Thursday, January 20, 2011

2011 Legislature: Joint Use of Ditches

Senator Dennis Stowell has introduced Senate Bill 108 (S.B. 108), which is entitled "Joint Use of Water Infrastructure." The bill modifies Utah Code section 73-1-7, which allows a person to enlarge and/or convey water through an existing canal or ditch owned by another person or company if the person pays for any damage and pays an equitable proportion of the maintenance costs.

The bill makes some minor modifications to the language of the statute, including requiring the person to pay a proportional share of the maintenance and operation costs of the ditch or canal. More importantly, the bill requires the person seeking to enlarge and/or use the ditch or canal to enter into a contract with the ditch or canal owner before the enlargement and/or use can commence. The contract should set forth the terms of use, including the payment terms. The bill requires the person seeking to use the ditch or canal and the ditch or canal owner to negotiate the contract in good faith.

To read the full text of the bill, click here.

(Update: This bill has been replaced by a substitute bill. To read more, click here.)

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