We’ve had a nice respite from the legislative hullabaloo of 2019. But the 2021 session is just around the corner. A number of bills are in the works right now. We don’t have all the language yet. By the time you read this, more language may be available. But for now, keep these on your radar. We will be providing more updates online, via email and in print as we hear more. But instead of reading tea leaves and sharing scuttlebutt, here’s what we can offer now.
- BDR 43: Constitutional amendment to protect Nevada’s water, land and air
- BDR 112: Recognizes that forest health and water quality are inextricably linked.
- BDR 123: Revises provisions regarding water.
- BDR 309: Revises provisions governing hearings on applications for temporary changes relating to existing water rights. *
- BDR 310: Revises provisions relating to appeals of orders and decisions of the State Engineer. *
- BDR 311: Clarifies the orders and decisions of the State Engineer that are subject to judicial review. *
- BDR 339: Creates a water conservation credit program for irrigation manners of use.*
- BDR 340: Creates an irrigation manner of use water rights banking and leasing program. *
- BDR 341: Adds the State Engineer as a member of the Colorado River Commission of Nevada. *
* proposed by the Nevada Division of Water Resources, Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources
For more information, check out the Nevada Legislature website:
—Kyle Roerink, GBWN ED
Several intriguing bills have been requested and are in process, none yet numbered. The bill drafts of most concern are “Lake Powell Pipeline Costs Repayment Amendments”, “Colorado River Basin Water Amendments” and “Public Entity Water Development Amendments”.
Little specific information is available for these bill draft requests at this time.
Other bills of interest include “Municipal Water Jurisdiction Amendments”, “Statewide Aquatic Invasive Species Emergency Response Plan”, and “Water Distribution Efficiency.” Additional bill requests are likely as we get closer to the January start of the legislative General Session. It’s unclear if there will be legislation addressing secondary water metering. Discussions among policy-makers and advocates continue about how best to address declining water levels in Great Salt Lake. The 2021 Utah annual legislative session begins January 19 and ends March 5.
Lastly, the ballot November 3rd ballot has a proposed change (Amendment D) to the Utah Constitution to specify circumstances under which a municipality may commit water resources or supply water outside its boundary or exchange water and water rights. If approved by voters, additional legislation already passed will become law.
—Steve Erickson, GBWN Board