Current law provides that a period of nonuse of a portion of a water right is tolled, and no intent to discontinue permanent use is found for purposes of determining an abandonment of a water right, for the duration that the nonuse of the water right by its owner is a result of any of certain conditions. The bill adds a condition that applies when the nonuse of a portion of a water right is a result of the implementation of efficiency improvement projects or methods that result in a reduction of the amount of water diverted for the decreed beneficial use. In such case:
- For the period of nonuse to be tolled, the owner of the water right must submit written notice of the efficiency improvement project or method to the division engineer, on a form prescribed by the division engineer, within one year of the date that the efficiency improvement project or method is first implemented; and
- The nonuse of the portion of the water right is tolled for a maximum of 20 years.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)