1991 SESSION 0594L
SENATE BILL NO.
INTRODUCED BY: Sen. Currier of Dist. 7
REFERRED TO: Environment
AN ACT authorizing water users registered and reporting their use to the division of water resources, department of environmental services, to continue such use.
This bill authorizes registered water users to continue their present water withdrawals. The bill makes an exception for water users operating pursuant to specific grants of legislative authority that are currently in effect or are given in the future. The commissioner of the department of environmental services is given sole authority to determine whether cessation, reduction or other modification is necessary to preserve the environment or water quality or quantity.
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EXPLANATION: Matter added appears in bold italics.
Matter removed appears in [brackets].
Matter which is repealed and reenacted or all new appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the year of Our Lord one thousand
nine hundred and ninety-one
authorizing water users registered and reporting
their use to the division of water resources,
department of environmental services,
to continue such use.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Represen-
tatives in General Court convened:
1 New Sections; Private Rights, Registered Water Users. Amend RSA 481 by inserting after section 3 the following new section:
481:3-a Private Rights; Registered Water Users.
I. Except as provided in paragraph III, for purposes of the doctrine of public trust, water users registered with and reporting use or withdrawal with the water resources division of the department of environmental services, pursuant to 1983, 402:1, V, as recodified to RSA 482:3, III, as amended, and their successors and assigns, are authorized to take water in an amount not to exceed their maximum recorded use or withdrawal as reported to the division before July 1, 1991.
II. If the commissioner of the department of environmental services
determines that cessation, reduction or other modification of such use or withdrawal is necessary for the preservation of environmental quality, protection of water quality, regulation of water quantity, or protection of habitat, the registered water user shall, pursuant to written notice and order, cease, reduce or modify its use or withdrawal as directed, provided that such order shall expire after 10 days unless during such 10-day period a public hearing is held by the department and a decision is made to extend such order. The commissioner shall adopt rules, under RSA 541-A, establishing criteria and procedures for issuing such orders, for such special hearings, and for making such decisions.
III. This section shall not affect any private rights of registered water users in water bodies or the rights of water users operating pursuant to specific grants of legislative authority for water use or withdrawal, and shall not relieve registered water users, or their successors and assigns, from compliance with laws or rules under the state's police power.
2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect July 1, 1991.
FISCAL NOTE for an act authorizing water users registered and reporting their use to the division of water resources, department of environmental services, to continue such use.
The Department of Environmental Services indicates that state and local expenditures may increase by an undeterminable amount. Local revenues may decrease by an undeterminable amount. There is no fiscal impact on state and county revenues nor county expenditures.
The department states that the cost of rulemaking can be absorbed within its existing budget. Cost of issuing orders, holding hearings, etc. may require part time effort of one professional and one clerical position. The breakdown of costs is as follows:
LG 26 @ .5 yr. $19,062 + $5,337 = $24,400
LG 11 @ .5 yr. $10,033 + $2,809 = 12,842
Miscellaneous (phone, postage,copies) 2,805
If an order is issued to reduce or cease water use by a municipality, an unknown expense may result from decreased water sales and the need for alternate supplies - the cost of which cannot be estimated.