IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES ACT
42-4002. Definitions. Whenever used in this act the term:
(a) "Department" means the Idaho department of water resources.
(b) "Director" means the director of the Idaho department of water resources.
(c) "Geothermal resource" means the natural heat energy of the earth, the energy, in whatever form, which may be found in any position and at any depth below the surface of the earth present in, resulting from, or created by, or which may be extracted from such natural heat, and all minerals in solution or other products obtained from the material medium of any geothermal resource. Ground water having a temperature of two hundred twelve (212) degrees Fahrenheit or more in the bottom of a well shall be classified as a geothermal resource. Geothermal resources are found and hereby declared to be sui generis, being neither a mineral resource nor a water resource, but they are also found and hereby declared to be closely related to and possibly affecting and affected by water and mineral resources in many instances.
(d) "Geothermal area" means the same general land area which, in its subsurface, is underlaid or reasonably appears to be underlaid by geothermal resources from or in a single reservoir, pool, or other source or interrelated sources, as such area or areas may be from time to time designated by the director.
(e) "Material medium" means any substance, including, but not limited to, naturally heated fluids, brines, associated gases, and steam, in whatever form, found at any depth and in any position below the surface of the earth, which contains or transmits the natural heat energy of the earth, but excluding petroleum, oil, hydrocarbon gas, or other hydrocarbon substances.
(f) "Permit" means a permit issued pursuant to this act for the construction and operation of any well or injection well.
(g) "Person" means any individual, natural person, general or limited partnership, joint venture, association, cooperative organization, corporation whether domestic or foreign, agency or subdivision of this or any other state, or any municipal or quasi-municipal entity whether or not it is incorporated.
(h) "Waste" means any physical waste including, but not limited to:
(1) Underground waste resulting from the inefficient, excessive or improper use or dissipation of geothermal energy in or of any geothermal resource pool, reservoir, or other source; or the locating, spacing, construction, equipping, operating, or producing of any well in a manner which results, or tends to result, in reducing the quantity of geothermal energy to be recovered from any geothermal area in this state;
(2) The inefficient above-ground transporting and storage of geothermal energy; and the locating, spacing, equipping, operating, or producing of any well or injection well in a manner causing, or tending to cause, unnecessary or excessive surface loss or destruction of geothermal energy;
(3) The escape into the open air, from a well, of steam or hot water in excess of what is reasonably necessary in the efficient development or production of a well.
(i) "Well" means any excavation or other alteration in the earth’s surface or crust by means of which the energy of any geothermal resource and/or its material medium is sought or obtained.
(j) "Injection well" means any special well, converted producing well or reactivated or converted abandoned well employed for injecting material into a geothermal area to maintain pressures in a geothermal reservoir, pool, or other source, or to provide new material or to serve as a material medium therein, or for reinjecting any material medium or the residue thereof or any by-product of geothermal resource exploration or development into the earth.
(k) "Board" means the Idaho water resource board.
[42-4002, added 1972, ch. 301, sec. 3, p. 749; am. 1974, ch. 20, sec. 50, p. 533; am. 1974, ch. 297, sec. 1, p. 1753; am. 1987, ch. 347, sec. 14, p. 757.]