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S.B. 211

             1     

WATER RIGHTS AMENDMENTS

             2     
2014 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Margaret Dayton

             5     
House Sponsor: Keith Grover

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill requires that a person who applies for a permanent or temporary change to a
             10      water right meet certain qualifications and allows the state engineer, upon receiving a
             11      change application, to determine the quantity of water that is being beneficially used
             12      and limit approval of the change application based on that determination.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This bill:
             15          .    defines terms;
             16          .    requires that a person who applies for a permanent or temporary change to a water
             17      right meet certain qualifications;
             18          .    allows the state engineer, upon receiving a change application, to determine the
             19      quantity of water that is being beneficially used and limit approval of the change
             20      application based on that determination; and
             21          .    makes technical changes.
             22      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             23          None
             24      Other Special Clauses:
             25          None
             26      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             27      AMENDS:


             28           73-2-27 , as enacted by Laws of Utah 2005, Chapter 215
             29           73-3-3 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 229
             30           73-3-8 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2007, Chapter 136
             31     
             32      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             33          Section 1. Section 73-2-27 is amended to read:
             34           73-2-27. Criminal penalties.
             35          (1) This section applies to offenses committed under:
             36          (a) Section 73-1-14 ;
             37          (b) Section 73-1-15 ;
             38          (c) Section 73-2-20 ;
             39          (d) Subsection [ 73-3-3 (9)] 73-3-3 (8);
             40          (e) Section 73-3-26 ;
             41          (f) Section 73-3-29 ;
             42          (g) Section 73-5-9 ;
             43          (h) Section 76-10-201 ;
             44          (i) Section 76-10-202 ; and
             45          (j) Section 76-10-203 .
             46          (2) Under circumstances not amounting to an offense with a greater penalty under
             47      Subsection 76-6-106 (2)(b)(ii) or Section 76-6-404 , violation of a provision listed in Subsection
             48      (1) is punishable:
             49          (a) as a felony of the third degree if:
             50          (i) the value of the water diverted or property damaged or taken is $2,500 or greater;
             51      and
             52          (ii) the person violating the provision has previously been convicted of violating the
             53      same provision;
             54          (b) as a class A misdemeanor if:
             55          (i) the value of the water diverted or property damaged or taken is $2,500 or greater; or
             56          (ii) the person violating the provision has previously been convicted of violating the
             57      same provision; or
             58          (c) as a class B misdemeanor if Subsection (2)(a) or (b) does not apply.


             59          Section 2. Section 73-3-3 is amended to read:
             60           73-3-3. Permanent or temporary changes to a water right.
             61          (1) For purposes of this section:
             62          (a) "Change applicant" means:
             63          (i) the holder of an approved but unperfected application to appropriate water;
             64          (ii) the record owner of a perfected water right;
             65          (iii) a person who has written authorization from a person described in Subsection
             66      (1)(a)(i) or (ii) to file a change application on that person's behalf; or
             67          (iv) a shareholder in a water company who files a change application in accordance
             68      with Section 73-3-3.5 .
             69          [(a)] (b) "Permanent change" means a change [for an indefinite period of time with an
             70      intent to relinquish the original point of diversion, place of use, or purpose of use.], for an
             71      indefinite period of time, to the:
             72          (i) point of diversion;
             73          (ii) place of use;
             74          (iii) period of use;
             75          (iv) nature of use for which the water is currently appropriated; or
             76          (v) addition or deletion of storage as an authorized use.
             77          (c) "Quantity of water available for change" means the quantity of water, under a water
             78      right, that has been put to beneficial use within the time provided in Section 73-1-4 .
             79          [(b)] (d) "Temporary change" means a change for a fixed period of time, not exceeding
             80      one year[.], to the:
             81          [(2) (a) Subject to Subsection (2)(c), a person entitled to the use of water may make
             82      permanent or temporary changes in the:]
             83          [(i) point of diversion;]
             84          [(ii) place of use; or]
             85          [(iii) purpose of use for which the water was originally appropriated.]
             86          (i) point of diversion;
             87          (ii) place of use;
             88          (iii) period of use;
             89          (iv) nature of use for which the water is currently appropriated; or


