Chief Sponsor: Keven J. Stratton

Senate Sponsor: David P. Hinkins


8     Committee Note:
9          The Legislative Water Development Commission recommended this bill.
10               Membership:     13 legislators     11 non-legislators
11               Legislative Vote:     10 voting for     0 voting against     3 absent
12          The Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee
13     recommended this bill.
14               Legislative Vote:     15 voting for     0 voting against     4 absent
15     General Description:
16          This bill addresses water policies.
17     Highlighted Provisions:
18          This bill:
19          ▸     outlines the water policies of the state;
20          ▸     encourages state agencies to follow the state policy;
21          ▸     addresses suits referencing the state policy; and
22          ▸     requires an annual review of the policy.
23     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
24          None
25     Other Special Clauses:
26          None
27     Utah Code Sections Affected:

28     ENACTS:
29          73-1-21, Utah Code Annotated 1953

31     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
32          Section 1. Section 73-1-21 is enacted to read:
33          73-1-21. State Water Policy.
34          (1) It is the policy of the state that:
35          (a) Utah shall pursue adequate, reliable, affordable, sustainable, and clean water
36     resources, recognizing that Utah is the second most arid state in the nation and as such, there is,
37     and will continue to be, a need to ensure Utah's finite water resources are used beneficially;
38          (b) Utah will promote:
39          (i) water conservation, efficiency, and the optimal use of water resources, while
40     identifying intended and unintended consequences to ensure appropriate choice and
41     implementation of particular strategies;
42          (ii) water resource development and the creation of new water infrastructure necessary
43     to meet the state's growing demand and promote economic development;
44          (iii) compliance with state statutes regarding Lake Powell pipeline development and
45     Bear River development;
46          (iv) the timely replacement of aging or inefficient water resource, drinking water,
47     wastewater, and storm water infrastructure;
48          (v) the optimal use of agricultural water to sustain and improve food production and
49     the productive capacity of agricultural lands;
50          (vi) water quality in rivers and lakes that:
51          (A) complies with state clean water and safe drinking water statutes; and
52          (B) protects public health;
53          (vii) water pricing and funding mechanisms that:
54          (A) provide revenue stability while encouraging conservation, efficiency, and
55     optimization efforts;
56          (B) adequately cover infrastructure needs; and
57          (C) balance social, economic, and environmental values;
58          (viii) respect for water rights;

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

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