Idaho Statutes
pecnv.out

TITLE 42
IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
CHAPTER 2
APPROPRIATION OF WATER — PERMITS, CERTIFICATES, AND LICENSES — SURVEY
42-203B.  Authority to subordinate rights — Nature of subordinated water right and authority to establish a subordination condition — Authority to limit term of permit or license. (1) The legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest to specifically implement the state’s power to regulate and limit the use of water for power purposes and to define the relationship between the state and the holder of a water right for power purposes to the extent such right exceeds an established minimum flow. The purposes of the trust established by subsections (2) and (3) of this section are to assure an adequate supply of water for all future beneficial uses and to clarify and protect the right of a user of water for power purposes subordinated by a permit issued after July 1, 1985, or by an agreement, to continue using the water pending approval of depletionary future beneficial uses.
(2)  A water right for power purposes which is defined by agreement with the state as unsubordinated to the extent of a minimum flow established by state action shall remain unsubordinated as defined by the agreement. Any portion of the water rights for power purposes in excess of the level so established shall be held in trust by the state of Idaho, by and through the governor, for the use and benefit of the user of the water for power purposes, and of the people of the state of Idaho; provided, however, that application of the provisions of this section to water rights for hydropower purposes on the Snake river or its tributaries downstream from Milner dam shall not place in trust any water from the Snake river or surface or ground water tributary to the Snake river upstream from Milner dam. For the purposes of the determination and administration of rights to the use of the waters of the Snake river or its tributaries downstream from Milner dam, no portion of the waters of the Snake river or surface or ground water tributary to the Snake river upstream from Milner dam shall be considered. The rights held in trust shall be subject to subordination to and depletion by future upstream beneficial users whose rights are acquired pursuant to state law, including compliance with the requirements of section 42-203C, Idaho Code.
(3)  Water rights for power purposes not defined by agreement with the state shall not be subject to depletion below any applicable minimum stream flow established by state action. Water rights for power purposes in excess of such minimum stream flow shall be held in trust by the state of Idaho, by and through the governor, for the use and benefit of the users of water for power purposes and of the people of the state of Idaho. The rights held in trust shall be subject to subordination to and depletion by future consumptive upstream beneficial users whose rights are acquired pursuant to state law, excluding compliance with the requirements of section 42-203C, Idaho Code.
(4)  The user of water for power purposes as beneficiary of the trust established in subsections (2) and (3) of this section shall be entitled to use water available at its facilities to the extent of the water right, and to protect its rights to the use of the water as provided by state law against depletions or claims not in accordance with state law.
(5)  The governor or his designee is hereby authorized and empowered to enter into agreements with holders of water rights for power purposes to define that portion of their water rights at or below the level of the applicable minimum stream flow as being unsubordinated to upstream beneficial uses and depletions, and to define such rights in excess thereof as being held in trust by the state under subsection (2) of this section. Such agreements shall be subject to ratification by law. The contract entered into by the governor and the Idaho power company on October 25, 1984, is hereby found and declared to be such an agreement, and the legislature hereby ratifies the governor’s authority and power to enter into this agreement.
(6)  The director shall have the authority to subordinate the rights granted in a permit or license for power purposes to subsequent upstream beneficial depletionary uses. A subordinated water right for power use does not give rise to any claim against, or right to interfere with, the holder of subsequent upstream rights established pursuant to state law. The director shall also have the authority to limit a permit or license for power purposes to a term, which may be in the form of a fixed date or by reference to a federal energy regulatory commission (FERC) license or other authorization issued or contract executed, in connection with the power project.
Subsection (6) of this section shall not apply to licenses which have already been issued as of July 1, 1985.
(7)  The director, in the exercise of the authority to limit a permit or license for power purposes to a term, shall, for purposes of determining such term, consider any of the following factors, among others:
(a)  The term of any power purchase contract which is, or reasonably may become, applicable to, such permit or license;
(b)  The policy of the Idaho public utilities commission (IPUC) regarding the term of power purchase contracts as administered by the IPUC under and pursuant to the authority of the public utility regulatory policy act of 1978 (PURPA);
(c)  The term of any FERC license granted, or which reasonably may be granted, with respect to any particular permit or license for power purpose;
(d)  Existing downstream water uses established pursuant to state law.
The term shall be determined at the time of issuance of the permit, or as soon thereafter as practicable if adequate information is not then available. The term shall commence upon application of water to beneficial use. The term, once established, shall not thereafter be modified except in accordance with due process of law prior to expiring.
(8)  If a term is established by the director by reference to the hydropower project’s FERC license, the term shall automatically extend to run concurrently with any annual renewals of the project’s FERC license. Prior to the issuance of a subsequent or new FERC license for the project, the director may review the water right license and may issue an order canceling all or any part of the use, establishing a new term, or revising, adding or deleting conditions under which the water right may be exercised. The order shall take effect on the date the current term, as may be extended through annual renewals, expires. If the director does not issue such an order, the term shall automatically extend to a length equal to the project’s subsequent or new FERC license and any original conditions on the water right license shall remain in effect.
(9)  If a term is established by the director but the term is not established by reference to a hydropower project’s FERC license, the director may review the water right license prior to the expiration of the term and may issue an order canceling all or any part of the use, establishing a new term of years, or revising, adding or deleting conditions under which the water right may be exercised. The order shall take effect on the date the current term expires. If the director does not issue such an order, the term shall automatically extend to a length equal to the original term and any original conditions on the water right license shall remain in effect.

History:
[42-203B, added 1985, ch. 17, sec. 2, p. 25 and ch. 224, sec. 1, p. 537; am. 1986, ch. 117, sec. 1, p. 309; am. 2013, ch. 45, sec. 1, p. 94.]


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