             90          (v) addition or deletion of storage as an authorized use.
             91          (2) (a) A person may not make a permanent or temporary change to a water right or an
             92      approved application to appropriate water, including a water right or an approved application to
             93      appropriate water involved in a general determination of rights or other suit, unless the person:
             94          (i) is a change applicant; and
             95          (ii) makes the change in accordance with this section.
             96          (b) Except as provided by Section 73-3-30 , a change may not be made if it impairs a
             97      vested water right without just compensation.
             98          (c) A change application on a federal reclamation project water right shall be signed
             99      by:
             100          (i) the local water users organization that is contractually responsible for:
             101          (A) the operation and maintenance of the project; or
             102          (B) the repayment of project costs; and
             103          (ii) the record owner of the water right.
             104          [(3) A person entitled to use water shall change a point of diversion, place of use, or
             105      purpose of water use, including water involved in a general adjudication or other suit, in the
             106      manner provided in this section.]
             107          [(4) (a) A person entitled to use water may not make a change unless the state engineer
             108      approves the change application.]
             109          (d) (i) Subject to Subsection (2)(d)(ii), in a change application proceeding relating to a
             110      water right, to prevent impairing other water rights, the state engineer may review the
             111      beneficial use of the water under the water right and determine the quantity of water available
             112      for change.
             113          (ii) In reviewing the beneficial use of the water under Subsection (2)(d)(i), the state
             114      engineer shall, if the water right is exempted or protected under Section 73-1-4 or other law,
             115      consider the water reasonably applied to beneficial use.
             116          (e) (i) In reviewing the beneficial use of water and determining the quantity of water
             117      available for change under Subsection (2)(d)(i), the state engineer shall:
             118          (A) presume that the quantity of water available for change is the full amount of water
             119      available under the water right, unless the presumption is rebutted by clear and convincing
             120      evidence that demonstrates that a smaller quantity of water is available for change;


             121          (B) if the state engineer or a protestant to the application questions the quantity of
             122      water available for change, conduct an administrative hearing where the change applicant and a
             123      protestant may present evidence regarding the quantity of water available for change; and
             124          (C) if the state engineer determines that the quantity of water available for change is
             125      less than the amount of water required by the change application, state the factual basis for the
             126      determination.
             127          (ii) If the state engineer determines that the quantity of water available for change is
             128      less than the amount of water required by the change application, the state engineer may:
             129          (A) reject the change application; or
             130          (B) limit approval of the change application to the quantity of water available for
             131      change.
             132          (iii) The state engineer's determination of the quantity of water available for change
             133      does not:
             134          (A) constitute a forfeiture or abandonment;
             135          (B) affect the use of the unapproved portion of the underlying water right; or
             136          (C) constitute an adjudication of the underlying water right.
             137          (f) (i) Before the state engineer makes a decision on a change application, the change
             138      applicant may:
             139          (A) withdraw the change application; or
             140          (B) request that the state engineer stay the proceedings on the change application for up
             141      to two years after the day on which the applicant requests the stay, or, if the state engineer finds
             142      good cause, for more than two years.
             143          (ii) (A) A change applicant who desires to resume proceedings stayed under Subsection
             144      (2)(f)(i)(B) shall file with the state engineer a written request to resume the proceedings.
             145          (B) If the state engineer stays the proceedings of a change application under Subsection
             146      (2)(f)(i)(B) and the applicant does not resume the proceedings within the time limit of the stay,
             147      the state engineer shall consider the application withdrawn.
             148          (3) (a) A change applicant who files a change application with the state engineer may
             149      not make the permanent or temporary change requested in the application unless, and to the
             150      extent that, the state engineer approves the change application.
             151          (b) A [person entitled to use water] change applicant shall submit a change application


             152      upon forms furnished by the state engineer and shall set forth:
             153          (i) the change applicant's name;
             154          (ii) the water right description, including the water right number;
             155          (iii) the water quantity;
             156          (iv) the stream or water source;
             157          (v) if applicable, the point on the stream or water source where the water is diverted;
             158          (vi) if applicable, the point to which it is proposed to change the diversion of the water;
             159          (vii) the place, [purpose,] nature, period, and extent of the [present] current use;
             160          (viii) the place, [purpose,] nature, period, and extent of the proposed use; and
             161          (ix) any other information that the state engineer requires.
             162          [(5) (a) The state engineer shall follow the same procedures, and the rights and duties
             163      of the applicants with respect to applications for permanent changes of point of diversion, place
             164      of use, or purpose of use shall be the same, as provided in this title for applications to
             165      appropriate water.]
             166          (4) (a) With respect to a change application for a permanent change:
             167          (i) the state engineer shall follow the same procedures provided in this title for
             168      approving an application to appropriate water; and
             169          (ii) the rights and duties of a change applicant are the same as the rights and duties of a
             170      person who applies to appropriate water under this title.
             171          (b) The state engineer may waive notice for a permanent change application involving
             172      only a change in point of diversion of 660 feet or less.
             173          [(6)] (5) (a) The state engineer shall investigate all temporary change applications.
             174          [(b) If the state engineer finds that the temporary change will not impair a vested water
             175      right, the state engineer shall issue an order authorizing the change.]
             176          [(c) If the state engineer finds that the change sought might impair a vested water right,
             177      before authorizing the change, the state engineer shall give notice of the application to any
             178      person whose right may be affected by the change.]
             179          [(d) Before making an investigation or giving notice, the state engineer may require the
             180      applicant to deposit a sum of money sufficient to pay the expenses of the investigation and
             181      publication of notice.]
             182          (b) The state engineer shall issue an order authorizing a temporary change if the state


