Spring 2023 Issue of Water and the Law – Update from Smith Hartvigsen, PLLC

Welcome to the 2023 Spring issue of Water and the Law, which provides a recap of water-related bills from the 2023 session of the Utah Legislature. The articles in this newsletter, written by the attorneys listed at the end of this email, provide summaries of (1) the bills that passed the legislature and have now moved to the governor’s desk for signature and (2) the bills that did not pass the legislature.   We hope you will find this newsletter to be helpful and informative. As always, we welcome your feedback. If you have questions or comments, please reply to this email or call us at 801-413-1600.
Utah Water Law Seminar   Smith Hartvigsen is teaming up with National Business Institute (NBI) to present the “Water Rights in Utah” seminar on May 4, 2023. This will be an all-day seminar to provide the nuts and bolts for understanding, maximizing, and protecting water rights in Utah. It will be a great seminar for attorneys, engineers, government officials, and anyone else who wants to better understand Utah water law. To learn more and to register for the seminar, click here. Use Promo Code FSPN50A at checkout to get $50 off the registration fee.    


HB 33 (1st Substitute) – Water Related Liability Amendments Rep. Carl R. Albrecht  
House Bill 33 (1st Substitute) amends Utah Code section 73-1-8, which addresses the duties of canal owners or operators and their liability. The bill expands the section’s applicability by changing the existing “ditch, canal, flume or other watercourse” language to “water facility,” which includes any facility “used for the diversion, transportation, distribution, measurement, collection, containment, or storage of irrigation water.” Similar language has already been inserted into two other sections of the Water Code to reflect the changing uses of canals and the need to extend protections to other types of water facilities as well. Among other things, the bill clarifies that water facility owners and operators have a duty of “reasonable and ordinary care” to maintain the water facilities to prevent the waste of water or property damage, rather than being subject to a higher standard of care that courts have threatened to impose on canals in recent years. In addition, the bill would shield the owners or operators of water facilities from liability for damage or injury caused by “the diversion or discharge of water or another substance into the water facility by a third party” beyond the control of the water facility owner, or “an act of God, including fire, earthquake, storm, flash floods, or similar natural occurrences.”   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 150 (3rd Substitute) – Emergency Water Shortages Amendments Rep. Carl R. Albrecht  
House Bill 150 (3rd Substitute) addresses preferences for water use during a temporary water shortage emergency. The existing statute is extremely vague about what constitutes a water shortage emergency, how the preference determination process should be managed, and how compensation for the preferential use should be calculated. The bill outlines a new procedure by which the governor would declare a temporary water shortage emergency, which would be distinct from the governor’s powers to declare a state of emergency under the Disaster Response and Recovery Act. A temporary water shortage emergency could only be declared if an interruption of water delivery “caused by manmade or natural causes other than drought” either (a) threatens the “availability or quality of an essential water supply or water supply infrastructure” or (b) threatens the operation of the economy and “jeopardizes the peace, health, safety, or welfare” of the public. In issuing an executive order declaring a temporary water shortage emergency, the governor would be required to seek the advice and recommendation of the State Engineer and consult with the state’s Emergency Management Administration Committee. The preferential uses of water in a temporary water shortage emergency, in order, would be for: (1) drinking, (2) sanitation, (3) fire suppression, (4) commercial agriculture animal welfare needs, and (5) generation of electricity. Outside of the ranking of preferential uses, the bill states that water for agriculture purposes, including irrigation, livestock watering, and food processing, would be preferred over the remaining water uses. Preferential users would be required to pay the interrupted users for the reasonable value of the water, applicable crop losses, and “other consequential damages incurred as a result of the interruption.”   To read the full text of the bill, click here.       

