IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
42-1607. Inventory of artesian wells — Plugging wells. (1) The director of the department of water resources shall initiate a program to inventory and locate artesian wells throughout the state.
(2) The director of the department of water resources shall plug abandoned artesian wells or artesian wells where the owner cannot be ascertained.
(3) For artesian wells which are not in compliance with Idaho minimum well construction standards, the owner shall be required to have the well repaired in compliance with Idaho minimum well construction standards promulgated pursuant to section 42-238, Idaho Code, so as to preclude the wasting or commingling of water. The repairs shall be paid for by the owner of the well and, if repairs are not made within a maximum of one (1) year following notification, the director of the department of water resources may order the owner to plug the well. The director upon good cause shown may grant an additional time period not in excess of two (2) years for the owner to make repairs of the well. If the well is not plugged within thirty (30) days of the order, or other longer time period as provided in the order, the director may plug or cause the well to be plugged at the owner’s expense.
(4) The director of the department of water resources may implement a cost-sharing program to assist owners of wells which have been ordered repaired or plugged pursuant to subsection (3) of this section. Any cost-share provided by the department shall be limited to fifty percent (50%) of the total cost to repair or plug the well to bring it into compliance with Idaho minimum well construction standards. Cost-share shall be based on an applicant’s ability to pay or ability to obtain other funding and the amount of money available for this purpose.
(5) Any person owning or controlling an artesian well which has been ordered repaired or plugged by the director of the department of water resources pursuant to subsection (3) of this section shall be liable for the costs of the repair or plugging if it was undertaken by the department of water resources. All moneys owed under the provisions of this section shall be paid to the director. The director shall charge interest on the amount owed in an amount no greater than twelve percent (12%) per annum. The director shall deposit all moneys collected into the water administration account. Moneys owed pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be collected in a civil action brought in the district court in accordance with subsection (6) of this section.
(6) Any person aggrieved by a final order of the director entered pursuant to the provisions of this section may appeal to the district court within twenty-eight (28) days of the issuance of the order. The appeal shall be heard and determined in accordance with chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code. The director through the attorney general may petition the district court for injunctive relief or a temporary restraining order to prevent irreparable damage pending the outcome of proceedings before the director pursuant to the provisions of this section. The director through the attorney general may commence a civil action in the district court to enforce the provisions of any final order of the director issued pursuant to the provisions of this section.
[42-1607, added 1987, ch. 347, sec. 13, p. 756; am. 1993, ch. 216, sec. 35, p. 618; am. 2019, ch. 215, sec. 1, p. 653.]