Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Utah Waterways Task Force Meeting in Richfield

The Utah Waterways Task Force has scheduled its second meeting for Wednesday, August 25th, at 9:00 a.m. The meeting will be held in Rooms 147 A & D of the Administration Building at the Snow College Richfield Campus (800 West 200 South, Richfield).

To view the meeting notice and other information about the Task Force, click here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What Is a Surplus Water Agreement?

Under Article XI, § 6 of the Utah Constitution, a municipality cannot “directly or indirectly, lease, sell, alien or dispose of any waterworks, water rights, or sources of water supply” owned or controlled by the municipality. However, under Section 10-8-14 of the Utah Code, a municipality is authorized to “sell and deliver the surplus product or service capacity of [its water system] not required by the city or the city’s inhabitants, to others beyond the limits of the city.” Accordingly, municipalities can enter into surplus water agreements under which the municipality allows a person to use the municipality’s surplus water until the water is required to meet the municipality’s demands.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What Is a Report of Conveyance?

As discussed in a previous blog post, water rights in Utah are generally transferred either by deed or through appurtenance. Thus, true ownership of a water right is determined by researching the deeds at the county recorder’s office. The Utah Division of Water Rights maintains a database of all water rights and associated information, which includes the name(s) of the owner(s) of each water right. The Division does not, however, actively monitor any transfers of water rights; rather, the Division relies on each water right owner to file a Report of Water Right Conveyance (more commonly referred to as a Report of Conveyance or a "ROC") to notify the Division when ownership transfers. Thus, the purpose of a Report of Conveyance is to notify the Division of Water Rights of the true ownership of a water right.

It is important that a water right owner update title with the Division of Water Rights. Any notices or correspondence that affect a water right will be sent to the owner of record on the Division of Water Rights' database. There have been many unfortunate occasions where, because title was not updated with the Division, a water right owner has not received communications regarding important deadlines that affect their water rights. Furthermore, until title is updated with the Division, a water right owner cannot file proof, file a change application, etc.

There are two different Report of Conveyance forms: a 100% conveyance form and a portion conveyance form. The 100% conveyance form is used if the grantor (seller) is conveying all of his/her interest in the water right. The portion conveyance form is used if the grantor (seller) is conveying only a portion of his/her interest in the water right.

In certain situations (e.g., when a water right has passed by appurtenance), the Report of Conveyance must include a certification by a licensed attorney, professional engineer, title insurance agent, or professional land surveyor. Copies of all relevant deeds must be included with the Report of Conveyance, as well as maps if the water passed by appurtenancy. For a helpful guide for determining if your Report of Conveyance will meet the Division's standards for processing, you should refer to the Report of Water Right Conveyance Review Checklist. This is the same checklist the Division's title department will use when reviewing the Report of Conveyance to see if it is complete.

To review the Utah Administrative Code rules regarding Reports of Conveyance, click here.