HB 207 – Compact Commission Amendments Rep. Casey Snider  
House Bill 207 changes Utah’s appointee to the Bear River Compact Commission and the Columbia Compact Commission from the Director of the Division of Water Resources to the State Engineer.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 208 (1st Substitute) – Criminal Trespass Amendments Rep. Scott H. Chew  
House Bill 208 (1st Substitute) sets forth the elements of criminal trespass when a person is on the “bed or bank of a non-navigable freshwater stream or river that flows through privately owned land and is privately owned.” Defenses against a charge of criminal trespass include that the private property was open to the public and the person charged was complying with “all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining on the private property”; that the touching was incidental or otherwise allowed under state code; or the person “acted in compliance with an express easement.” Prescriptive easements are not a valid defense against a criminal trespass charge.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 217 (3rd Substitute) – School Energy and Water Reductions Rep. Gay Lynn Bennion  
House Bill 217 (3rd Substitute) provides that the State Board of Education can award grants to school districts or charter schools, upon recommendation by a review panel, for implementation of programs to reduce the use of water or energy. Priority is given to projects that are (1) for rural school districts or charter schools, (2) for school districts or charter schools located within the Great Salt Lake watershed, and (3) for outdoor water conservation. The Board is required to draft rules about the grant program, including procedures for applying for grants, eligibility requirements, and reporting requirements. This program is intended to be a pilot program, so the Board is required to report on the effectiveness of the grants by 2027. The fiscal notes contemplates $900,000 to be allocated to the program in fiscal year 2024.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    
HB 299 (4th Substitute) – Boating Amendments Rep. Casey Snider  
House Bill 299 (4th Substitute) provides that 50% of the revenue collected from boat registration fees is to be deposited into the new Utah Boating Grant Account. The Division of Outdoor Recreation is tasked with administering the Account and awarding grants to water conservancy districts, state agencies, counties, and municipalities for projects. Such projects could include construction, repair, or replacement of public boating facilities; waterway shoreline protection; or drought access mitigation.    To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 307 (3rd Substitute) – Utah Water Ways Rep. Calvin R. Musselman  
House Bill 307 (3rd Substitute) provides for the creation
of a new nonprofit, statewide partnership addressing water. The purpose of the nonprofit is to facilitate the coordination of water optimization efforts by: (1) sponsoring policy discussions about the state’s water supply; (2) engaging the private sector for support to optimize water use; (3) coordinating with the Department of Agriculture and Food and the Department of Environmental Quality on water-related issues; (4) maintaining communication among the partnership; (5) providing a line of communication between the partnership and state leaders; (6) promoting coordination of grants, rebate programs, or sponsorships that support optimal use of water; and (7) encouraging residents to make changes to optimize their water use by providing educational tools, public awareness campaigns and seeking grants, gifts, donations, etc. for these purposes. The bill will take effect on July 1, 2023.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 349 (4th Substitute) – Water Reuse Projects Amendments Rep. Casey Snider  
House Bill 349 (4th Substitute) prohibits the State Engineer and the Division of Water Quality from approving a water reuse project submitted after November 1, 2023 “if the water related to the reuse project would have otherwise been discharged into a tributary of the Great Salt Lake.” However, this prohibition does not apply to federally owned water rights, reuse projects to supply water to the Great Salt Lake, or reuse projects “approved subject to a water replacement plan.” The water replacement plan must provide “an equivalent amount of water to the Great Salt Lake.” The State Engineer may deny the application or approve it in part if the water replacement plan is inadequate.    To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 370 (4th Substitute) – Utility Infrastructure Amendments Rep. Carl R. Albrecht  
House Bill 370 (4th Substitute) makes it a felony to destroy or tamper with a “critical infrastructure facility,” which includes a water facility as it is currently defined in Title 73 of Utah Code. To be subject to the felony charges, the person committing the crime must cause “widespread injury or damage to persons or property” by destroying or substantially damaging a critical infrastructure facility, or by tampering with, inhibiting, or impeding the operation of a critical infrastructure facility.    To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 450 (1st Substitute) – Landscaping Requirements Rep. Ryan D. Wilcox  
House Bill 450 (1st Substitute) amends section 57-8a-231 of the Utah Code by adding more limitations on the power of homeowners associations to limit water efficient landscaping. Specifically, the bill states that HOAs cannot require a property owner to have more than 50% coverage that is not water wise landscaping.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 488 (Amended) – Utah Lake Authority Amendments Rep. Brady Brammer  
House Bill 488 (amended) modifies the membership of the board of the Utah Lake Authority. Previously, the Utah County Council of Governments appointed eight board members, one of whom was an individual designated by a chamber of commerce in Utah County and four of whom were elected officials from municipalities immediately adjacent to the Authority boundary. HB 488 keeps the appointment of eight board members and the one appointee designated by a chamber of commerce, but the other seven board member appointees must be elected officials from municipalities whose boundaries are no more than one-half mile from the Authority boundary.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 491 (3rd Substitute) – Amendments Related to the Great Salt Lake Rep. Mike Schultz  
