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45-467 Withdrawals In Excess Of Irrigation Grandfathered Right; Withdrawals Less Than Irrigation Grandfathered Right; Flexibility Account; Conveyances; Variance; Exemption

45-467. Withdrawals in excess of irrigation grandfathered right; withdrawals less than irrigation grandfathered right; flexibility account; conveyances; variance; exemption

A. A person who is entitled to use groundwater pursuant to an irrigation grandfathered right may:

1. In an active management area other than the Santa Cruz active management area, use groundwater in excess of the amount allowed by the right in an amount determined pursuant to subsection I of this section.

2. In the Santa Cruz active management area, use water, other than stored water, withdrawn from a well in excess of the farm's current irrigation water duty multiplied by the farm's water duty acres in an amount determined pursuant to subsection J of this section.

3. Use less than the amount allowed by the right in one accounting period and use the remaining amount allowed by the right in a succeeding accounting period or periods.

B. The director shall establish rules for the maintenance of a flexibility account for each farm in an active management area.

C. If a farm located in an active management area other than the Santa Cruz active management area is irrigated solely with groundwater, the director shall:

1. Register a debit to the account in any accounting period in which the amount of groundwater used for the irrigation of the irrigation acres in the farm is greater than the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm.

2. Register a credit to the account in any accounting period in which the amount of groundwater used for the irrigation of the irrigation acres in the farm is less than the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm.

D. Except as provided in subsection G of this section, if a farm located in an active management area other than the Santa Cruz active management area is irrigated with a combination of surface water or effluent, or both, and groundwater, and uses of water by the farm from all sources for irrigation purposes, except for surface water, other than Colorado river water, released for beneficial use from storage, diversion or distribution facilities to avoid spilling that would otherwise occur due to uncontrolled surface water inflows that exceed facility capacity, in the accounting period:

1. Exceed the amount of the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm, the amount of groundwater used up to the amount of the excess, less any effluent used, shall be registered as a debit to the account.

2. Are less than the amount of the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm, the amount of water not used which would have been groundwater shall be registered as a credit to the account.

E. If a farm located in the Santa Cruz active management area is irrigated solely with water, other than stored water, withdrawn from a well, the director shall:

1. Register a debit to the account in any accounting period in which the amount of water, other than stored water, withdrawn from a well and used for the irrigation of the irrigation acres in the farm is greater than the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm. The amount of the debit shall equal the amount of the excess.

2. Register a credit to the account in any accounting period in which the amount of water, other than stored water, withdrawn from a well and used for the irrigation of the irrigation acres in the farm is less than the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm.

F. If a farm located in the Santa Cruz active management area is irrigated with a combination of surface water not withdrawn from a well and effluent, or both, and water, other than stored water, withdrawn from a well, and uses of water by the farm from all sources for irrigation purposes in the accounting period:

1. Exceed the amount of the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm, the amount of water, other than stored water, withdrawn from a well and used on the farm up to the amount of the excess, less any effluent used that does not qualify as stored water, shall be registered as a debit to the account.

2. Are less than the amount of the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm, the amount of water not used which would have been water, other than stored water, withdrawn from a well shall be registered as a credit to the account.

G. Beginning January 1, 1995 through December 31, 1999, if a farm that qualifies under this subsection as determined pursuant to subsection H of this section is irrigated during an accounting period with a combination of surface water or effluent, or both, and groundwater, and uses of water by the farm from all sources for irrigation purposes, except for surface water, other than Colorado river water, released for beneficial use from storage, diversion or distribution facilities to avoid spilling that would otherwise occur due to uncontrolled surface water inflows that exceed facility capacity, in the accounting period:

1. Exceed the amount of the first intermediate irrigation water duty established for the farm pursuant to section 45-565 multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm, the amount of groundwater used up to the amount of the excess, less any effluent used, shall be registered as a debit to the account.

2. Are less than the amount of the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm, the amount of water not used that would have been groundwater shall be registered as a credit to the account.

3. Exceed or equal the amount of the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm but are less than or equal to the amount of the first intermediate irrigation water duty established for the farm pursuant to section 45-565 multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm, no credit or debit may be registered to the account.

H. A farm qualifies under subsection G of this section if it is located in an active management area other than the Santa Cruz active management area and either of the following applies:

1. The amount of groundwater used to irrigate the farm during the accounting period does not exceed an amount computed by multiplying the water duty acres in the farm by one and one-half acre-feet of water, except that an electrical district organized under title 48, chapter 12 or an irrigation district may apply to the director no later than March 31 of a year for an increase in that amount for that year for the farms located within the boundaries of the district that do not qualify under paragraph 2 of this subsection. The director shall grant the increase if the district demonstrates that it holds a contract for the purchase of hydroelectric power marketed by the western area power administration or the Arizona power authority and that the use of groundwater during that year by all of the farms within the boundaries of the district that do not qualify under paragraph 2 of this subsection in an amount that does not exceed one and one-half acre-feet of water multiplied by the total number of water duty acres of those farms would result in the district being unable to use its hydroelectric power capacity entitlement under the contract. If the director grants the increase, the director shall compute the maximum amount of groundwater that may be used by a farm within the district during the year in order to qualify under subsection G of this section as follows:

(a) Determine the total amount of groundwater that must be used during the year by all farms in the district that do not qualify under paragraph 2 of this subsection to enable the district to efficiently use its hydroelectric kilowatt demand allocation.

