Bill could eliminate process for denying some water right applications

January 29, 2014 

One sentence added to Idaho's existing water law could allow the Idaho Department of Water resources to deny hundreds of water-right applications without using the department's traditional application process.

Monday, House Bill 411 was referred to the House Resources and Conservation Committee for consideration. The purpose of the bill is to help the Department of Water Resources reduce its backlog of some 640 applications for new water rights on the area of Idaho's Eastern Snake River Plain where the state has placed a moratorium on new rights.

If the bill becomes law, the state could incur the cost of refunding fees that it has received in association with the water-right applications. The expected total of those refunds is $50,000.

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