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ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES

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Title: ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES


1
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES
  • SURFACE WATER RIGHTS UNIT

2
Surface Water 2
Surface Water
Definition waters of all sources, flowing in
streams, canyons, ravines or other natural
channels, or in definite underground channels,
whether perennial or intermittent, floodwaters,
wastewater, or surplus water, and of lakes,
ponds, and springs on the surface (Arizona
Revised Statutes 45-101)
3
History
  • Early in its history, Arizona adopted the
    doctrine of prior appropriation to govern the use
    of surface water.
  • This doctrine is based on the tenet of first in
    time, first in right which means that the person
    who first puts the water to a beneficial use
    acquires a right that is better than later
    appropriators of the water.
  • Prior to June 12, 1919, a person could acquire a
    surface water right simply by applying the water
    to a beneficial use and posting a notice of the
    appropriation at the point of diversion

4
Public Water Code
On June 12, 1919, the Arizona surface water code
was enacted. Now known as the Public Water Code,
this law provides that a person must apply for
and obtain a permit in order to appropriate
surface water unless
  • The water is from the mainstream of the lower
    Colorado river, in which case a contract with the
    Secretary of the Interior is required
  • The person or the persons predecessor-in-interest
    , lawfully appropriated the water prior to June
    12, 1919 and the person or the persons
    predecessor-in-interest has filed a statement of
    claim for the appropriation with the state
  • The water is stored in a stockpond constructed
    after June 12, 1919 and before August 27, 1977.

5
Beneficial Use
The Public Water Code provides that beneficial
use shall be the basis, measure and limit to the
use of water within the state, A.R.S. 45-141(B).
  • Beneficial uses are
  • domestic (which includes the watering of gardens
    and lawns not exceeding one-half acre),
  • municipal
  • irrigation
  • stockwatering
  • recreation
  • wildlife including fish
  • nonrecoverable water storage
  • mining uses.
  • A.R.S. 45-151(A)

6
Types of Filings
  • Applications for Permit to Appropriate Public
    Water of the State of Arizona or to Construct a
    Reservoir (33, 4A, 3R)
  • Applications for Permit to Appropriate Public
    Water of the State of Arizona - Instream Flow
    Maintenance (33)
  • Claims of Water Right for a Stockpond and
    Application for Certification (38)
  • Statements of Claim of Right to Use Public Waters
    of the State of Arizona (36)

7
Perfecting a Surface Water Right
  • A person applies for a permit to appropriate
    public water by completing an application with
    the Arizona Department of Water Resources
    (Department).
  • If the application is approved, a permit to
    appropriate is issued to the applicant. A permit
    authorizes the permit holder to construct the
    diversion works and put the water to a beneficial
    use.
  • The permit holder has two years to begin
    construction of the diversion works and up to 5
    years to put the water to beneficial use.
  • After the permit holder submits a Proof of
    Appropriation of Water, the Department issues a
    Certificate of Water Right (CWR) with a priority
    date that relates back to the date of the
    application. A CWR evidences a perfected surface
    water.
  • All permits and certificates are for specific
    uses at specific places and are endorsed with the
    priority date and extent and purpose(s) of the
    right(s).

(A.R.S. 45-151, et seq.)
8
Surface Water Appropriations
Surface Watersheds
Applications Pending 850 Permits Issued
420 Certificates Issued 7050
.
Point of Diversion (POD)
9
Types of Filings
  • Applications for Permit to Appropriate Public
    Water of the State of Arizona or to Construct a
    Reservoir (33, 4A, 3R)
  • Applications for Permit to Appropriate Public
    Water of the State of Arizona - Instream Flow
    Maintenance (33)
  • Claims of Water Right for a Stockpond and
    Application for Certification (38)
  • Statements of Claim of Right to Use Public Waters
    of the State of Arizona (36)

10
Instream Flow Maintenance
  • An instream flow right is a surface water right
    that remains in-situ or in-stream, is not
    physically diverted or consumptively used, and is
    for maintaining the flow of water necessary to
    preserve wildlife, including fish and/or
    recreation.
  • A minimum of one year of streamflow measurement
    data should be submitted by the applicant before
    the Department will issue a permit to
    appropriate.
  • Data should be submitted no later than two years
    after the filing date.
  • After approval of a permit the permit holder has
    four years to demonstrate that the instream flow
    water right is being used in a manner consistent
    with terms of the issued permit.
  • After the permit holder submits a Proof of
    Appropriation - Instream Flow, the Department
    issues the permit holder a Certificate of Water
    Right (CWR) with a priority date that relates
    back to the date of the application.

11
Instream Flow Maintenance
Surface Watersheds
Applications Pending 58 Permits Issued
1 Certificates Issued 28
12
Types of Filings
  • Applications for Permit to Appropriate Public
    Water of the State of Arizona or to Construct a
    Reservoir (33, 4A, 3R)
  • Applications for Permit to Appropriate Public
    Water of the State of Arizona - Instream Flow
    Maintenance (33)
  • Claims of Water Right for a Stockpond and
    Application for Certification (38)
  • Statements of Claim of Right to Use Public Waters
    of the State of Arizona (36)

13
Stockponds
The Stockpond Registration Act of 1977 (A.R.S.
45-271, et seq.) provides that an owner of a
stockpond has a valid water right in the
stockpond and is eligible to file with the
Department a Claim of Water Right for a
Stockpond and Application for Certification upon
evidence of the following
  • The stockpond was constructed after June 12, 1919
    and prior to August 27, 1977.
  • The stockpond is used exclusively for watering of
    livestock and/or wildlife.
  • The stockpond has a maximum capacity of 15
    acre-feet
  • The stockpond was not the subject of water rights
    litigation or protest prior to August 27, 1977.

