IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
ADJUDICATION OF WATER RIGHTS
42-1406C. BEAR RIVER WATER RIGHTS ADJUDICATION — COMMENCEMENT. (1) Effective management of the waters of the Bear River basin requires that a comprehensive determination of the nature, extent, and priority of the rights of all users of surface and ground water be determined. Therefore, the director of the department of water resources is authorized to petition the district court to commence an adjudication within the terms of the McCarran amendment, 43 U.S.C. 666, of the water rights from surface water and ground water sources in the Bear River basin. The petition shall describe the boundaries of the water source(s) to be adjudicated and contain a request that a commencement order be issued only if the court determines it is possible to defer the adjudication of domestic and stock water rights as defined by subsections (4) and (11) of section 42-1401A, Idaho Code, within the terms of the McCarran amendment.
(2) For purposes of adjudicating water rights, the Bear River basin is defined as all waters of the state of Idaho, both ground water and surface water, flowing into or toward the Bear River or flowing toward the Great Salt Lake in the Great Basin.
(3) The adjudication shall be brought before a court of special jurisdiction for water right adjudications. Unless otherwise ordered by the supreme court, special jurisdiction for the general adjudication authorized by this section shall reside in the Snake River Basin Adjudication district court of the fifth judicial district of the state of Idaho, in and for the county of Twin Falls. The clerk of the district court in which the petition is filed shall send to the supreme court a true and certified copy of the petition. The supreme court, by order, shall assign the judge to preside over the general adjudication. Venue of the general adjudication shall be determined by order or rule of the supreme court, and venue of hearings under the general adjudication shall be determined by order of the presiding judge.
(4) Once the district court issues an order that authorizes the director to commence an investigation and determination of the water rights within the boundaries of the adjudication and defines the boundaries of the adjudication, the director of the department of water resources shall proceed in the manner provided under the provisions of chapter 14, title 42, Idaho Code, to the extent not inconsistent with the provisions of this section.
[42-1406C, added 2020, ch. 50, sec. 1, p. 116.]