Saturday, September 29, 2012

How Do I Protest a Water Rights Application?

The Utah Division of Water Rights' administrative process for change applications, applications to appropriate, exchange applications, and other water right applications includes advertising of the application and a protest period.  During the twenty-day protest period, an interested party can file a protest with the Division in opposition to the application. Although some regional offices keep protest forms at their office, there are no protest forms on the Division's website, and a protest form is not required.  The protest can be submitted in the form of a letter.  There are, however, a few rules to remember when preparing and filing a protest:
  • Clearly identify the water right number, application number, and name of the water right owner/applicant.
  • Cite specific reasons for the protest. You may want to review, and possibly cite to, the Utah Water and Irrigation Code for relevant law and requirements regarding the application at issue (for example, Utah Code sections 73-3-3 and 73-3-8 provide requirements for approval of a change application)
  • State whether or not you request a hearing on the application.
  • Include your name and mailing address so that the Division can send you notice of any hearings, notice of the Division's decision, and other notifications regarding the application.
  • Include a $15 protest fee. Keep in mind that the fee is per application, not per protest. Accordingly, if you are filing one protest regarding three different applications, the fee would be $45.
  • The protest must be filed (and not just postmarked) by the last day of the protest period.
Update (10/23/2017): The Division now allows for protests to be submitted online. More information here.

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