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H.B. 231 Enrolled
8 LONG TITLE
9 General Description:
10 This bill addresses the priority of water rights during times of water shortage.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 . provides that the priority for water use under water rights is determined by the date
14 of the appropriation of water;
15 . provides an exception allowing certain uses to be prioritized before an earlier-dated
16 water right in times of a declared temporary water shortage emergency;
17 . defines "temporary water shortage emergency;"
18 . provides for the payment of compensation to be paid by a water user whose right is
19 given priority during a temporary water shortage emergency to the user whose use
20 is interrupted; and
21 . makes technical changes.
22 Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
24 Other Special Clauses:
26 Utah Code Sections Affected:
28 73-3-21.1, Utah Code Annotated 1953
30 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
31 Section 1. Section 73-3-21.1 is enacted to read:
32 73-3-21.1. Priorities between appropriators.
33 (1) As used in this section, "temporary water shortage emergency" means a shortage of
35 (a) whether caused by drought, manmade, or naturally caused;
36 (b) for which the governor has declared an emergency; and
37 (c) that may not exceed in duration more than two consecutive calendar years.
38 (2) (a) Appropriators shall have priority among themselves according to the dates of
39 their respective appropriations, so that each appropriator is entitled to receive the
40 appropriator's whole supply before any subsequent appropriator has any right.
41 (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (2)(a), if there is a temporary water shortage
42 emergency, the use of water for drinking, sanitation, and fire suppression has a preferential
43 right over any other water right for the duration of the temporary water shortage emergency if:
44 (i) the water is used by:
45 (A) an individual water user;
46 (B) a county or municipality; or
47 (C) a public water supplier, as defined in Section 73-1-4 ; and
48 (ii) the water is used without unnecessary waste.
49 (c) Notwithstanding Subsection (2)(a), if there is a temporary water shortage
50 emergency, the use of water for agricultural purposes, including irrigation and livestock water,
51 has a preferential right over any other right, except as provided in Subsection (2)(b).
52 (3) A person using water preferentially during a temporary water shortage emergency
53 shall pay annually to the appropriator whose water use is interrupted the reasonable value of
54 the water use interrupted, crop losses, and other consequential damages incurred as a result of
55 the interruption.
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