Chief Sponsor: Casey Snider

Senate Sponsor: David P. Hinkins


9     General Description:
10          This bill addresses the Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     expands the membership of the task force;
14          ▸     clarifies quorum requirements;
15          ▸     addresses the task force recommending legislation as part of its annual report; and
16          ▸     makes technical changes.
17     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
18          None
19     Other Special Clauses:
20          None
21     Utah Code Sections Affected:
22     AMENDS:
23          73-10g-202, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2018, Chapter 143
24          73-10g-203, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2018, Chapter 143

26     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
27          Section 1. Section 73-10g-202 is amended to read:
28          73-10g-202. Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force.
29          (1) There is created the Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force, consisting of:

30          (a) the following voting members:
31          (i) one [person] individual representing the Department of Agriculture and Food;
32          (ii) one [person] individual representing the board or division;
33          (iii) one [person] individual representing the Division of Water Rights;
34          (iv) one [person] individual representing the Division of Water Quality;
35          (v) one [person] individual representing the interests of the agriculture industry;
36          (vi) one [person] individual representing environmental interests; [and]
37          (vii) one [person] individual representing water conservancy districts; [and]
38          (viii) three individuals whose primary source of income comes from the production of
39     agricultural commodities; and
40          (b) one nonvoting member from the higher education community with a background in
41     research.
42          (2) (a) The commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Food shall appoint the
43     members described in Subsections (1)(a)(i), (v), [and] (vii), and (viii).
44          (b) The executive director of the Department of Natural Resources shall appoint the
45     members described in Subsections (1)(a)(ii), (iii), and (vi).
46          (c) The governor shall appoint the members described in Subsections (1)(a)(iv) and
47     (1)(b).
48          (3) The division shall provide administrative support to the task force.
49          (4) The task force shall select a chair from among its membership.
50          (5) Six voting members present constitutes a quorum of the task force. Action by a
51     majority of voting members when a quorum is present is an action of the task force.
52          [(5)] (6) Service on the task force is voluntary and [members may not be compensated
53     for their service on the task force but may receive per diem and travel expenses as allowed in
54     Sections 63A-3-106 and 63A-3-107, and relevant Division of Finance rules.] a member may
55     not receive compensation or benefits for the member's service, but may receive per diem and
56     travel expenses in accordance with:
57          (a) Section 63A-3-106;

58          (b) Section 63A-3-107; and
59          (c) rules made by the Division of Finance pursuant to Sections 63A-3-106 and
60     63A-3-107.
61          Section 2. Section 73-10g-203 is amended to read:
62          73-10g-203. Duties of the task force.
63          (1) The task force created in Section 73-10g-202 shall:
64          (a) identify critical issues facing the state's long-term water supply, particularly in
65     regard to how the state should optimize agricultural water supply and use in light of future
66     population growth, and the future water needs of Utah agriculture;
67          (b) identify current obstacles to, and constraints upon, quantification of agricultural
68     water use, and recommend means, methods, technologies, or other opportunities to improve the
69     quantification of agricultural water use on a basin level; and
70          (c) identify means, methods, systems, or technologies with the potential to maintain or
71     increase agricultural production while reducing the agriculture industry's water diversion and
72     consumption.
73          (2) The task force shall issue requests for proposals and award grants to study the
74     issues identified in Subsection (1), prioritizing proposals and grants as necessary.
75          (3) In identifying critical issues as described in Subsection (1), and prioritizing requests
76     for proposals and grants as described in Subsection (2), the task force shall:
77          (a) identify, develop, and apply sound science and relevant research on optimizing
78     agricultural water use;
79          (b) measure gains at the basin level;
80          (c) take into account the variety of agricultural products, opportunities to improve
81     water use practices, and local needs;
82          (d) address and account for farm economics at the enterprise and community level;
83          (e) work within existing agricultural markets or encourage market behavior that
84     financially rewards improved practices;
85          (f) recognize established water rights;

86          (g) create meaningful benefits for farmers to optimize water use and protect water
87     quality;
88          (h) monitor funded research projects and evaluate the efficacy of completed research;
89     and
90          (i) disseminate research findings.
91          (4) The task force shall report on [its] the task force's progress under this section by
92     November 30, of each year, to:
93          (a) the Legislative Water Development Commission;
94          (b) the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee; and
95          (c) the [Executive] Utah Water Task Force within the Department of Natural
96     Resources.
97          (5) As part of the report required by Subsection (4), and based on the information
98     acquired under Subsections (1) through (3), the task force shall recommend legislation, if any,
99     that addresses the issues listed in Subsection (3).