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S1278.........................................................by BROADSWORD WATER RIGHTS - Amends existing law to restrict certain water rights adjudication to adjudication of water rights diverting from the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer; and to provide that certain actions relating to water prior to a specified date shall constitute accomplished transfers and may be claimed in a general 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. 1278 BY BROADSWORD 1 AN ACT 2 RELATING TO WATER RIGHTS ADJUDICATIONS; AMENDING SECTION 42-1406B, IDAHO CODE, 3 TO RESTRICT CERTAIN WATER RIGHTS ADJUDICATION TO ADJUDICATION OF WATER 4 RIGHTS DIVERTING FROM THE RATHDRUM PRAIRIE AQUIFER; AMENDING SECTION 5 42-1425, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN ACTIONS RELATING TO WATER 6 PRIOR TO A SPECIFIED DATE SHALL CONSTITUTE ACCOMPLISHED TRANSFERS AND MAY 7 BE CLAIMED IN A GENERAL ADJUDICATION; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. 8 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho: 9 SECTION 1. That Section 42-1406B, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby 10 amended to read as follows: 11 42-1406B. NORTHERN IDAHORATHDRUM PRAIRIE AQUIFER -- WATER RIGHTS ADJUDI- 12 CATION S-- COMMENCEMENT. (1) Effective management of the waters of northern13 Idahothe Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer requires that a comprehensivedetermination 14 of the nature, extent and priority of the rights of all users of surface and15 to ground water be determined. Therefore, the director of the department of 16 water resources shall petition the district court to commence an adjudication s17 within the terms of the McCarran amendment, 43 U.S.C. section 666,of the 18 water rights diverting from surface water and ground water sources in northern19 Idaho through initiation of three (3) proceedings. Separate petitions shall be20 filed for water rights adjudications for each of the following river basins,21 and related ground water sources whether or not hydraulically connected to a22 surface water source, within Idaho: the Coeur d'Alene-Spokane river basin, the23 Palouse river basin, and the Kootenai and Clark Fork-Pend Oreille river basins24 the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer. The filing of eachthe petition shall be contin- 25 gent on legislative funding approval. EachThe petition shall describe the 26 boundaries of the water source or water sourcesto be adjudicated. 27 (2) The adjudication shall be brought in any district court in which any 28 part of the water source is located or before a court of special jurisdiction29 for water right adjudications. Unless otherwise ordered by the supreme court,30 special jurisdiction for the water rights general adjudications authorized by31 this section shall reside in the Snake River Basin Adjudication district court32 of the fifth judicial district of the state of Idaho, in and for the county of33 Twin Falls. The clerk of the district court in which the petition is filed34 shall send to the supreme court a true and certified copy of the petition. The35 supreme court, by order, shall assign the judge to preside over the general36 adjudication. Venue of the general adjudication shall be determined by order37 or rule of the supreme court and venue of hearings under the general adjudica-38 tion shall be determined by order of the presiding judge.39 (3) Uupon issuance of an order by the district court which authorizes the 40 director to commence an investigation and determination of the various water 41 rights to be adjudicated. from the water source or water sources, and which42 defines the boundaries of the source or sources within the state to be adjudi-43 cated, tThe director of the department of water resources shall proceed in the 2 1 manner provided under the provisions of chapter 14, title 42, Idaho Code, to 2 the extent not inconsistent with the provisions of this section. 3 SECTION 2. That Section 42-1425, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby 4 amended to read as follows: 5 42-1425. ACCOMPLISHED TRANSFERS. (1) Legislative findings regarding 6 accomplished transfers and the public interest. 