HB16-1228

HB16-1228 - Ag Protection Water Right Transfer Mechanism

Passed/Signed into Law
Concerning An Alternative Transfer Mechanism For Water Rights That Protects The Agricultural Use For Which A Water Right Was Originally Decreed While Permitting Renewable One-Year Transfers Of A Portion Of The Water Subject To The Water Right.

Currently, water court proceedings governing an application to change the beneficial use of an agricultural water right require the applicant to designate a specific beneficial use identified at the time of the application. The bill authorizes an owner of an agricultural water right to seek a change-in-use decree in water court to allow the transfer of up to 50% of the water subject to the water right to any beneficial use for renewable one-year periods, without designating the specific beneficial use, if the owner has obtained substitute water supply plan approval and the following conditions are met:

  • In accordance with rules established by the state engineer, the state engineer must approve a one-year lease, loan, or exchange transferring a portion of the water subject to the water right;
  • The owner of the water right may transfer up to 50% of the  historical consumptive use portion of the water right;
  • The remaining portion of the water subject to the water right must continue to be used for agricultural purposes;
  • The water right must be protected by the owner's participation in a conservation program or water banking program or establishment of a conservation easement;
  • Ownership must remain with the owner who applied for the change-in-use decree;
  • The owner shall not transfer water subject to the water right outside of the water division with jurisdiction over the location of historical consumptive use; and
  • The transferable portion of the water subject to the water right must be delivered to a point of diversion that is subject to an existing water court decree.
Latest update: May 18, 2016
05/18/2016 Governor Signed
05/05/2016 Sent to the Governor
05/05/2016 Signed by the President of the Senate
05/05/2016 Signed by the Speaker of the House
04/29/2016 House Considered Senate Amendments - Result was to Laid Over Daily
04/29/2016 House Considered Senate Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass
04/25/2016 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
04/22/2016 Senate Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Committee
04/20/2016 Senate Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy Refer Amended - Consent Calendar to Senate Committee of the Whole
03/31/2016 Senate Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only
03/22/2016 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy
03/22/2016 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
03/21/2016 House Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Committee
03/17/2016 House Second Reading Laid Over to 03/21/2016 - No Amendments
03/14/2016 House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Refer Amended to House Committee of the Whole
02/04/2016 Introduced In House - Assigned to Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources