Friday, February 4, 2011

2011 Legislature: Substituted Bill About Joint Use of Ditches

Senator Dennis Stowell has introduced a substituted bill for Senate Bill 108 (S.B. 108) regarding joint use of ditches and canals.

Like the original bill, the substituted bill requires a person seeking to jointly use a ditch or canal to enter into a contract with the ditch or canal owner prior to using or enlarging the ditch or canal. The substituted bill adds that unless the contract provides otherwise, the person using the ditch or canal: (1) does not acquire voting rights in the entity that owns the ditch or canal (i.e., ditch company, canal company, or irrigation company); (2) cannot add water that reduces the water quality in the ditch or canal; (3) cannot add water that exceeds the capacity of the ditch or canal; (4) must pay an equitable proportion of construction or upgrade costs incurred by the ditch or canal owner within the past five years; (5) is proportionally responsible for liability arising out of operation or maintenance of the ditch or canal; and (6) is solely responsible for any liability caused solely by the person. The substituted bill also clarifies that the statute only applies to ditches and canals (i.e., does not apply to pipelines).

To read the full text of Substituted SB 108, click here.

For an update on this bill, click here.

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