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     Idaho Statutes

Idaho Statutes are updated to the website July 1 following the legislative session.


42-1734.  Powers and duties. The board shall, subject to the provisions of chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code, have the following powers and duties:
(1)  To have and exercise all of the rights, powers, duties and privileges vested by article XV, section 7, of the constitution of this state in the water resource agency, and the water resource board, herein created, is hereby constituted the water resource agency;
(2)  To institute judicial proceedings to have water rights established by court decree on any stream, lake or underground water basin; in such proceedings court costs of the action, including the survey and determination of water uses by the director of the department of water resources, shall be borne by the state;
(3)  To appear, when requested by the governor, on behalf of and represent the state in matters related to its duties in any proceeding, negotiation, or hearing involving the federal government or other state; provided, however, that compact commissions now established by law shall continue to act but in so doing shall report to it;
(4)  To accept, receive, initiate, investigate, consider and promote such water projects as it deems to be in the public interest;
(5)  To generate and wholesale hydroelectric power at the site of production if such power production is connected with another purpose for such project;
(6)  To file applications and obtain permits in the name of the board, to appropriate, store, or use the unappropriated waters of any body, stream, or other surface or underground source of water for specific water projects. Such filings and appropriations by the board, or any water rights owned or claimed by the board, shall be made in the same manner and subject to all of the state laws relating to appropriation of water, with the exception that the board will not be required to pay any fees required by the laws of this state for its appropriations. The filings and appropriations by the board shall be subject to contest or legal action the same as any other filing and appropriation, and such filings and appropriations shall not have priority over or affect existing prior water rights of any kind or nature; provided that the board shall have the right to file for water rights with appropriate officials of other states as trustee for project users, and to do all things necessary in connection therewith;
(7)  To finance said projects with revenue bonds or such moneys as may be available;
(8)  To acquire, purchase, lease, or exchange land, rights, water rights, easements, franchises and other property deemed necessary or proper for the construction, operation and maintenance of water projects;
(9)  To exercise, in accordance with the provisions of title 7, chapter 7, Idaho Code, the right of eminent domain to acquire property necessary for the construction of projects, both land and water;
(10) To cooperate in all water studies, planning, research, or activities with any state or local agency in this state, or any other state or any federal agency and to enter into contracts with federal, state and local governmental agencies to effect this purpose;
(11) To present to the governor for presentation to the legislature not later than the 30th of November prior to the convening of a regular legislative session the final report containing the complete plans, costs and feasibility estimates for any water project which the board recommends that the state construct in accordance with the comprehensive state water plan; and to construct any water project specifically authorized by the legislature;
(12) To enter into contracts with political subdivisions, municipal entities, individuals and others for the rehabilitation and repair of existing irrigation projects and irrigation facilities, the sale and/or lease of water, use of water, water storage, electric power, or other service, to turn over projects to water users after pay-out and to lease facilities, sell, lease or dispose of surplus facilities subject to the provisions of applicable law;
(13) To enter into contracts to effect the purposes of this chapter;
(14) To sue and be sued;
(15) To study and examine pollution of rivers, streams, lakes and ground water, and to advise, cooperate and counsel with the state board of environmental quality in a manner designed to avoid inhibition of economic development and at the same time insure the right of the people to comfortably enjoy our water resources and accomplish the establishment of water quality criteria;
(16) To call upon any other state agency for cooperation, assistance or use of information available to such agency; provided, however, if such agency is required to make substantial expenditures in responding to such request, appropriate arrangements for compensation may be accomplished;
(17) To issue revenue bonds for the rehabilitation and repair of existing irrigation projects and irrigation facilities, and for water projects, pledge any revenues available to the board to secure said bonds, exclusive of any revenues derived from legislative appropriations, provided that any amounts received from loan repayments regardless of the source of funds for the loan may be pledged, and pool revenues from one (1) or more projects constructed, financed or operated by the board, or existing irrigation project or facilities rehabilitated or repaired by the board;
(18) To formulate and recommend, prior to each session of the legislature, proposed legislation that may be necessary to assist it in effecting a proper plan for conservation, development and utilization of water resources and waterways and to report to each session of the legislature on the public business entrusted to its care and the financial affairs of the board. In the period between legislative sessions, the board shall deposit with the legislative council statements describing all actions taken and projects undertaken by it;
(19) To issue procedural and operative rules as may be necessary for the conduct of its business;
(20) To appoint advisory boards when deemed desirable to aid in the execution of its powers;
(21) To take such other action as may be necessary to carry out its duties and powers under this chapter and the constitution of the state of Idaho;
(22) To loan without prior legislative approval, the proceeds of the sale of revenue bonds to the local water project sponsor or sponsors; to enter into lease, sale or loan agreement; and to purchase all or a portion of, or participate in, loans, originated by private lending institutions.

[42-1734, added 1965, ch. 320, sec. 4, p. 901; am. 1974, ch. 20, sec. 23, p. 533; am. 1977, ch. 172, sec. 1, p. 441; am. 1981, ch. 90, sec. 1, p. 125; am. 1988, ch. 370, sec. 4, p. 1093; am. 2001, ch. 103, sec. 82, p. 322; am. 2003, ch. 80, sec. 1, p. 254.]

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