IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF DITCHES
42-1203. Maintenance of embankments. The owner, owners, and operators of any irrigating ditch, canal or conduit shall carefully keep and maintain the embankments thereof in good repair, in order to prevent the water from wasting during the irrigation season, and shall not at any time permit a greater quantity of water to be turned into said ditch, canal or conduit than the banks thereof will easily contain or than can be used for beneficial or useful purposes; it being the meaning of this section to prevent the wasting and useless discharge and running away of water. The duties referenced in this section, whether statutory or common law, require reasonable care only, and shall not be construed to impose strict liability or to otherwise enlarge the liability of the owner, owners, or operators of any irrigating ditch, canal or conduit. The owners, constructors, or operators of such ditches, canals, works or other aqueducts, while responsible for their own acts or omissions, shall not be liable for damage or injury caused by: (1) The diversion or discharge of water into a ditch, canal or conduit by a third party without the permission of the owner, owners, or operators of the ditch, canal or conduit; (2) Any other act or omission of a third party, other than an employee or agent of the owner, owners, or operators of the ditch, canal or conduit; or (3) An act of God, including fire, earthquake, storm or similar natural phenomenon. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to impair any defense that an owner, constructor, or operator of a ditch, canal, works or other aqueduct may assert in a civil action.
[(42-1203) 1899, p. 380, sec. 22; reen. R.C. & C.L., sec. 3308; C.S., sec. 5656; I.C.A., sec. 41-1103; am. 2012, ch. 274, sec. 1, p. 772; am. 2019, ch. 158, sec. 2, p. 512.]