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S1116..........................................by RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT MINIMUM STREAM FLOW - Amends existing law relating to water to provide for applications to appropriate water from the water supply bank from certain basins for minimum stream flow purposes. 02/14 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing 02/15 Rpt prt - to Res/Env
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]] Fifty-eighth Legislature First Regular Session - 2005 IN THE SENATE SENATE BILL NO. 1116 BY RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE 1 AN ACT 2 RELATING TO WATER; AMENDING SECTION 42-1503, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE FOR APPLI- 3 CATIONS TO APPROPRIATE WATER FROM THE WATER SUPPLY BANK FROM CERTAIN 4 BASINS FOR MINIMUM STREAM FLOW PURPOSES AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS. 5 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho: 6 SECTION 1. That Section 42-1503, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby 7 amended to read as follows: 8 42-1503. APPLICATION TO APPROPRIATE -- PROCESS -- JUDICIAL REVIEW. When- 9 ever the board desires to appropriate a minimum stream flow of the unappropri- 10 ated waters of any stream or water supplied from the water supply bank from 11 basins affecting the eastern Snake plain aquifer for minimum stream flow pur- 12 poses, it shall submit an application to the director. Such application shall 13 be made upon forms to be furnished by the director and shall include: 14 (a) The name of the stream and legal description of the point on the 15 stream where the minimum stream flow is proposed to be appropriated; and16 determined;17 (b) The minimum stream flow proposed; 18 (c) The purpose for which the minimum stream flow appropriation is pro- 19 posed to be made; 20 (d) The period of time or season of the year during which said appropria- 21 tion is proposed; and 22 (e) Such other information as shall be required by the form furnished by 23 the director. 24 Upon the receipt of an application filed under the provisions of this act, 25 the director shall forward a copy thereof to the departments of fish and game, 26 environmental quality, parks and recreation, and any other public entity 27 likely to have an interest or knowledge in the matter. The director shall also 28 prepare a notice describing the proposed appropriation of minimum stream flow 29 and cause said notice to be published once each week in two (2) consecutive 30 weekly issues of a newspaper published within the county where the appropria- 31 tion of minimum stream flow is proposed, if there is such newspaper, otherwise 32 in a newspaper of general circulation within the county. The director may also 33 give other notice of the proposed appropriation in such manner and to such 34 persons or organizations as he may determine. Such notice shall specify the 35 time and place for a public hearing to be held concerning the proposed appro- 36 priation of minimum stream flow. Such hearing shall be held in accordance with 37 the provisions of section 42-1701A(1) and (2), Idaho Code. The director shall 38 have power to administer oaths and to require the attendance of such witnesses 39 and the production of such books, records, and papers as he may desire at the 40 hearing and for that purpose the director may apply to the district court for 41 a subpoena for any witnesses or a subpoena duces tecum to compel the produc- 42 tion of any books, records, or papers which shall be served and returned in 43 the same manner as a subpoena in a civil case. In case of any disobedience or 2 1 neglect to obey a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum it shall be the duty of the 2 district court in any county of this state in which such disobedience, 3 neglect, or refusal occurs, or any judge thereof, on application by the direc- 4 tor, to compel obedience by proceedings for contempt as in the case of a sub- 5 poena issued by a regularly constituted court. Upon the conclusion of the 6 hearings and completion of any investigation conducted by the director, he 7 shall enter his findings in writing approving the application in whole, or in 8 part, or upon conditions or rejecting said application. Approval of any such 9 application must be based upon a finding that such appropriation of minimum 10 stream flow: 11 (a) wWill not interfere with any vested water right, permit, or water 12 right application with priority of right date earlier than the date of receipt 13 in the office of the director of a complete application for appropriation of 14 minimum stream flow filed under the provisions of this act; 15 (b) iIs in the public, as opposed to private, interest; 16 (c) iIs necessary for the preservation of fish and wildlife habitat, 17 aquatic life, recreation, aesthetic beauty, navigation, transportation, or 18 water quality of the stream; 19 (d) iIs the minimum flow or lake level and not the ideal or most desir- 20 able flow or lake level; and 21 (e) iIs capable of being maintained as evidenced by records of stream 22 flows and water levels and the existing or future establishment of necessary 23 gauging stations and bench marks. 24 A copy of the director's findings shall be mailed to the board and to each 25 person or organization who gave testimony in support of or in opposition to 26 the proposed appropriation. The board or any person testifying at a hearing 27 who is aggrieved by a decision of the director shall have the right to have 28 that decision reviewed by the courts pursuant to section 42-1701A(4), Idaho 29 Code. Approved applications shall be submitted to each legislature by the 30 fifth legislative day of each regular session, and: (i) shall not become 31 finally effective until affirmatively acted upon by concurrent resolution of 32 the Idaho legislature; or (ii) except that if the legislature fails to act 33 prior to the end of the regular session to which the application was submit- 34 ted, the application shall be considered approved.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE RS 14922C2 Historically, the appropriation of natural flow water rights from Idaho rivers and streams has affected stream flows, natural recharge of interconnected ground water aquifers, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and other values. Certain watersheds historically provided significant natural recharge to the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (the Lost River, Wood River, Birch Creek, Medicine Lodge Creek, etc.), which is now declining. Under existing law and policy, water rights involving diversions are used for "managed recharge" in various locations. This is generally accomplished by directing secured water through existing canals, or by using ponds and "seeps" connected to canals allowing diverted water to sink into the ground water aquifer. There is no existing legal authority to secure natural flow water rights and leave that water in the natural river channel to accomplish natural recharge and other benefits. This measure would authorize the Water Resources Board to utilize water rights secured voluntarily in the Water Supply Bank for minimum stream flows. It is contemplated that aquifer recharge will be an important benefit in certain watersheds, where federal conservation-related incentives and other voluntary water transactions can secure natural flow water rights for the Water Supply Bank to address these purposes. In some watersheds (Big Lost, Little Lost) water rights secured for the Water Supply Bank can help address the loss of fish and wildlife habitat, which has contributed to existing or potential listings of species under the federal Endangered Species Act. By enacting this measure, no injury occurs to senior water rights; authority is vested in the Water Resources Board and the Department of Water Resources; and, public processes and review procedures are maintained according to existing law and regulations. FISCAL IMPACT Additional appropriations from the General Account are not required if this bill is enacted. Contact Name: Sen. Clint Stennett Phone: 332-1351 STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1116