Chief Sponsor: Casey Snider

Senate Sponsor: David P. Hinkins


9     Committee Note:
10          The Legislative Water Development Commission recommended this bill.
11               Membership:     13 legislators     11 non-legislators
12               Legislative Vote:     8 voting for     0 voting against     5 absent
13          The Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee
14     recommended this bill.
15               Legislative Vote:     15 voting for     0 voting against     4 absent
16     General Description:
17          This bill addresses the Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force.
18     Highlighted Provisions:
19          This bill:
20          ▸     expands the membership of the task force;
21          ▸     clarifies quorum requirements;
22          ▸     addresses the task force recommending legislation as part of its annual report; and
23          ▸     makes technical changes.
24     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
25          None
26     Other Special Clauses:
27          None

28     Utah Code Sections Affected:
29     AMENDS:
30          73-10g-202, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2018, Chapter 143
31          73-10g-203, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2018, Chapter 143

33     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
34          Section 1. Section 73-10g-202 is amended to read:
35          73-10g-202. Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force.
36          (1) There is created the Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force, consisting of:
37          (a) the following voting members:
38          (i) one [person] individual representing the Department of Agriculture and Food;
39          (ii) one [person] individual representing the board or division;
40          (iii) one [person] individual representing the Division of Water Rights;
41          (iv) one [person] individual representing the Division of Water Quality;
42          (v) one [person] individual representing the interests of the agriculture industry;
43          (vi) one [person] individual representing environmental interests; [and]
44          (vii) one [person] individual representing water conservancy districts; [and]
45          (viii) three individuals whose primary source of income comes from the production of
46     agricultural commodities; and
47          (b) one nonvoting member from the higher education community with a background in
48     research.
49          (2) (a) The commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Food shall appoint the
50     members described in Subsections (1)(a)(i), (v), [and] (vii), and (viii).
51          (b) The executive director of the Department of Natural Resources shall appoint the
52     members described in Subsections (1)(a)(ii), (iii), and (vi).
53          (c) The governor shall appoint the members described in Subsections (1)(a)(iv) and
54     (1)(b).
55          (3) The division shall provide administrative support to the task force.
56          (4) The task force shall select a chair from among its membership.
57          (5) Six voting members present constitutes a quorum of the task force. Action by a
58     majority of voting members when a quorum is present is an action of the task force.

59          [(5)] (6) Service on the task force is voluntary and [members may not be compensated
60     for their service on the task force but may receive per diem and travel expenses as allowed in
61     Sections 63A-3-106 and 63A-3-107, and relevant Division of Finance rules.] a member may
62     not receive compensation or benefits for the member's service, but may receive per diem and
63     travel expenses in accordance with:
64          (a) Section 63A-3-106;
65          (b) Section 63A-3-107; and
66          (c) rules made by the Division of Finance pursuant to Sections 63A-3-106 and
67     63A-3-107.
68          Section 2. Section 73-10g-203 is amended to read:
69          73-10g-203. Duties of the task force.
70          (1) The task force created in Section 73-10g-202 shall:
71          (a) identify critical issues facing the state's long-term water supply, particularly in
72     regard to how the state should optimize agricultural water supply and use in light of future
73     population growth, and the future water needs of Utah agriculture;
74          (b) identify current obstacles to, and constraints upon, quantification of agricultural
75     water use, and recommend means, methods, technologies, or other opportunities to improve the
76     quantification of agricultural water use on a basin level; and
77          (c) identify means, methods, systems, or technologies with the potential to maintain or
78     increase agricultural production while reducing the agriculture industry's water diversion and
79     consumption.
80          (2) The task force shall issue requests for proposals and award grants to study the
81     issues identified in Subsection (1), prioritizing proposals and grants as necessary.
82          (3) In identifying critical issues as described in Subsection (1), and prioritizing requests
83     for proposals and grants as described in Subsection (2), the task force shall:
84          (a) identify, develop, and apply sound science and relevant research on optimizing
85     agricultural water use;
86          (b) measure gains at the basin level;
87          (c) take into account the variety of agricultural products, opportunities to improve
88     water use practices, and local needs;
89          (d) address and account for farm economics at the enterprise and community level;

90          (e) work within existing agricultural markets or encourage market behavior that
91     financially rewards improved practices;
92          (f) recognize established water rights;
93          (g) create meaningful benefits for farmers to optimize water use and protect water
94     quality;
95          (h) monitor funded research projects and evaluate the efficacy of completed research;
96     and
97          (i) disseminate research findings.
98          (4) The task force shall report on [its] the task force's progress under this section by
99     November 30, of each year, to:
100          (a) the Legislative Water Development Commission;
101          (b) the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee; and
102          (c) the [Executive] Utah Water Task Force within the Department of Natural
103     Resources.
104          (5) As part of the report required by Subsection (4), and based on the information
105     acquired under Subsections (1) through (3), the task force shall recommend legislation, if any,
106     that addresses the issues listed in Subsection (3).