Chief Sponsor: Keven J. Stratton

Senate Sponsor: David P. Hinkins


8     General Description:
9          This bill addresses water policies.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     outlines the water policies of the state;
13          ▸     encourages state agencies to follow the state policy;
14          ▸     addresses suits referencing the state policy; and
15          ▸     requires an annual review of the policy.
16     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
17          None
18     Other Special Clauses:
19          None
20     Utah Code Sections Affected:
21     ENACTS:
22          73-1-21, Utah Code Annotated 1953

24     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
25          Section 1. Section 73-1-21 is enacted to read:
26          73-1-21. State Water Policy.
27          (1) It is the policy of the state that:
28          (a) Utah shall pursue adequate, reliable, affordable, sustainable, and clean water
29     resources, recognizing that Utah is one of the most arid states in the nation and as such, there

30     is, and will continue to be, a need to ensure Utah's finite water resources are used beneficially;
31          (b) Utah will promote:
32          (i) water conservation, efficiency, and the optimal use of water resources, while
33     identifying intended and unintended consequences to ensure appropriate choice and
34     implementation of particular strategies;
35          (ii) water resource development and the creation of new water infrastructure necessary
36     to meet the state's growing demand and promote economic development;
37          (iii) compliance with state statutes regarding Lake Powell pipeline development and
38     Bear River development;
39          (iv) the timely replacement of aging or inefficient water resource, drinking water,
40     wastewater, and storm water infrastructure;
41          (v) the optimal use of agricultural water to sustain and improve food production and
42     the productive capacity of agricultural lands;
43          (vi) water quality in rivers and lakes that:
44          (A) complies with state clean water and safe drinking water statutes; and
45          (B) protects public health;
46          (vii) water pricing and funding mechanisms that:
47          (A) provide revenue stability while encouraging conservation, efficiency, and
48     optimization efforts;
49          (B) adequately cover infrastructure needs; and
50          (C) balance social, economic, public interest, and environmental values;
51          (viii) respect for water rights;
52          (ix) standards for accurate water use measurement, tracking, enforcement, and
53     reporting;
54          (x) efforts to educate and engage the public in:
55          (A) individual actions that protect water quality, including preventing and mitigating
56     water pollution; and
57          (B) conservation practices and the efficient and optimal use of water resources;

58          (xi) the implementation of cyber security and physical security measures for water
59     infrastructure;
60          (xii) the study and consideration of mechanisms for increased flexibility in water use
61     such as water banking and split season uses;
62          (xiii) continued improvements in the management of water resources through
63     protection, restoration, and science-based evaluation of Utah watersheds, and increased
64     reservoir capacity and aquifer storage and recovery;
65          (xiv) the development and beneficial use of Utah's allocated share of interstate rivers,
66     including Utah's allocations under the 1922 and 1948 Colorado River Compacts and the 1980
67     Amended Bear River Compact;
68          (xv) the study and development of strategies and practices necessary to address
69     declining water levels and protect the water quality and quantity of the Great Salt Lake, Utah
70     Lake, and Bear Lake, taking into consideration natural climate change, natural weather systems
71     and patterns, and normal cyclic water level change over time, while balancing economic,
72     social, and environmental needs;
73          (xvi) regulations and practices, including voluntary practices, that maintain sufficient
74     stream flows and lake levels to provide reasonable access to recreational activities and protect
75     and restore water quality, quantity, and healthy ecosystems, including protecting groundwater
76     and surface water sources from pollution;
77          (xvii) equitable access to safe, affordable, and reliable drinking water to protect public
78     health;
79          (xviii) regulations and practices that encourage effective treatment of wastewater to
80     maximize its availability for beneficial use and minimize depletion and the further degradation
81     of other waters;
82          (xix) the control of invasive species that threaten or degrade waters of the state;
83          (xx) coordination among the state, water providers, water users, local governments,
84     government agencies, and researchers in the study of ways weather and climate will impact
85     future water supplies, demand, and quality;

86          (xxi) water laws, rules, and enforcement that are consistent with this Subsection (1)
87     and encourage transparency, order, and certainty in the use of public water;
88          (xxii) the support and funding of research, science, and technology necessary to
89     achieve the provisions of this Subsection (1); and
90          (xxiii) the collaboration, cooperation, and engagement of stakeholders in the
91     identification and advancement of actions that support the provisions of this Subsection (1);
92     and
93          (c) Utah supports the timely and appropriate negotiated settlement of federally reserved
94     water right claims for both Native American trust lands and other existing federal reservations,
95     and opposes any future designation of public lands that does not quantify any associated
96     federally reserved water rights.
97          (2) State agencies are encouraged to conduct agency activities consistent with
98     Subsection (1) and implement policies established by the Legislature that promote the near-
99     and long-term stewardship of water quality and water resources.
100          (3) This section does not create a cause of action against the state's or a state agency's
101     action that is inconsistent with Subsection (1) and does not waive governmental immunity
102     under Title 63G, Chapter 7, Governmental Immunity Act of Utah.
103          (4) The Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee shall
104     review the state water policy annually and recommend priority balancing and any other changes
105     to the Legislature.