record
             66      for any such person, and notice may be given to [such] the listed persons and to all other
             67      claimants by publication in the manner and for the time prescribed by order of the district
             68      court.
             69          (3) After the statement or list is filed, the state engineer shall:
             70          (a) begin the survey of the water source and the ditches, canals, wells, tunnels, or other
             71      works diverting water [therefrom.] from the water source; and
             72          (b) hold a public meeting in the survey area to inform a water right claimant of the
             73      survey.
             74          (4) (a) As soon as the survey is complete, the state engineer shall file notice of
             75      completion with the clerk and give notice by mail or by personal service to all claimants whose
             76      names appear on the list that:
             77          (i) the survey is complete;
             78          (ii) their claims are due within 90 days from the date of notice; and
             79          (iii) within 90 days after service of the notice, each claimant must file a written
             80      statement with the clerk of the court setting forth the claimant's respective claim to the use of
             81      the water.
             82          (b) Notice given by mail is complete when the notice is mailed.
             83          (5) When a suit has been filed by the state engineer as provided by Section 73-4-1 , or
             84      by any person involving the major part of the waters of any river system, lake, underground
             85      water basin, or other source of supply, or the rights of ten or more of the water claimants of the

             86      source of supply, whether the suit is filed prior to or after the enactment hereof, the state
             87      engineer, upon receiving notice, shall examine the records of the state engineer's office with
             88      respect to the water source involved, and if they are incomplete to make such further
             89      investigation and survey as may be necessary for the preparation of the report and
             90      recommendation as required by Section 73-4-11 .
             91          (6) In all such cases the court shall proceed to determine the water rights involved in
             92      the manner provided by this chapter, and not otherwise.
             93          Section 2. Section 73-4-11 is amended to read:
             94           73-4-11. Report and recommendation by engineer to court -- Notice -- Public
             95      meeting.
             96          (1) Within 30 days after the expiration of the 90 days allowed for filing statements of
             97      claims, the state engineer shall begin to tabulate the facts contained in the statements filed and
             98      to investigate, whenever the state engineer shall consider necessary, the facts set forth in [said]
             99      the statements by reference to the surveys already made or by further surveys, and shall as
             100      expeditiously as possible make a report to the court with the recommendation of how all rights
             101      involved shall be determined.
             102          (2) After full consideration of the statements of claims, and of the surveys, records,
             103      and files, and after a personal examination of the river system or water source involved, if
             104      [such] the examination is considered necessary, the state engineer shall:
             105          (a) formulate a report and a proposed determination of all rights to the use of the water
             106      of [such] the river system or water source[, and];
             107          (b) mail or deliver a copy of the [same shall be mailed] report and proposed
             108      determination to each claimant with notice that any claimant dissatisfied [therewith] with the
             109      report and proposed determination may within 90 days from [such] the date of mailing or
             110      delivery file with the clerk of the district court a written objection [thereto duly] verified on
             111      oath[.]; and
             112          (c) hold a public meeting in the area covered by the report and proposed determination
             113      to describe the report and proposed determination to the claimants.

             114          (3) The state engineer shall distribute the waters from the natural streams or other
             115      natural sources:
             116          (a) in accordance with the proposed determination or modification [thereof] to the
             117      proposed determination by court order until a final decree is rendered by the court; [provided,]
             118      or
             119          (b) if the right to the use of [said] the waters has been [theretofore] decreed or
             120      adjudicated, [said waters shall be distributed] in accordance with [such] the decree until the
             121      [same] decree is reversed, modified, vacated, or otherwise legally set aside.

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