The Department issues a certification of the
water right if it finds that the facts stated in
the claim are true and entitle the claimant to a
water right for the stockpond.
14
Stockponds
Surface Watersheds
Applications Pending 18444 Certificates Issued
1071
15
Types of Filings
  • Applications for Permit to Appropriate Public
    Water of the State of Arizona or to Construct a
    Reservoir (33, 4A, 3R)
  • Applications for Permit to Appropriate Public
    Water of the State of Arizona - Instream Flow
    Maintenance (33)
  • Claims of Water Right for a Stockpond and
    Application for Certification (38)
  • Statements of Claim of Right to Use Public Waters
    of the State of Arizona (36)

16
Statement of Claim of Rights to Use Public Waters
of the State of Arizona
  • Under the Water Rights Registration Act (A.R.S.
    45-180, et seq.) a person who before March 17,
    1995 was using public waters of the state based
    on state law may claim the right by filing a
    Statement of Claim for both pre and post June
    12, 1919 claims.
  • The act of filing a Statement of Claim does not
    create a water right nor does it constitute an
    adjudication of the claim no judicial
    determination regarding the right and priorities
    of the claimant has been made.

17
Statements of Claim
Surface Watersheds
Claims 29265
18
Court Decreed Rights
  • Decreed rights are water rights which have been
    determined through judicial action in a state or
    federal court. Some of the majors decrees are
  • Globe Equity No. 59 (also known as the Gila
    Decree) was entered in the United States
    District Court, in and for the District of
    Arizona (Tucson), on June 29, 1935.
  • The Kent Decree (Hurley v. Abbott) was entered in
    Territorial District Court in 1910. It
    established rights to the Salt River from
    diversions occurring at that time from Granite
    Reef and Joint Head diversion dams, which
    generally conforms to the present Salt River
    Project water service area.
  • The Benson v. Allison Decree was enter in State
    Superior Court in 1917. It established rights to
    the lower Agua Fria River, the Salt River below
    Joint Head Diversion Dam, and the Gila River from
    the Salt River confluence to the Buckeye
    Irrigation Company canal heading.
  • The Little Colorado River system contains one
    major decree known as the Norviel Decree, which
    is comprised of four judicial actions involving
    rights to the Little Colorado River from the
    vicinity of St. Johns to the headwaters of the
    river.
  • The Concho Decree determined the relative rights
    to the use of the waters of Concho Springs and
    Concho Creek in Apache County.

19
Court Decreed Rights
Surface Watersheds
BB Certificates 644
20
Request Changes to Certificates and Claims
  • Application to Sever and Transfer
  • Change in Beneficial Use
  • Request for Assignment of Surface Water
    Applications and Claims
  • Amending an Application, Permit, Certificate or
    Claim

21
Application for Severance and Transfer
  • A change in the place of use of a surface water
    right is referred to as a severance and
    transfer of the right. A person must obtain the
    approval of the Director in order to sever and
    transfer a surface water right
  • In addition, the person must also obtain the
    approval of irrigation district, agricultural
    improvement district, or water users association
    if water is used on land within their boundaries
    or is in the same watershed or drainage area.
  • Priority dates are maintained.

(Arizona Revised Statutes 45-172)
22
Request Changes to Certificates and Claims
  • Application to Sever and Transfer
  • Change in Beneficial Use
  • Request for Assignment of Surface Water
    Applications and Claims
  • Amending an Application, Permit, Certificate or
    Claim

23
Changes in Beneficial Use
  • Add a new use
  • A person may add a new use only by applying for
    and obtaining a permit to appropriate the water
    for the new use. The application will be
    processed in the same manner as any other permit
    to appropriate surface water and the priority
    date of the new water right will be the date the
    application was filed.
  • Change an existing use
  • A person may change an existing use to a
    different use by filing a Change of Use
    application with the Department. In most cases,
    the use may not be changed without the approval
    of the Director. If the change contemplates
    generating hydroelectric energy or power of over
    twenty-five thousand horsepower, approval will
    not be granted unless authorized by an act of the
    legislature, 45-156 (B). When a change in use
    has been effected, the new use retains the same
    priority date as the old use.

24
Request Changes to Certificates and Claims
  • Application to Sever and Transfer
  • Change in Beneficial Use
  • Request for Assignment of Surface Water
    Applications and Claims
  • Amending an Application, Permit, Certificate or
    Claim

25
Request for Assignment of Surface Water
Applications and Claims
  • Pursuant to A.R.S. 45-164, the Arizona
    Department of Water Resources (Department)
    maintains a registry of applications, permits,
    and certificates of water right.
  • Any person who conveys real property to which a
    water right, claim, or filing is associated and
    who intends to assign the water right, claim, or
    filing to the new owner must complete and file
    with the Department a Request for Assignment of
    Surface Water Applications and Claims form.

26
Request Changes to Certificates and Claims
  • Application to Sever and Transfer
  • Change in Beneficial Use
  • Request for Assignment of Surface Water
    Applications and Claims
  • Amending an Application, Permit, Certificate or
    Claim

27
Amendments
  • Amending an Application, Permit, Certificate or
    Claim
  • Amendments will be limited and will be reviewed
    on a case by case basis.
  • Requests for an amendment must be made on
    official amendment forms.

28
Surface Water
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