House Bill 491 (3rd Substitute) creates a new Great Salt Lake Commissioner (“GSL Commissioner) who answers jointly to the Governor, Speaker of the House, and President of the Senate. The GSL Commissioner is tasked with creating a strategic plan by the end of 2023 based on a “holistic approach that balances the diverse interests related to the health of the Great Salt Lake,” and includes provisions concerning the coordination of Great Salt Lake efforts, achieving a sustainable water supply, protecting human health and the ecosystem, economic development, water conservation, water and land use planning, and regional water sharing. The plan needs to be approved by the Governor, after which it will be distributed to state agencies. The GSL Commissioner is also responsible for implementing the strategic plan and may require state agencies—other than the State Engineer and, in some circumstances, the Department of Environmental Quality—to take action or refrain from acting “to benefit the health of the Great Salt Lake to comply with the strategic plan.” The other responsibilities of the GSL Commissioner include maintaining information on the lake; coordinating and consulting with state and federal agencies, political subdivisions, elected officials, and others with responsibilities or interests relating to the lake; monitoring the ongoing integrated water assessment; and other similar duties. The GSL Commissioner will be supported by a new Office of the Great Salt Lake Commissioner, which will be housed in the Department of Natural Resources but staffed and operated independently by the GSL Commissioner. The bill also adds a seat to the Board of Water Resources for a member that “represents the interests of the Great Salt Lake.”   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 513 (3rd Substitute) – Great Salt Lake Amendments Rep. Casey Snider  
House Bill 513 (3rd Substitute) changes how certain mineral royalties from the Great Salt Lake are collected and managed and imposes a new severance tax for the mining of metalliferous compounds from the lake. It also requires that new mineral leases use the most water efficient technologies available and, in some circumstances, provide replacement water to the lake. In addition, the bill requires the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands, as manager of the lake, to make rules for the management of the lake which: (a) provide strategies to manage the lake based on fluctuating lake levels; (b) develop the lake in a manner that protects bird habitats, wetlands, brines, brine shrimp, and wildlife; (c) promote water quality; (d) protect public access to the lake; (e) consider the effects of the lake on the local environment; (f) maintain the flood plain; (g) maintain the lake and marshes for birds; (h) protect recreation; and (i) maintain wildlife refuges. It also requires the division to take on emergency management of the Great Salt Lake when the lake reaches the “emergency trigger,” which is when the salinity levels of the south arm of the lake do not meet the ecological conditions required for brine shrimp and brine fly reproduction. When the emergency trigger is reached, the division may “construct, operate, modify, and maintain” management berms and structures; stop issuing mineral production permits; and withdraw or curtail existing mineral leases.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HCR 7 (1st Substitute) – Concurrent Resolution Supporting the Creation of the Great Salt Lake Sentinel Landscape Rep. Trevor Lee  
House Concurrent Resolution 7 (1st Substitute) states that the Utah Legislature and Governor support the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs and its partners in applying for the establishment of the Great Salt Lake Sentinel Landscape. The United States Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Interior have created the Sentinel Landscape Partnership, a federal conservation policy to designate certain lands as “Sentinel Landscapes” that are critical to the nation’s defense mission.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SB 34 (1st Substitute) – Water Infrastructure Funding Study Sen. Daniel McCay  
Senate Bill 34 (1st Substitute) directs the Department of Natural Resources to study the use of property tax revenue to fund water infrastructure, treatment, and delivery. It also requests that recommendations be made for future funding and requires the Department make a written report to the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee on or before October 30, 2024. No money is appropriated for this bill.    To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SB 53 (1st Substitute) – Groundwater Use Amendments Sen. Evan J. Vickers  
Senate Bill 53 (1st Substitute) amends Utah Code section 73-5-15 regarding groundwater management plans. The bill provides that in the context of groundwater management plans, the use of water from a surface source to artificially recharge an aquifer constitutes beneficial use of water (provided certain conditions are met). The bill also corrects a punctuation error that created potential confusion regarding aquifer storage as an exception to claims of nonuse.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SB 76 (3rd Substitute) – Groundwater Use Amendments Sen. Scott D. Sandall  
Senate Bill 76 (3rd Substitute) implements changes on the municipal, county, and state agency level to increase coordination in water-related planning. It requires municipal and county planning commissions to consult with the Division of Water Resources when drafting the water use and preservation element of their general plans. Water Resources will help the planning commissions determine how implementing the land use and water use elements of their general plans may affect the Great Salt Lake. County planning commissions are also required to notify and seek feedback from community water systems regarding water supply and distribution planning and to consider the potential opportunities and benefits of planning for regionalization of public water systems. In addition, the bill allows the Division of Drinking Water to change water source, storage, and system minimum sizing standards based on water use data and enforceable water conservation measures implemented by public water systems, and requires the Division to study how greater efficiencies can be found through improved coordination, consolidation, and regionalization of public water systems. In a different vein, the bill also modifies the shareholder change application statute to allow 60 days for an irrigation company to respond to a temporary change application submitted by a shareholder, rather than 120 days for a permanent change application.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SB 92 – Special License Plat Designation Sen. Jen Plumb  
Senate Bill 92 creates a Great Salt Lake specialty license plate. The purchase of this specialty license plate will provide funding to the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands to “benefit and conserve the Great Salt Lake watershed and ecosystem.”    To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SB 118 (5th Substitute) – Water Efficient Landscaping Incentives Sen. Scott D. Sandall  
Senate Bill 118 (5th Substitute) creates landscape conversion incentive programs (commonly called “turf buyback” programs) in the state. The bill allows the Division of Water Resources to provide grants to water conservancy districts who initiate and operate a program for homeowners to replace lawn or turf with water efficient landscaping. The property must, however, be located in municipality that has implemented regional-based water use efficiency standards established by the Division. The bill allocates $3 million of funding to the initiative.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SB 119 – Per Capita Consumptive Use Sen. Michael K. McKell  
