Chief Sponsor: Jani Iwamoto

House Sponsor: Stewart E. Barlow


9     General Description:
10          This resolution requests recommendations on the development and creation of water
11     banks to further the 2017 State Recommended Water Strategy.
12     Highlighted Provisions:
13          This resolution:
14          ▸     encourages the study of possible options to create and develop water banks to
15     further the 2017 State Recommended Water Strategy and the preparation of
16     recommendations for the Legislature to consider for the 2020 General Session.
17     Special Clauses:
18          None

20     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
21          WHEREAS, in July 2017, the Governor's Water Strategy Advisory Team finalized a
22     Recommended State Water Strategy, which identified strategies to help meet the water
23     demands of the more than five million people who are projected to live in Utah by 2060;
24          WHEREAS, the Recommended State Water Strategy identified ways to stretch Utah's
25     limited water supplies and provide clean and affordable water to sustain thriving communities
26     and businesses, robust agriculture, ample recreation, and a healthy and resilient natural
27     environment;
28          WHEREAS, the Recommended State Water Strategy found that there is a need to
29     facilitate temporary water right transfers through leases, contracts, or other voluntary

30     arrangements to supply competing water uses during a given year and to meet authorized uses
31     and short-term needs;
32          WHEREAS, the Recommended State Water Strategy found that water banks could
33     facilitate voluntary temporary transfers and provide increased transparency regarding the nature
34     and costs of such transactions;
35          WHEREAS, a water bank facilitates the temporary transfer of water by allowing water
36     users to "deposit" unused water into the bank in years when they do not need it so that other
37     users in the region can lease the water for lawful purposes;
38          WHEREAS, the Recommended State Water Strategy recommended the establishment
39     of "water banking procedures through legislative action that could allow flexibility in the
40     availability of water for various uses in a particular drainage system depending on needs and
41     availability";
42          WHEREAS, during the 2017 General Session, the Legislature passed S.B. 214 "Public
43     Water Supplier Amendments," which encouraged the Legislative Water Development
44     Commission and the Executive Water Task Force to study possible options for expanding the
45     groups who may file an application for instream flows;
46          WHEREAS, in response to S.B. 214, an informal committee of interested stakeholders
47     was formed, consisting of agricultural representatives, public water suppliers, environmental
48     organizations, and other stakeholders to study instream flows;
49          WHEREAS, the informal committee identified water banking as a topic ripe for
50     discussion;
51          WHEREAS, water banking would address S.B. 214's goals of facilitating instream
52     flows while also supporting many of the Recommended State Water Strategy's other
53     recommendations, including providing water for environmental needs and minimizing the need
54     to convert agricultural water rights to supply growing municipal and industrial needs; and
55          WHEREAS, interested stakeholders continue to develop consensus-based
56     recommendations to implement the Recommended State Water Strategy's water banking
57     findings and recommendations and further the goals of S.B. 214:

58          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah
59     encourages the:
60          (1) continued study of ways to implement the recommendations in the 2017
61     Recommended State Water Strategy regarding water banking; and
62          (2) support of the goals of S.B. 214.
63          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature encourages the presentation of
64     findings, conclusions, and recommendations, including any suggested legislation, to the
65     Legislature before the 2020 General Session.
66          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that recommendations and legislation presented to the
67     Legislature:
68          (1) recognize that the majority of water rights in Utah are agricultural in nature;
69          (2) incentivize agricultural water users to participate in water banking;
70          (3) protect against abandonment and forfeiture for water rights placed within a water
71     bank;
72          (4) minimize the potential for water right impairment; and
73          (5) ensure that water placed within a water bank may be leased or otherwise used for
74     any lawful purpose.