(b) Divide the amount determined in subdivision (a) of this paragraph by the total number of water duty acres of the farms in the district that do not qualify under paragraph 2 of this subsection.

(c) Multiply the farm's water duty acres by the quotient in subdivision (b) of this paragraph or two acre-feet of water, whichever is less.

2. The farm is irrigated with water supplied by an irrigation district that owns or leases and operates all of the wells used to withdraw groundwater for irrigation use within the district, and the total amount of groundwater supplied by the irrigation district for irrigation use during the year does not exceed an amount computed by multiplying the total number of water duty acres within the irrigation district by one and one-half acre-feet of water, except that the irrigation district or an electrical district organized under title 48, chapter 12 may apply to the director no later than March 31 of a year for an increase in that amount for that year for the farms located within the boundaries of the irrigation district. The director shall grant the increase if the irrigation district or electrical district demonstrates that it holds a contract for the purchase of hydroelectric power marketed by the western area power administration or the Arizona power authority and that the irrigation district or electrical district would be unable to use its hydroelectric power capacity entitlement under the contract if the total amount of groundwater supplied by the irrigation district for irrigation use during the year does not exceed an amount computed by multiplying the total number of water duty acres within the irrigation district by one and one-half acre-feet of water. If the director grants the increase, the maximum amount of groundwater that may be supplied by the irrigation district for irrigation use during the year in order for the farms located within the boundaries of the irrigation district to qualify under subsection G of this section shall be the lesser of the following:

(a) The amount of groundwater that the director determines must be supplied by the irrigation district for irrigation use during the year to enable the irrigation district or electrical district to efficiently use its hydroelectric kilowatt demand allocation.

(b) An amount of groundwater computed by multiplying the total number of water duty acres within the irrigation district by two acre-feet of water.

I. The maximum excess amount of groundwater that may be used pursuant to this section is equal to fifty per cent of the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm. An owner of an irrigation grandfathered right and the person using groundwater pursuant to the right violate this section if the flexibility account for the farm in which the irrigation acres to which the right is appurtenant are located is in arrears at any time in excess of this amount. Groundwater equal to the credit balance in the flexibility account may be used at any time.

J. In the Santa Cruz active management area, the maximum excess amount of water, other than stored water, withdrawn from a well that may be used pursuant to this section is equal to fifty per cent of the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm. A person using water, other than stored water, withdrawn from a well for an irrigation use in the Santa Cruz active management area violates this section if the flexibility account for the farm is in arrears at any time in excess of this amount. Water, other than stored water, withdrawn from a well in an amount equal to the credit balance in the flexibility account may be used at any time, except that if the water is surface water, the amount that may be used shall not exceed the amount allowed by the decreed or appropriative surface water right.

K. If an irrigation grandfathered right is conveyed for an irrigation use pursuant to section 45-472, each acre conveyed shall carry with it a proportional share of any debits or credits in the flexibility account for the farm. If an irrigation grandfathered right is conveyed for a non-irrigation use pursuant to section 45-472, each acre conveyed shall carry with it a proportional share of any debits in the flexibility account for the farm.

L. A person in an active management area other than the Santa Cruz active management area who is using groundwater pursuant to an irrigation grandfathered right and who is operating under a variance to the irrigation water duty pursuant to section 45-574:

1. May accumulate a maximum debit in an amount equal to fifty per cent of the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm.

2. Shall accumulate credits pursuant to subsection C or D of this section.

M. A person in the Santa Cruz active management area who is using water, other than stored water, withdrawn from a well for an irrigation use and who is operating under a variance to the irrigation water duty pursuant to section 45-574:

1. May accumulate a maximum debit in an amount equal to fifty per cent of the current irrigation water duty for the farm multiplied by the water duty acres in the farm.

2. Shall accumulate credits pursuant to subsection E or F of this section.

N. In an active management area other than the Santa Cruz active management area, a person using groundwater pursuant to an irrigation grandfathered right shall file a report with the director each year which shall include the amount of groundwater used pursuant to the irrigation grandfathered right and such other information as the director shall require. In the Santa Cruz active management area, a person using water, other than stored water, withdrawn from a well for irrigation use shall file a report with the director each year which shall include the amount of water used on the farm and such other information as the director shall require. The director may consolidate the reporting requirements of this section with the reporting requirements of section 45-632. A person using groundwater pursuant to an irrigation grandfathered right that is regulated under a best management practices program adopted by the director, pursuant to section 45-566.02, subsection F, section 45-567.02, subsection G or section 45-568.02, subsection F, is exempt from the reporting requirements of this subsection for groundwater used pursuant to the irrigation grandfathered right, except that the person shall file a report with the director each year that includes the information required by the best management practices program. A person using groundwater pursuant to an irrigation grandfathered right that is appurtenant to ten or fewer irrigation acres is exempt from the reporting requirements of this subsection for groundwater used pursuant to the irrigation grandfathered right unless one of the following applies:

1. The land to which the irrigation grandfathered right is appurtenant is part of an integrated farming operation.

2. Groundwater is withdrawn from the land to which the irrigation grandfathered right is appurtenant and delivered for use pursuant to either a service area right pursuant to article 6 of this chapter or a grandfathered groundwater right other than an irrigation grandfathered right that is appurtenant to irrigation acres that are exempt from irrigation water duties pursuant to section 45-563.02.

3. Groundwater is withdrawn from land that is both owned by the owner of the irrigation grandfathered right and contiguous to the land to which the irrigation grandfathered right is appurtenant and delivered for use pursuant to either a service area right pursuant to article 6 of this chapter or a grandfathered groundwater right other than an irrigation grandfathered right that is appurtenant to irrigation acres that are exempt from irrigation water duties pursuant to section 45-563.02.

O. A person who owns an irrigation grandfathered right that is appurtenant to irrigation acres that were capable of being irrigated as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year and whose farm has registered a credit balance to its flexibility account may convey or sell all or a portion of the credit balance to any person, including the conveyor or seller of the credit balance, who owns another irrigation grandfathered right or who uses groundwater pursuant to another irrigation grandfathered right, except that:

1. A credit balance that is registered to the flexibility account of a farm located within an irrigation district may be transferred only to:

(a) The flexibility account of a farm that is located within the same irrigation district.

(b) The flexibility account of a farm that is located outside of that irrigation district if both farms are located in the same groundwater subbasin and the same active management area and if the farm to which the credits are conveyed is owned or leased by the owner or lessee of the farm from which the credits are conveyed.

2. A credit balance that is registered to the flexibility account of a farm that is not located within an irrigation district may be transferred only to:

(a) The flexibility account of a farm that is located within the same groundwater subbasin and the same active management area and that is not located within an irrigation district.

(b) The flexibility account of a farm that is located within the same groundwater subbasin and the same active management area and that is located within an irrigation district if the farm to which the credits are conveyed is owned or leased by the owner or lessee of the farm from which the credits are conveyed.

3. A credit registered to a flexibility account for a year may be conveyed or sold only during the second calendar year following the year for which the credit was registered.

4. A person who owns a farm that includes protected farmland may not sell or otherwise convey any credit registered to the farm's flexibility account.

P. A person who sells or conveys all or a portion of a credit balance pursuant to subsection O of this section, and the person to whom the credit balance is sold or conveyed, shall notify the director of the sale or conveyance within thirty days after the sale or conveyance on a form prescribed and furnished by the director.

Q. The director shall establish and collect a reasonable fee from the conveyee or purchaser of a credit balance pursuant to subsection O of this section to cover the cost of administrative services and other expenses associated with registering a deduction to the conveyor's or seller's flexibility account balance and an addition to the conveyee's or purchaser's flexibility account balance pursuant to subsection R of this section. The conveyee or purchaser shall pay the fee at the time the notice required pursuant to subsection P of this section is given to the director. The director shall deposit, pursuant to sections 35-146 and 35-147, all fees received under this subsection in the water resources fund established by section 45-117.

R. A sale or conveyance of all or part of a credit balance under subsection O of this section is effective only if the director receives the notice required by subsection P of this section and the fee required by subsection Q of this section within thirty days after the sale or conveyance. After receiving the notice and the fee, the director shall register a deduction of the credit amount conveyed or sold from the conveyor's or seller's flexibility account balance and the corresponding addition to the conveyee's or purchaser's flexibility account balance. The deduction and addition to the flexibility account balances are effective as of the date of the sale or conveyance.

S. The director shall report to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives no later than June 30, 2002 on the effect of conveyances of flexibility account credit balances pursuant to subsection O, paragraph 2 of this section on the achievement of the management goal of each active management area as stated in section 45-562 and on the conservation program included in the management plan for each active management area as provided in section 45-565, and any recommended changes to subsection O, paragraph 2 of this section.

T. Except for subsection N of this section, this section does not apply to:

1. A farm if the person entitled to use groundwater on the farm is exempt from the irrigation water duties established for the farm as provided in section 45-563.02, subsection A or if the director may not establish irrigation water duties for the farm as provided in section 45-563.02, subsection B.

2. A farm if water use within the farm is regulated under a best management practices program adopted by the director pursuant to section 45-566.02, subsection F, section 45-567.02, subsection G or section 45-568.02, subsection F.

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Local Government
Arizona
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Doug Ducey
Doug Ducey
January 5, 2015 -
Republican
602-926-3620
1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ, 85007

Keywords
water
irrigation
farm
duty
groundwater
acres
area
multiplied
right
management