7 (a) The legislature finds and declares that prior to the commencement of 8 the Snake River basin adjudication, and the northern IdahoRathdrum Prai- 9 rie Aquifer adjudication s, many persons entitled to the use of water or 10 owning land to which water has been made appurtenant either by decree of 11 the court or under provisions of the constitution and statutes of this 12 state changed the place of use, point of diversion, nature or purpose of 13 use, or period of use of their water rights without compliance with the 14 transfer provisions of sections 42-108 and 42-222, Idaho Code. 15 (b) The legislature finds that many of these changes occurred with the 16 knowledge of other water users and that the water has been distributed to 17 the right as changed. The legislature further finds and declares that the 18 continuation of the historic water use patterns resulting from these 19 changes is in the local public interest provided no other existing water 20 right was injured at the time of the change. Denial of a claim based 21 solely upon a failure to comply with sections 42-108 and 42-222, Idaho 22 Code, where no injury or enlargement exists, would cause significant undue 23 financial impact to a claimant and the local economy. Approval of the 24 accomplished transfer through the procedure set forth in this section 25 avoids the harsh economic impacts that would result from a denial of the 26 claim. 27 (c) The legislature further finds and declares that examination of these 28 changes by the director through the procedures of section 42-222, Idaho 29 Code, would be impractical and unduly burdensome. The more limited exami- 30 nation of these changes provided for in this section, constitutes a rea- 31 sonable procedure for an expeditious review by the director while ensuring 32 that the changes do not injure other existing water rights or constitute 33 an enlargement of use of the original right. 34 (2) Any change of place of use, point of diversion, nature or purpose of 35 use or period of use of a water right by any person entitled to use of water 36 or owning any land to which water has been made appurtenant either by decree 37 of the court or under the provisions of the constitution and statutes of this 38 state, prior to November 19, 1987, the date of commencement of the Snake River 39 basin adjudication, and prior to January 1, 2006,the effective date of this 40 act for the northern IdahoRathdrum Prairie Aquifer adjudication sauthorized 41 by section 42-1406B, Idaho Code, may be claimed in the applicablea general 42 adjudication even though the person has not complied with sections 42-108 and 43 42-222, Idaho Code, provided no other water rights existing on the date of the 44 change were injured and the change did not result in an enlargement of the 45 original right. Except for the consent requirements of section 42-108, Idaho 46 Code, all requirements of sections 42-108 and 42-222, Idaho Code, are hereby 47 waived in accordance with the following procedures: 48 (a) If an objection is filed to a recommendation for accomplished change 49 of place of use, point of diversion, nature or purpose of use or period of 50 use, the district court shall remand the water right to the director for 51 further hearing to determine whether the change injured a water right 52 existing on the date of the change or constituted an enlargement of the 53 original right. After a hearing, the director shall submit a supplemental 3 1 report to the district court setting forth his findings and conclusions. 2 If the claimant or any person who filed an objection to the accomplished 3 transfer is aggrieved by the director's determination, they may seek 4 review before the district court. If the change is disallowed, the claim- 5 ant shall be entitled to resume use of the original water right, provided 6 such resumption of use will not cause injury or can be mitigated to pre- 7 vent injury to existing water rights. The unapproved change shall not be 8 deemed a forfeiture or abandonment of the original water right. 9 (b) This section is not applicable to any claim based upon an enlargement 10 of use. 11 SECTION 3. An emergency existing therefor, which emergency is hereby 12 declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its 13 passage and approval.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE RS 17618 The intent of this legislation is to narrow the focus of the North Idaho Water Adjudication to the Rathdrum Prairie, the highest priority need, in HB 545 passed in 2006. Narrowing the focus of the adjudication to the Rathdrum Prairie will make certain that the highest priority need is addressed immediately while affording the citizen's of the other basins an opportunity to determine if a full multi-basin adjudication would be needed or beneficial. FISCAL IMPACT There would be a savings of approximately $411,600 in general funds in FY 2009. Additional savings would be experienced in the years that follow. Contact Name: Sen. Joyce Broadsword Phone: 208-332-1000 Sen. Shawn Keough Rep. George Eskridge Rep. Eric Anderson Rep. Mary Lou Shepherd Rep. Dick Harwood STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1278