Idaho Statutes
pecnv.out

TITLE 42
IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
CHAPTER 2
APPROPRIATION OF WATER — PERMITS, CERTIFICATES, AND LICENSES — SURVEY
42-233.  Low temperature geothermal resource. (1) The right to the use of low temperature geothermal resources of this state shall be acquired by appropriation, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section. The appropriation may be perfected by means of the application, permit and license procedure as provided in this chapter for ground water, provided that low temperature geothermal resources shall be utilized primarily for heat value and secondarily for the value as water. Usage of a low temperature geothermal resource primarily for reasons other than heat value is not a beneficial use of the resource, unless the director of the department of water resources exempts the proposed use. The director may exempt a proposed use if the director finds that the proposed use satisfies the following criteria: (i) there is no feasible alternative use of the resource; (ii) there is no economically viable source of water having a bottom hole temperature of eighty-five (85) degrees or less in a well available; and (iii) the exemption is in the public interest.
(2)  The use of low temperature geothermal resources for the development and operation of oil and gas wells permitted under section 47-316, Idaho Code, shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter. However, the director of the department of water resources may initiate a contested case in accordance with the provisions of chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code, and the rules of procedure promulgated by the department, if the department has reason to believe that an oil and gas well will cause, is causing or has caused, significant negative impacts to pressure, temperature, quality necessary for beneficial use or quantity of water available to water rights existing at the time of the development of the oil and gas well or to a water resource that can be beneficially used. The evidence of causation must come from the department or be credible information from a water right or a geothermal resource permit holder existing at the time of the development of the oil and gas well. It shall be the burden of the entity operating the oil and gas well to establish that it will not cause, is not causing and has not caused significant negative impacts to pressure, temperature, quality necessary for beneficial use or quantity of water available to existing water rights existing at the time of the development of the oil and gas well or to a water resource that can be beneficially used. If the director determines that the well will cause, is causing or has caused significant negative impacts to pressure, temperature, quality necessary for beneficial use or quantity of water available to a water right existing at the time of the development of the oil and gas well or to a water resource that can be beneficially used, the director may order the operator to take measures to mitigate those impacts.
(3)  Any owner of a well who engages in the drilling, redrilling, modifying or deepening of any low temperature geothermal well shall file with the director of the department of water resources a surety bond or cash bond in the penal sum of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) or more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) as determined by the director of the department of water resources based on the temperature, depth and pressure of the resource, the size and depth of the well, and any other relevant factors. The surety or cash bond shall be conditioned upon the proper compliance with the provisions of this chapter and chapter 40, title 42, Idaho Code, and rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. The bond shall remain in effect for one (1) year following completion of drilling, redrilling, modifying or deepening of the well or until released in writing by the director, whichever occurs first.
(4)  All permits, licenses, decreed rights and valid claims to a right to the use of ground water which would be classified as a low temperature geothermal resource having a priority date prior to July 1, 1987, remain valid and the bond provisions of subsection (3) of this section are not applicable unless the well from which the right diverts water is modified or deepened. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to all permits, licenses and rights to the use of geothermal resources as defined in chapter 40, title 42, Idaho Code, which would be classified as a low temperature geothermal resource under this section, issued or proclaimed prior to July 1, 1987, and the bond provisions of subsection (3) of this section are not applicable to such wells.

History:
[42-233, added 1987, ch. 347, sec. 3, p. 744; am. 1988, ch. 311, sec. 1, p. 968; am. 2012, ch. 111, sec. 4, p. 305; am. 2017, ch. 271, sec. 29, p. 709.]


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