             183      engineer finds that the temporary change:
             184          (i) will not exceed the quantity of water available for the change; and
             185          (ii) does not impair a vested water right.
             186          (c) The state engineer may deny a temporary change application if the state engineer
             187      finds that the temporary change:
             188          (i) will exceed the quantity of water available for the change; or
             189          (ii) would impair a vested water right.
             190          [(7)] (6) (a) Except as provided by Section 73-3-30 , the state engineer may not reject a
             191      permanent or temporary change application for the sole reason that the change would impair a
             192      vested water right.
             193          (b) If otherwise proper where interference with another water right has been
             194      demonstrated, the state engineer may approve a permanent or temporary change application
             195      [for part of the water involved or] upon the condition that the applicant acquire the conflicting
             196      water right.
             197          [(8) (a) A person holding an approved application for the appropriation of water may
             198      change the point of diversion, place of use, or purpose of use.]
             199          [(b)] (7) A change of an approved application to appropriate water does not:
             200          [(i)] (a) affect the priority of the original application to appropriate water; or
             201          [(ii)] (b) extend the time period within which the construction of work is to begin or be
             202      completed.
             203          [(9)] (8) Any person who [changes or who attempts to change a point of diversion,
             204      place of use, or purpose of use, either permanently or temporarily, without first applying to the
             205      state engineer in the manner provided in this section] makes a permanent or temporary change
             206      before obtaining an approved change application under this section:
             207          (a) obtains no right;
             208          (b) is guilty of a crime punishable under Section 73-2-27 if the change or attempted
             209      change is made knowingly or intentionally; and
             210          (c) is guilty of a separately punishable offense for each day of the unlawful change.
             211          [(10)] (9) (a) This section does not apply to the replacement of an existing well by a
             212      new well drilled within a radius of 150 feet from the point of diversion of the existing well.
             213          (b) Any replacement well must be drilled in accordance with the requirements of


             214      Section 73-3-28 .
             215          Section 3. Section 73-3-8 is amended to read:
             216           73-3-8. Approval or rejection of application -- Requirements for approval --
             217      Application for specified period of time -- Filing of royalty contract for removal of salt or
             218      minerals.
             219          (1) (a) [It shall be the duty of the] The state engineer [to] shall approve an application
             220      to appropriate water, or a permanent change application, if:
             221          (i) there is unappropriated water in the proposed source;
             222          (ii) subject to Section 73-1-4 , for a permanent change application described in Section
             223      73-3-3 , the proposed use [will not impair existing rights or interfere with the more beneficial
             224      use of the water] is based on the quantity of water that has been placed to beneficial use under a
             225      water right;
             226          (iii) the proposed use will not impair an existing right or interfere with a more
             227      beneficial use of the water;
             228          [(iii)] (iv) the proposed plan is physically and economically feasible, unless the
             229      application is filed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation, and would not prove
             230      detrimental to the public welfare;
             231          [(iv)] (v) the applicant has the financial ability to complete the proposed works; and
             232          [(v)] (vi) the application was filed in good faith and not for purposes of speculation or
             233      monopoly.
             234          (b) (i) If the state engineer, because of information in the state engineer's possession
             235      obtained either by the state engineer's own investigation or otherwise, has reason to believe that
             236      a change application or an application to appropriate water will interfere with [its] the water's
             237      more beneficial use for irrigation, domestic or culinary, stock watering, power or mining
             238      development, or manufacturing, or will unreasonably affect public recreation or the natural
             239      stream environment, or will prove detrimental to the public welfare, it is the state engineer's
             240      duty to withhold approval or rejection of the application until the state engineer has
             241      investigated the matter.
             242          (ii) If an application does not meet the requirements of this section, it shall be rejected.
             243          (2) (a) An application to appropriate water for industrial, power, mining development,
             244      manufacturing purposes, agriculture, or municipal purposes may be approved for a specific and


             245      certain period from the time the water is placed to beneficial use under the application, but in
             246      no event may an application be granted for a period of time less than that ordinarily needed to
             247      satisfy the essential and primary purpose of the application or until the water is no longer
             248      available as determined by the state engineer.
             249          (b) At the expiration of the period fixed by the state engineer the water shall revert to
             250      the public and is subject to appropriation as provided by this title.
             251          (c) No later than 60 calendar days before the expiration date of the fixed time period,
             252      the state engineer shall send notice by mail or by any form of electronic communication
             253      through which receipt is verifiable, to the applicant of record.
             254          (d) Except as provided by Subsection (2)(e), the state engineer may extend any limited
             255      water right upon a showing that:
             256          (i) the essential purpose of the original application has not been satisfied;
             257          (ii) the need for an extension is not the result of any default or neglect by the applicant;
             258      and
             259          (iii) the water is still available.
             260          (e) No extension shall exceed the time necessary to satisfy the primary purpose of the
             261      original application.
             262          (f) A request for extension of the fixed time period must be filed in writing in the
             263      office of the state engineer on or before the expiration date of the application.
             264          (3) (a) Before the approval of any application for the appropriation of water from
             265      navigable lakes or streams of the state that contemplates the recovery of salts and other
             266      minerals therefrom by precipitation or otherwise, the applicant shall file with the state engineer
             267      a copy of a contract for the payment of royalties to the state.
             268          (b) The approval of an application shall be revoked in the event of the failure of the
             269      applicant to comply with terms of the royalty contract.




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    as of 2-19-14 8:18 AM


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