IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
APPROPRIATION OF WATER — PERMITS, CERTIFICATES, AND LICENSES — SURVEY
42-219. Issuance of license — Priority. (1) Upon receipt by the department of water resources of all the evidence in relation to such final proof, it shall be the duty of the department to carefully examine the same, and if the department is satisfied that the law has been fully complied with and that the water is being used at the place claimed and for the purpose for which it was originally intended, the department shall issue to such user or users a license corresponding to the beneficial use. Such license shall state the name and post office address of such user, the purpose for which such water is used and the quantity of water that may be used, which in no case shall be an amount in excess of the amount that has been beneficially applied. For permits held by a municipal provider for reasonably anticipated future needs, a license may be issued incrementally for an amount corresponding to the beneficial use demonstrated to the satisfaction of the department in each incremental statement of completion showing proof of beneficial use submitted pursuant to section 42-204(4), Idaho Code, which amount, together with any previously licensed portion of said permit, shall not exceed the initial quantity authorized under the permit. The final incremental license at the end of the planning horizon shall be issued for an amount corresponding to the beneficial use. The director shall condition the license to prohibit any transfer of the place of use outside the service area, as defined in section 42-202B, Idaho Code, or to a new nature of use of amounts held for reasonably anticipated future needs together with such other conditions as the director may deem appropriate.
(2) If such use is for irrigation, such license shall give a description, by legal subdivisions, of the land irrigated by such water, except that the general description of a place of use described in accordance with subsection (5) or (6) of this section may be described using a digital boundary, as defined in section 42-202B, Idaho Code. If the use is for municipal purposes, the license shall describe the service area as provided in section 42-202B(9), Idaho Code.
(3) Such license shall bear the date of the application for, and the number of, the permit under which the works from which such water is taken were constructed, the date when proof of beneficial use of such water was made, and also the date of the priority of the right confirmed by such license.
(4) The date of priority confirmed by the license shall be the date of the application for the permit for the construction of the works from which the water is taken, and to which the right relates, provided there has been no loss of priority under the provisions of this chapter. Whenever proof of the beneficial application of water shall be offered subsequent to the date stated in the permit, or in any authorized extension thereof, when such beneficial application shall be made, the proof shall be taken, if received by the department within the sixty (60) days prescribed in the preceding section. If the proof taken is satisfactory to the department of water resources, a license shall be issued by the department the same as though proof had been made before the date fixed for such beneficial application. The priority of the right established by the proof shall not date back to the date of the application for the permit to which the right would relate under the provisions of this chapter, but shall bear a date subsequent to the date of the application, a time equal to the difference between the date set in the permit, or extension thereof, for such beneficial application of water and the date of proof.
(5) For irrigation projects where the canals constructed cover an area of twenty-five thousand (25,000) acres or more, or within irrigation districts organized and existing as such under the laws of the state of Idaho, the license issued shall be issued to the persons, association, company, corporation or irrigation district owning the project, and final proof may be made by such owners for the benefit of the entire project. It shall not be necessary to give a description of the land by legal subdivisions, but a general description of the entire area under the canal system shall be sufficient. The water diverted and the water right acquired thereby shall relate to the entire project, and the diversion of the water for the beneficial use under the project shall be sufficient proof of beneficial use without regard as to whether each and every acre under the project is irrigated or not.
(6) For an irrigation project developed under a permit held by an association, company, corporation or the United States to divert and deliver or distribute surface water under any annual charge or rental for beneficial use by more than five (5) water users in an area of less than twenty-five thousand (25,000) acres, the license issued shall be issued to the permit holder. For the place of use description in the license issued for the irrigation project, it shall be sufficient to provide a general description of the area within which the total number of acres developed under the permit are located and within which the location of the licensed acreage can be moved provided there is no injury to other water rights.
(7) Subject to other governing law, the location of the acreage irrigated within a generally described place of use, as defined in accordance with subsections (5) and (6) of this section and as filed with the department pursuant to section 43-323, Idaho Code, may be changed without approval under the provisions of section 42-222, Idaho Code. However, the change shall not result in an increase in either the rate of flow diverted or in the total number of acres irrigated under the water right and shall cause no injury to other water rights. If the holder of any water right seeks to challenge such a change, the challenge may be brought only as an action initiating a contested case before the department, pursuant to the administrative procedure act, chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code. Nothing in this section shall be construed to grant, deny or otherwise affect an irrigation district’s authority to deliver water to areas outside the boundaries of such district.
(8) In the event that the department shall find that the applicant has not fully complied with the law and the conditions of permit, it may issue a license for that portion of the use that is in accordance with the permit or may refuse issuance of a license and void the permit. Notice of such action shall be forwarded to the permit holder by certified mail. The applicant may contest such action by the department pursuant to section 42-1701A(3), Idaho Code.
[42-219, added 1903, sec. 8, p. 233; reen. R.C., 3261; modified by 1913, ch. 47, sec. 1, p. 154, and 1915, ch. 94, sec. 2, p. 216; compiled and reen. C.L., sec. 3261; C.S., sec. 5579; am. 1925, ch. 44, sec. 1, p. 61; I.C.A., sec. 41-213; am. 1967, ch. 374, sec. 11, p. 1079; am. 1980, ch. 238, sec. 5, p. 533; am. 1996, ch. 297, sec. 4, p. 972; am. 1998, ch. 332, sec. 2, p. 1067; am. 2002, ch. 306, sec. 2, p. 871; am. 2011, ch. 210, sec. 1, p. 591; am. 2020, ch. 164, sec. 4, p. 481.]