Thursday, June 25, 2009

What is a Change Application?

In Utah, water rights have certain components or elements. These components include:

(1) Point of diversion: This is the exact location where the water is diverted. For example, it may be a point on a river or stream where the water is diverted into a ditch, or it may be the location of a well where water is diverted from the underground aquifer.

(2) Place of use: This is the location where the water is used. The location is usually given in terms of quarter-quarter sections (40 acres).

(3) Type of use: This is what the water is used for. The most common uses are irrigation, domestic, stockwatering, industrial, and municipal.

(4) Period of use: This is the period during the year during which the water may be used. For example, an irrigation right may have a period of use from April 1st to October 31st. Other types of rights, such as stockwatering or domestic, may have a period of use for the entire year.

If the owner of a water right wishes to change any of these water rights components, he or she must file a Change Application (the official title is “Application for Permanent Change of Water”) with the Utah Division of Water Rights. For example, if a water right currently permits an individual to divert water from a stream, and the individual wants to get the water from a well instead of the stream, the individual would be required to file a Change Application to change the point of diversion from the stream to the well.

To read the Utah statute regarding Change Applications, click here.

To access the Utah Division of Water Rights' Change Application form, click here.

To learn more about the process that the State Engineer goes through in approving or denying a Change Application, click here.

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