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02/12/2008

Utah - Utah State Engineer Jerry Olds and his staff handle about 6000 cases involving water rights every year, which has prompted State Senator Dennis Stowell of Parowan to introduce SB85, a bill to create a policymaking board intended to speed up the process for individual landowners. Stowell's proposed Water Rights Board would set fees, make rules, review final decisions made by Olds or the Division of Water Rights, and require the governor to appoint a state engineer from a list of nominations submitted by the board. Olds objected that a board would only slow things up more. Other critics said that more lawyers would be needed if individuals had to show the board proof that they were actively developing their water rights for a "beneficial use," as required by state law.

  - summary by Louise Shaler
Source: Deseret Morning News by Stephen Speckman