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Under current law, groundwater conservation districts require certain information to be included in an application for a permit (such as the applicant’s address or the purpose and amount of water use) in order for it to be considered “administratively complete.” HB 31 would require that any additional information a district requires for a permit application to be included in a district rule and be reasonably related to the permit. This bill would also clarify language related to groundwater exporting and prohibit a district from imposing a moratorium on permitting unless notice is granted and a hearing is conducted. Moratoriums would be limited to 90 days.
HB 31 would also explicitly recognize the right of a landowner to use groundwater for beneficial use and without causing waste. In addition, a district's offices and meetings would be required to be reasonably accessible to the public and certain requirements for a district's management plan would be eliminated.
The degree to which previously adopted desired future conditions are being achieved would have to be considered in the adoption of new desired future conditions. This bill would also require that districts consider any unreasonable affects on registered wells that are otherwise exempt from permitting requirements in evaluating a proposed use of water.