Senate Bill 119 provides direction for how per capita water use is determined in Utah. Such numbers are often quoted in news articles comparing Utah’s water use with neighboring states, but an issue has been that the states don’t all calculate water use in the same manner. The bill defines per capita consumptive use as “a valid representation of total water consumed divided by the total population for a given area.” The Division of Water Resources designates “reporting districts” that provide wholesale water to calculate the per capita consumptive use in the counties that they serve. The bill provides definition and clarification on determining population, return flow, conserved water, and other items that factor into the per capita calculations. The bill prohibits state agencies and political subdivisions of the state from calculating, publishing, or disseminating a statewide per capita consumptive use number.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SB 144 – Water Instream Flow Amendments Sen. David P. Hinkins  
Senate Bill 144 amends Utah’s instream flow statute (Utah Code section 73-3-30) to allow fixed time or temporary change applications to deliver water to reservoirs located partially or entirely within Utah’s portion of the Colorado River System. This bill follows the passage of federal legislation that gave Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming the opportunity to voluntarily conserve water and store the savings in Lake Powell and other reservoirs in the Upper Colorado River Basin. If needed, the conserved water could later be released if the Colorado River Compact requires mandatory reductions in Utah water use. Known as “demand management,” this concept would require the approval of Utah and the three other Upper Colorado River Basin States before it could be implemented. However, the bill is not limited to demand management and would also allow change applications to be filed pursuant to other water conservation programs funded by Utah or the Bureau of Reclamation.   The purpose of the bill is to provide express recognition under Utah law that water conserved for conservation programs in Utah’s portion of the Colorado River System has the legal protection needed to reach a reservoir such as Lake Powell. Water right holders seeking to file a change application under the bill’s new provisions, would need to obtain approval from the Director of the Colorado River Authority of Utah, who would be required to attest that the water can be used in accordance with one of the bill’s enumerated conservation programs.    To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SB 158 (3rd Substitute) – Local Government Water Amendments Sen. Michael K. McKell  
Senate Bill 158 (3rd Substitute) amends Utah statutes governing dedication/exaction of water rights or shares by municipalities, counties, water authorities, and local districts. In many ways it is a follow up to 2018 legislation which amended the Safe Drinking Water Act. The earlier 2018 legislation required community water systems and the Division of Drinking Water to establish system based minimum sizing requirements for source and storage. Systems serving a population of more than 3,300 were supposed to establish system-based standards by March 1, 2019. Systems serving between 500 and 3,300 were given until October 31, 2023 to establish system based standards for source and storage.    SB 158 specifically ties the dedication/exaction of water rights and shares to the system source and storage requirements in Utah Code § 19-4-114. Additionally, it requires that dedications/exactions be tied to the expected culinary water demand of a specific development. For example, for a multifamily or townhome development, which will likely have lower per residential connection water demand, the per connection dedication/exaction must reflect this lower demand. The determination of per connection water demand for different types of residential development is to be based on at least five years of water use data, within the water system, for similar developments.   SB 158 also requires that the water supplier make public the methodology used to determine the per connection water demand. If the dedicator disagrees with the calculation of the dedication/exaction there is a right of appeal to the governing body of the municipality, county, or district. In the appeal, the dedicator has the right to present data and information and the governing body must respond with due process.     Finally, SB 158 grants specific authority to third, fourth, fifth and sixth class counties (less than 175,000 residents) and municipalities in those counties, by ordinance, to adopt drinking water source protection zones for wells and springs. While this power likely exists, regardless of county size, it is now explicitly provided.    To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SB 236 – Legislative Water Development Commission Amendments Sen. David P. Hinkins  
Senate Bill 236 authorizes the existing Legislative Water Development Commission to open committee bill files related to the commission’s duties. Those duties include making recommendations to the Legislature on water needs for the state, funding and ownership of water projects, and water conservation programs.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SB 251 – Secondary Water Metering Requirements Sen. David P. Hinkins  
Senate Bill 251 exempts certain secondary water providers from metering every connection. Instead, these exempted providers can meter strategic points of their system. It also amends Section 73-10-34.5 to allow the Board of Water Resources to issue or convert a previous grant issued to secondary water suppliers who fall under the new exemption to fund projects that are alternative to metering, if it can be established that the project will conserve more water than expected through metering.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SB 277 (2nd Substitute) – Water Conservation and Augmentation Amendments Sen. Scott D. Sandall  
Senate Bill 277 (2nd Substitute) reorganizes the Agricultural Water Optimization program housed at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF). It dissolves the current Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force located at the Department of Natural Resources and creates a similar Agricultural Water Optimization Committee at UDAF. In addition to assuming the roles of the previous task force, the committee sets the eligibility requirements for agricultural water optimization grants, creates the grant application process, and develops the preliminary screening criteria for the grant applications. The committee reviews and ranks the grant applications, which are approved by the existing Utah Conservation Commission (which is also housed at UDAF). The bill also creates a new change application process by which a person implementing an agricultural water optimization project—whether within or independent of the grant program—can seek a quantification of the “saved water” created by the project, which can then be used for other purposes that do not enlarge the depletion or diversion amounts of the saved water. Finally, the bill adjusts the purposes for which the Water Infrastructure Restricted Account (WIRA) funds can be used, encompassing projects that “benefit the Colorado River drainage in Utah, including projects for water reuse, desalinization, building of dams, or water conservation,” subject to the adoption of certain water conservation policies and practices by the counties and municipalities seeking the funds.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

