Representative Mike K. McKell proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: Mike K. McKell

Senate Sponsor: Deidre M. Henderson


8     General Description:
9          This joint resolution of the Legislature urges Utah's congressional delegation to support
10     the efforts of Utah water users organizations to secure title transfer of project works and
11     project water rights free from terms and conditions that were not contemplated at the
12     time of the repayment contracts.
13     Highlighted Provisions:
14          This resolution:
15          ▸     calls upon Utah's congressional delegation to support Utah water users
16     organizations that have repaid, or wish to repay, reclamation projects to secure title
17     transfer of project works and project water rights free from terms and conditions
18     that were not contemplated at the time of the repayment contracts.
19     Special Clauses:
20          None

22     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
23          WHEREAS, Utah Code Subsection 73-1-1(1) states, "All waters in this state, whether
24     above or under the ground, are hereby declared to be the property of the public, subject to all
25     existing rights to the use thereof";

26          WHEREAS, California v. United States, 438 U.S. 645, 653 (1978), states that, "The
27     history of the relationship between the Federal Government and the States in the reclamation of
28     the arid lands of the Western States is both long and involved, but through it runs the consistent
29     thread of purposeful and continued deference to state water law by Congress";
30          WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 8 of the Reclamation Act of 1902, state law governs
31     the distribution of water from a reclamation project, except as expressly stated by Congress;
32          WHEREAS, water rights for reclamation projects were acquired pursuant to state law;
33          WHEREAS, Utah Code Section 73-1-3 states, "Beneficial use shall be the basis, the
34     measure and the limit of all rights to the use of water in this state";
35          WHEREAS, the future of the state of Utah depends upon the proper and economical
36     administration of water rights and the proper and economical distribution and use of water;
37          WHEREAS, water rights can be best and most economically administered by the local
38     water users that are subject to state law and most accountable to the local water users;
39          WHEREAS, the United States Congress has always anticipated that, upon repayment,
40     reclamation projects would be transferred to the local water users;
41          WHEREAS, water users organizations in Utah have sought, are seeking, and will
42     continue to seek title transfer of water projects from Congress, including title to the Strawberry
43     Valley Project, the Moon Lake Project, the Emery County Project, the Sanpete Project, and the
44     Provo River Project; and
45          WHEREAS, transferring title to the Strawberry Valley, Moon Lake, Emery County,
46     Sanpete, and Provo River water projects to the appropriate local water users in Utah will
47     facilitate the proper and economical administration of water rights and the proper and
48     economical distribution of water as contemplated by the Legislature of the state of Utah and
49     Congress;
50          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah calls
51     upon Utah's congressional delegation to support local water users efforts to secure title transfer
52     of project works when interests of local irrigation companies, water districts, and cities are
53     considered.
54          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Majority
55     Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives,
56     the United States Bureau of Reclamation, the local Utah Water Users, the Utah Department of

57     Natural Resources, the State Engineer, and the members of Utah's congressional delegation.