IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
HEADGATES AND MEASURING DEVICES
42-707. District meetings — District hydrographer and assistants — Election — Removal — Oath and bond — Advisory committee — District treasurer. (1) There shall be held, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, on the first Monday in November in each year commencing at two o’clock P.M., a meeting of all persons owning or having the use of a water right in the waters of the stream or water supply comprising such district. For purposes of this chapter, a water right is a right which has been adjudicated by the court, is represented by valid permit or license issued by the department of water resources, or is based upon diversion and beneficial use and is recorded by a claim to water right on file with the department of water resources.
(2) Such meeting shall be held at some place within the water measurement district, or at some nearby location convenient to a majority of those entitled to vote thereat, which place shall be designated by the director of the department of water resources. The director shall provide notice of district meetings by publication of the time, date, location and purpose of the meeting in a newspaper or newspapers in general circulation in the district. Published notice shall be made once per week for two (2) consecutive weeks with the second notice appearing at least thirty (30) and not more than sixty (60) days prior to the meeting. The appropriators or water users of any water measurement district may, by resolution adopted at an annual meeting or at a special meeting properly called for that purpose, change the time of day when the meeting shall commence or change the date for annual meetings in subsequent years to any day, except Saturday or Sunday, between the first Monday of November and the fourth Monday in February or change both the time and the date. At an annual meeting the appropriators or water users may adopt resolutions to assure or improve the measurement of the waters of the district within state law, and may provide that such resolutions shall continue from year to year.
(3) At the meeting of the appropriators or water users of a district there shall be elected a qualified district hydrographer for such water measurement district, who may be authorized to employ such other qualified regular assistants as the appropriators or water users shall deem necessary, and who, upon qualification and appointment by the director of the department of water resources, shall be responsible for measurement of water as in this chapter required within the water measurement district, and the appropriators or water users shall, prior to the election of such district hydrographer and approval of the employment of assistants, fix the compensation to be paid them during the time actually engaged in the performance of their duties. Qualifications for the district hydrographer and hydrographer’s assistants include:
(a) Any combination of education or experience that demonstrates to the satisfaction of the director of the department of water resources the applicant’s ability to conduct water measurements, to perform mathematical computations associated with water measurements, to keep complete and accurate records of water measurements, to be familiar with common terminology associated with water rights and water diversion and use, and to be able to read public land legal descriptions, translate written public land legal descriptions to map locations and find those locations on the land; and
(b) In addition, the district hydrographer’s qualifications shall include any combination of education or experience that demonstrates to the satisfaction of the director of the department of water resources the applicant’s ability to keep financial records as those records pertain to the expenses of the district, prepare a budget, and prepare assessments and billings for the appropriators or water users in the district.
(4) The appropriators or water users may, by resolution, authorize the district hydrographer to utilize, through a memorandum of understanding, water delivery organizations as hydrographer’s assistants.
(5) Voting shall be by majority vote of the appropriators or water users present at the meeting unless one (1) or more appropriators or water users requests voting using the procedure which follows in this subsection. In such case the meeting chairman shall appoint a credentials committee to determine the number of votes each appropriator or water user present is authorized to cast. If requested, each person present, owning or having the use for the ensuing season of any water right in the stream or water supply comprising such water measurement district shall be entitled to a number of votes equal to the average annual dollar amount and any fraction thereof assessed for that person’s qualifying water right for the previous five (5) years, or such lesser number of years as the right has been assessed. If a right has not previously been assessed, a person present, owning or having the use of the right for the ensuing season shall be entitled to a number of votes equal to the dollar amount and any fraction thereof which the right would have been assessed had it existed and been used during the previous year.
(6) At such meeting the appropriators or water users shall choose a meeting chairman and meeting secretary and shall determine the manner and method of electing the district hydrographer. Within five (5) days after such meeting the meeting chairman and meeting secretary shall forward a certified copy of the minutes of such meeting to the department of water resources. The meeting chairman, or the meeting secretary if the meeting chairman from the immediately preceding annual meeting is not present, shall call the meeting to order and preside over the election of officers for the meeting.
(7) At such meeting the appropriators or water users may choose an advisory committee to be composed of members selected as may be determined at the meeting, which committee shall serve as advisors to the director and the district hydrographer in matters pertaining to the measurement of water within the district. The advisory committee may be authorized to carry out policies pertaining to the measurement of water within the district as set forth in resolutions duly adopted by the appropriators or water users at the annual meeting or at a special meeting.
(8) A corporation or a water delivery organization including, but not limited to a corporation, a water company, an irrigation district, an irrigation company or a canal company, shall be considered a person for the purpose of this section and shall cast its vote by someone to be designated by the corporation or water delivery organization.
(9) Should the meeting not be held, or should the district hydrographer not be elected or the district hydrographer’s compensation not be fixed as above provided, then the director of the department of water resources is authorized to appoint a district hydrographer and fix the district hydrographer’s compensation.
(10) The director of the department of water resources may remove any district hydrographer whenever such district hydrographer fails to perform the district hydrographer’s duty, upon the director’s own motion or upon complaint in that respect being made to the director in writing, by one (1) person owning or having the right to the use of a water right in such district provided, that upon investigation the director, after a hearing with the other appropriators or water users of the district, which shall be held in the district or at some location convenient to the appropriators or water users of the district, finds such charge to be true. If at any time a vacancy occurs, for whatever reason, in the position of district hydrographer, the director may appoint a successor for the unexpired term.
(11) Before entering upon the duties of the district hydrographer’s office, the district hydrographer shall take and subscribe an oath before some officer authorized by the laws of the state to administer oaths, to faithfully perform the duties of the district hydrographer’s office, as provided in section 42-709, Idaho Code, and shall file that oath with the department of water resources. Upon qualification and appointment by the director of the department of water resources, the actions taken by a district hydrographer in fulfillment of the duties of his office are covered by the state group surety bond as provided in sections 59-801 through 59-804, Idaho Code.
(12) The director shall call a special meeting of the appropriators or water users of a district upon receipt of a written request for such meeting from a majority of the members of the advisory committee for a district, a written request from appropriators or water users representing thirty percent (30%) or more of the votes cast at the last regular annual meeting, a written request from the district hydrographer or on the director’s own motion if the director determines a meeting is necessary to address matters that cannot be delayed until the next regular annual meeting. Notice of the time, place and purpose of the special meeting shall be given by the director in the manner provided in subsection (2) of this section or by regular mail to all holders of rights to the use of the waters of such district known to the director.
(13) The appropriators or water users may, by resolution, authorize the district hydrographer to acquire, hold and dispose of such real and personal property, equipment and facilities in the name of the water measurement district as necessary for the proper measurement of water and shall provide that all such real and personal property shall remain in the custody of the district hydrographer and the district hydrographer’s successor.
(14) At such meeting the appropriators or water users shall choose a district treasurer to be selected as may be determined at the meeting. The district treasurer shall assume the duties specified in section 42-715, Idaho Code. If a water measurement district treasurer is not selected at the annual meeting, and one is found to be necessary, the director of the department of water resources shall appoint a water measurement district treasurer.
[42-707, added 1995, ch. 291, sec. 3, p. 1017; am. 1998, ch. 44, sec. 1, p. 189.]