BILLS THAT DID NOT PASS     HB 188 (1st Substitute) – Golf Related Water Modifications Rep. Douglas R. Welton  
House Bill 188 (1st Substitute) would have required the owners and operators of golf courses and driving ranges to report annual water use data to the Division of Water Resources. The data would include the amount of water used for the operation and maintenance of the golf course and the sources of water used. The Division would publish the water use information on its website, and the golf course owners/operators would also have been required to publish the water use information on the golf course’s website. Utah State University would study and establish standards for the use of water on golf courses, and would report its findings to the legislature by June 2026. The bill would have provided up to $30 million in grants for golf courses to implement methods of efficiently using water and established a Golf Advisory Board to administer the grant program.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 272 (2nd Substitute) – Water Efficient Landscaping Amendments Rep. Doug Owens  
House Bill 277 (2nd Substitute) would have put landscaping limitations on new construction or reconstruction of properties owned by state agencies, cities, towns, counties, and districts. These entities would not be allowed to have more than 20% of the landscaped area be lawn or turf, would not be allowed to have lawn or turf in park strips or any other area less than eight feet with width, and would not be allowed to install overhead spray irrigation on any areas except for where lawn or turf was planted. An exception would be made for “active recreation areas” such as sports fields and parks.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 286 – Great Salt Lake Funding Modifications Rep. Joel K. Briscoe  
House Bill 286 would have modified where a percentage of sales tax proceeds are allocated. There is a 1/16% tax rate revenue that goes 20% to the Transportation Investment Fund and 80% to the Water Infrastructure Restricted Account. The bill would have 100% of this revenue go to the Great Salt Lake Account for fiscal years 2023 through 2028.     To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 538 (3rd Substitute) – Water Usage Amendments Rep. Doug Owens  
House Bill 358 (3rd Substitute) would have required retail water suppliers and secondary water suppliers to enact ordinances prohibiting the use of culinary water or pressurized secondary water for the irrigation of lawn or turf in the Great Salt Lake Basin from October 1 until April 25, also known as the “shoulder season.” The bill also included requirements for certain large retail water providers and large secondary water providers to calculate the amount of water that otherwise would have been depleted during the prior shoulder season and then file an instream flow application to convey an equivalent amount of water to the Great Salt Lake, with some exceptions. The bill was later amended to remove the change application requirement but nevertheless raised questions about its legality and feasibility. Although the bill passed the House, it ultimately failed in the Senate on the final day of the session. Nevertheless, it is likely the bill’s concepts will be a topic for interim study and possible legislation in 2024.    To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

