Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1279
– N. Idaho adjudication, repealed
SENATE BILL NO. 1279
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NORTH IDAHO WATER RIGHTS ADJUDICATION - Amends and repeals existing law to
delete the North Idaho Water Rights Adjudication.
01/16 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/17 Rpt prt - to Res/Env
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-ninth Legislature Second Regular Session - 2008
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1279
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO WATER RIGHTS ADJUDICATIONS; REPEALING SECTION 42-1406B, IDAHO
3 CODE, RELATING TO NORTHERN IDAHO WATER RIGHTS ADJUDICATIONS; AND AMENDING
4 SECTION 42-1425, IDAHO CODE, TO DELETE REFERENCES TO NORTHERN IDAHO ADJU-
5 DICATIONS; DECLARING AN EMERGENCY AND PROVIDING RETROACTIVE APPLICATION.
6 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
7 SECTION 1. That Section 42-1406B, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
9 SECTION 2. That Section 42-1425, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
10 amended to read as follows:
11 42-1425. ACCOMPLISHED TRANSFERS. (1) Legislative findings regarding
12 accomplished transfers and the public interest.
13 (a) The legislature finds and declares that prior to the commencement of
14 the Snake River basin adjudication, and the northern Idaho adjudications,
15 many persons entitled to the use of water or owning land to which water
16 has been made appurtenant either by decree of the court or under provi-
17 sions of the constitution and statutes of this state changed the place of
18 use, point of diversion, nature or purpose of use, or period of use of
19 their water rights without compliance with the transfer provisions of sec-
20 tions 42-108 and 42-222, Idaho Code.
21 (b) The legislature finds that many of these changes occurred with the
22 knowledge of other water users and that the water has been distributed to
23 the right as changed. The legislature further finds and declares that the
24 continuation of the historic water use patterns resulting from these
25 changes is in the local public interest provided no other existing water
26 right was injured at the time of the change. Denial of a claim based
27 solely upon a failure to comply with sections 42-108 and 42-222, Idaho
28 Code, where no injury or enlargement exists, would cause significant undue
29 financial impact to a claimant and the local economy. Approval of the
30 accomplished transfer through the procedure set forth in this section
31 avoids the harsh economic impacts that would result from a denial of the
33 (c) The legislature further finds and declares that examination of these
34 changes by the director through the procedures of section 42-222, Idaho
35 Code, would be impractical and unduly burdensome. The more limited exami-
36 nation of these changes provided for in this section, constitutes a rea-
37 sonable procedure for an expeditious review by the director while ensuring
38 that the changes do not injure other existing water rights or constitute
39 an enlargement of use of the original right.
40 (2) Any change of place of use, point of diversion, nature or purpose of
41 use or period of use of a water right by any person entitled to use of water
42 or owning any land to which water has been made appurtenant either by decree
1 of the court or under the provisions of the constitution and statutes of this
2 state, prior to November 19, 1987, the date of commencement of the Snake River
3 basin adjudication, and prior to January 1, 2006, for the northern Idaho adju-
4 dications authorized by section 42-1406B, Idaho Code, may be claimed in the
5 applicable a general adjudication even though the person has not complied with
6 sections 42-108 and 42-222, Idaho Code, provided no other water rights exist-
7 ing on the date of the change were injured and the change did not result in an
8 enlargement of the original right. Except for the consent requirements of
9 section 42-108, Idaho Code, all requirements of sections 42-108 and 42-222,
10 Idaho Code, are hereby waived in accordance with the following procedures:
11 (a) If an objection is filed to a recommendation for accomplished change
12 of place of use, point of diversion, nature or purpose of use or period of
13 use, the district court shall remand the water right to the director for
14 further hearing to determine whether the change injured a water right
15 existing on the date of the change or constituted an enlargement of the
16 original right. After a hearing, the director shall submit a supplemental
17 report to the district court setting forth his findings and conclusions.
18 If the claimant or any person who filed an objection to the accomplished
19 transfer is aggrieved by the director's determination, they may seek
20 review before the district court. If the change is disallowed, the claim-
21 ant shall be entitled to resume use of the original water right, provided
22 such resumption of use will not cause injury or can be mitigated to pre-
23 vent injury to existing water rights. The unapproved change shall not be
24 deemed a forfeiture or abandonment of the original water right.
25 (b) This section is not applicable to any claim based upon an enlargement
26 of use.
27 SECTION 3. An emergency existing therefor, which emergency is hereby
28 declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its
29 passage and approval, and retroactively to July 1, 2006.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This RS would repeal section 42-1406B Idaho Code relating to
northern Idaho water rights adjudication and amend section 42-
1425 Idaho code. The citizens in a majority of the land area
affected by the proposed adjudication have expressed opposition
to the plan. By repealing the enacting legislation, a closer
look at the goals and objectives to be achieved by adjudicating
the northern basins can be undertaken with the participation of
those affected by such an adjudication.
*Passage of this proposed repeal would save the state of Idaho _
millions of dollars in known costs and potentially tens of
millions of dollars in unknown expenses resulting from years of
court costs and claims.
Name: Sen. Joyce Broadsword
Rep. Dick Harwood
Rep. Mary Lou Shepherd
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1279