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     Idaho Statutes

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


42-1734A.  Comprehensive state water plan. (1) The board shall, subject to legislative approval, progressively formulate, adopt and implement a comprehensive state water plan for conservation, development, management and optimum use of all unappropriated water resources and waterways of this state in the public interest. The comprehensive state water plan shall consist of: Part A — statewide policies, goals and objectives; and Part B — component water plans for individual waterways, river basins, drainage areas, river reaches, ground water aquifers or other geographic designations. As part of Part B of the comprehensive state water plan, the board may designate selected waterways as protected rivers as provided in this chapter. The comprehensive state water plan shall be based upon studies and public hearings in affected areas at which all interested parties shall be given the opportunity to appear, or to present written testimony in response to published proposals for such policy programs and proposed designations. A minimum of sixty (60) days shall be allowed between publication of a proposal and the date on which no further testimony on the proposal will be accepted. All comments in writing shall be preserved as a part of the record of the board. In adopting a comprehensive state water plan the board shall be guided by these criteria:
(a)  Existing rights, established duties, and the relative priorities of water established in article XV, section 3, of the constitution of the state of Idaho, shall be protected and preserved;
(b)  Optimum economic development in the interest of and for the benefit of the state as a whole shall be achieved by integration and coordination of the use of water and the augmentation of existing supplies and by protection of designated waterways for all beneficial purposes;
(c)  Adequate and safe water supplies for human consumption and maximum supplies for other beneficial uses shall be preserved and protected;
(d)  Subject to prior existing water rights for the beneficial uses now or hereafter prescribed by law, minimum stream flow for aquatic life, recreation and aesthetics and the minimization of pollution and the protection and preservation of waterways in the manner hereafter provided shall be fostered and encouraged and consideration shall be given to the development and protection of water recreation facilities;
(e)  Watershed conservation practices consistent with sound engineering and economic principles shall be encouraged.
(2)  The board may develop a comprehensive state water plan in stages based upon waterways, river basins, drainage areas, river reaches, groundwater aquifers, or other geographic considerations. The component of the comprehensive state water plan prepared for particular water resources and waterways shall contain, among other things, the following:
(a)  A description of the water resources and waterway or waterways that are the subject of the plan, including pertinent maps detailing the geographic area of the plan;
(b)  A description of the significant resources of the water resources and waterway or waterways;
(c)  A description of the various existing and planned uses for these resources including currently undeveloped areas of the waterway and future plans for those areas, with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages associated with each planned use; and
(d)  A discussion of goals, objectives, and recommendations for improving, developing, or conserving the water resources and waterway or waterways in relation to these resources, including an examination of how different uses will promote the overall public interest, a statement as to the goals the plan expects to achieve, and an analysis of how any specific recommendations further those goals. A description of the methodology used in developing the plan shall be included.
(3)  The description of the resources and uses in subsections (2)(b) and (2)(c) of this section shall contain, among other things:
(a)  navigation;
(b)  power development;
(c)  energy conservation;
(d)  fish and wildlife;
(e)  recreational opportunities;
(f)  irrigation;
(g)  flood control;
(h)  water supply;
(i)  timber;
(j)  mining;
(k)  livestock watering;
(l)  scenic values;
(m)  natural or cultural features;
(n)  domestic, municipal, commercial and industrial uses; and
(o)  other aspects of environmental quality and economic development.
(4)  The comprehensive state water plan may designate protected rivers. Designations shall be based upon a determination by the board that the value of preserving a waterway for particular uses outweighs that of developing the waterway for other beneficial uses and shall specify whether a protected river is designated as a natural or recreational river. The plan may also describe those water resources and waterways which are not designated as protected rivers.
(5)  In designating a natural river, the board shall prohibit the following activities:
(a)  construction or expansion of dams or impoundments;
(b)  construction of hydropower projects;
(c)  construction of water diversion works;
(d)  dredge or placer mining;
(e)  alterations of the stream bed; and
(f)  mineral or sand and gravel extraction within the stream bed.
(6)  In designating a recreational river, the board shall determine which of the activities listed in subsection (5) of this section shall be prohibited and may specify the terms and conditions under which activities that are not prohibited may go forward.
(7)  Any prohibition or terms and conditions imposed pursuant to subsections (5) and (6) of this section shall remain in effect until the legislature acts upon the recommendation of the board as provided in section 42-1734B, Idaho Code, or until the legislature revokes its earlier approval of a protected river by law.

[42-1734A, added 1988, ch. 370, sec. 5, p. 1096; am. 1998, ch. 63, sec. 1, p. 221.]

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