Thursday, January 28, 2010

2010 Legislature: Preference for Drinking Water

Last year, the Utah legislature passed House Bill 241, which repealed the law giving priority to domestic use in times of water shortage. (Click here to read my blog post from last year.) The legislature postponed the effective date of the repeal until May 11, 2010, in order to allow this year's legislature to consider the repeal again.

Representative Kerry W. Gibson, who sponsored last year's bill, is sponsoring a new bill this year that will keep the priority statute in place, with some amendments. The bill is numbered House Bill 231 (HB 231). The bill clarifies the priority of water uses during times of water shortage. Generally speaking, the use of water for drinking, sanitation, and fire suppression has a preferential right over all other uses. Next in priority is the use of water for irrigation and stockwatering. The bill also provides that an appropriator whose water use is interrupted due to the prefernce must be compensated for crop loss and other consequential damages.

Click here to read the full text of the bill.

(For an update on this bill, click here.)

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