HB 562 – Water Rights Inventory Requirements Rep. Phil Lyman  
House Bill 562 would have required all public water suppliers to file an annual “comprehensive inventory” with the Division of Water Rights. The inventory would include, at a minimum, a list of all water rights (and acre-foot amounts associated with each right) owned by the public water supplier, all water contracts (and acre-foot amounts associated with each contract) executed by the public water supplier; all water shares (and acre-foot amounts associated with each share) owned by the public water supplier, all water rights that the public water supplier has under approved nonuse status, all unapproved applications to appropriate water (and acre-feet associated with each application) filed by the public water supplier, and a breakdown of the inventory by surface water and underground water. The bill would also allow the Division of Water Rights to make rules to require additional information in the comprehensive inventory, including depletion amounts, unaccounted leakage water, evaporation, etc.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SB 280 – Bear Lake Preservation Amendments Sen. Chris H. Wilson  
Senate Bill 280 sought to address considerations for the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands regarding development of Bear Lake including coordination with other state agencies. Key considerations include preserving Bear Lake as “a natural lake [that] retains the basic form and inherent qualities” and the current and historical uses of Bear Lake. The bill would discourage developments that would utilize Bear Lake as a source for irrigation water.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.    

SCR 6 – Concurrent Resolution Regarding the Great Salt Lake Elevation Targets Sen. Nate Blouin  
Senate Concurrent Resolution 6 relates to the Great Salt Lake, its current status, all of the benefits that it brings to Utah, and to encourage Utah to rally to commit to bringing it back to its optimal level. Specifically, the concurrent resolution noted that scientific studies state that the lower end of the Great Salt Lake’s optimal water level elevation is 4,198 feet in elevation and that the Great Salt Lake would need between 4 and 6 million acre-feet to return to 4,198 feet in elevation. The resolution hoped to establish raising the Great Salt Lake’s elevation from its current elevation, reported to be at 4190.4 feet in elevation, to 4,198 feet in elevation as the State’s official goal and that the State would adopt policies, funding, and incentives to achieve this goal.   To read the full text of the bill, click here.      

Upcoming Conferences   Utah Water Law & Policy Seminar March 20, 2023 St. George, UT For more information, click here  

Utah Water Users Association Annual Workshop March 20-22, 2023 St. George, UT For more information, click here  

American Water Works Association Intermountain Section Midyear Conference April 20, 2023 For more information, click here

Contact Us   If you have any questions or if you would like to see something discussed in the future, please let us know by sending an email to info@water.law or contact one of us directly through the following links:   J. Craig Smith Jeffry Gittins Nathan Bracken Peter Gessel Ethan Smith Jay Springer Jennifer Bowen-Crockett Emily Haynie  

Smith Hartvigsen, PLLC 257 East 200 South, Suite 500 Salt Lake City, UT 84111 Tel.: (801) 413-1600     To view more information about water law in Utah, visit our water blog at utahwaterrights.blogspot.com     This newsletter and the information provided herein are for information and/or advertising purposes only, and are neither offered nor meant as legal advice or opinion on any issue or matter. Receipt or review of this newsletter does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship with Smith Hartvigsen. A person should not rely or act on any particular matter based on the information included in this newsletter without seeking appropriate legal counsel or other appropriate advice.   © 2022   FacebookLinkedInWeb