Chief Sponsor: Timothy D. Hawkes

Senate Sponsor: Margaret Dayton


8     General Description:
9          This bill clarifies the duties of the state engineer.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     states that the state engineer shall make rules regarding the duty of water; and
13          ▸     makes technical changes.
14     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
15          None
16     Other Special Clauses:
17          None
18     Utah Code Sections Affected:
19     AMENDS:
20          73-2-1, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 221

22     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
23          Section 1. Section 73-2-1 is amended to read:
24          73-2-1. State engineer -- Term -- Powers and duties -- Qualification for duties.
25          (1) There shall be a state engineer.
26          (2) The state engineer shall:
27          (a) be appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate;

28          (b) hold office for the term of four years and until a successor is appointed; and
29          (c) have five years experience as a practical engineer or the theoretical knowledge,
30     practical experience, and skill necessary for the position.
31          (3) (a) The state engineer shall be responsible for the general administrative
32     supervision of the waters of the state and the measurement, appropriation, apportionment, and
33     distribution of those waters.
34          (b) The state engineer may secure the equitable apportionment and distribution of the
35     water according to the respective rights of appropriators.
36          (4) The state engineer shall make rules, in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah
37     Administrative Rulemaking Act, consistent with the purposes and provisions of this title,
38     regarding:
39          (a) reports of water right conveyances;
40          (b) the construction of water wells and the licensing of water well drillers;
41          (c) dam construction and safety;
42          (d) the alteration of natural streams;
43          (e) geothermal resource conservation; [and]
44          (f) enforcement orders and the imposition of fines and penalties[.]; and
45          (g) the duty of water.
46          (5) The state engineer may make rules, in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah
47     Administrative Rulemaking Act, consistent with the purposes and provisions of this title,
48     governing:
49          (a) water distribution systems and water commissioners;
50          (b) water measurement and reporting;
51          (c) groundwater recharge and recovery;
52          (d) wastewater reuse;
53          (e) the form, content, and processing procedure for a claim under Section 73-5-13 to
54     surface or underground water that is not represented by a certificate of appropriation;
55          (f) the form and content of a proof submitted to the state engineer under Section
56     73-3-16;
57          (g) the determination of water rights; or
58          (h) the form and content of applications and related documents, maps, and reports.

59          (6) The state engineer may bring suit in courts of competent jurisdiction to:
60          (a) enjoin the unlawful appropriation, diversion, and use of surface and underground
61     water without first seeking redress through the administrative process;
62          (b) prevent theft, waste, loss, or pollution of those waters;
63          (c) enable him to carry out the duties of the state engineer's office; and
64          (d) enforce administrative orders and collect fines and penalties.
65          (7) The state engineer may:
66          (a) upon request from the board of trustees of an irrigation district under Title 17B,
67     Chapter 2a, Part 5, Irrigation District Act, or another local district under Title 17B, Limited
68     Purpose Local Government Entities - Local Districts, or a special service district under Title
69     17D, Chapter 1, Special Service District Act, that operates an irrigation water system, cause a
70     water survey to be made of all lands proposed to be annexed to the district in order to
71     determine and allot the maximum amount of water that could be beneficially used on the land,
72     with a separate survey and allotment being made for each 40-acre or smaller tract in separate
73     ownership; and
74          (b) upon completion of the survey and allotment under Subsection (7)(a), file with the
75     district board a return of the survey and report of the allotment.
76          (8) (a) The state engineer may establish water distribution systems and define their
77     boundaries.
78          (b) The water distribution systems shall be formed in a manner that:
79          (i) secures the best protection to the water claimants; and
80          (ii) is the most economical for the state to supervise.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel