IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
ADJUDICATION OF WATER RIGHTS
42-1416B. Claim for expanded use in critical ground water area — Determination of water availability. (1) Within any critical ground water area designated pursuant to section 42-233a, Idaho Code, a claim to the expanded use of a ground water right, which use was expanded in violation of the mandatory permit requirements, may be decreed in a general water rights adjudication if the expansion occurred after the designation of the critical ground water area, before the commencement of the adjudication, and before the date of enactment of this section. The priority date for the right decreed shall be June 30, 1985.
(2) Water shall be deemed unavailable to fill the rights for expanded use, even if decreed in the adjudication, unless the director finds that a management program exists which will, within a time period acceptable to the director, limit the average annual water withdrawals from the aquifer designated in the critical ground water area to no more than the average annual recharge to the aquifer.
(3) Within two (2) years after a decree determining the water rights within a critical ground water area becomes final, but not sooner than four (4) years from the date of enactment of this section, the director of the department of water resources shall make a finding as to whether an adequate management program exists to bring withdrawals into balance with recharge.
(4) If the director finds that an adequate management program to bring withdrawals into balance with recharge does not exist, the director shall order all holders of rights to expanded use of ground water within the area to cease or reduce withdrawal of water until such time as the director determines that withdrawals have been brought into balance with recharge and sufficient ground water is available to resume or increase withdrawals. The director’s order shall be issued before September 1 and shall be effective beginning with the following growing season.
(5) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) "Expanded use" means an increase in the number of acres irrigated, or other additional use, under a valid ground water right without any increase in the rate of diversion or volume of water diverted.
(b) "Management program" means a program to recharge the aquifer, limit withdrawals from the aquifer or provide surface water supplies for all, or a portion, of the land irrigated with water withdrawn from the aquifer, including any actions designed to bring withdrawals into balance with the average annual recharge to the aquifer.
(c) "Recharge" refers to all processes, natural or artificial, which add water to the aquifer.
(d) "Withdrawal" refers to all processes, natural or artificial, which take water from the aquifer.
(6) The hearing and judicial review provisions of section 42-1701A, Idaho Code, shall apply to any findings and orders issued by the director pursuant to this section.
(7) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the director of the department of water resources to administer and enforce any other ground water laws of the state.
[42-1416B, added 1989, ch. 212, sec. 1, p. 521.]