Water rights weekly report for January 9. For much more news and detail, see the National Water Rights Digest.
Allocation protested. St. Johns Riverkeeper, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Silver Springs Alliance, and Ocala resident Alice Gardiner jointly on January 9 asked for a formal administrative hearing to contest the issuance of the Sleepy Creek Ranch Consumptive Use Permit for an 84% increase in its water allocation. Two years ago, the St. Johns River Water Management District staff recommended denial of the permit request from Marion County, Florida, based on anticipated adverse effects on spring flows and a determination that an “increase in allocation of 1.12 mgd of groundwater is not consistent with the public interest….”
Streamlining. The Texas legislator who introduced a water rights streamlining measure in November said in January indicated he hopes that the push to amend environmental processes may move his measure forward in the new year. Senator Van Taylor, R-Plano, has introduced regulatory streamlining measures before. The new water measures add to the list.
Wyoming rights sale. Sasol synfuels of South Africa said in January that it plans to sell water rights, among other things, in its holdings around Lake DeSmet in Wyoming. The Wyoming Water Development Commission was reported to be considering purchase of the rights, which would be part of the sale of the M&M Ranch, a holding running to 13,000 acres.
Groundwater fee. A Beaverton legislator as produced legislation – in the form of three bills – to impose a fee on groundwater use, with revenues to be used for detailed study of the state’s groundwater status. Representative Ken Helm, D-Beaverton, said that the groundwater picture in Oregon, especially in the arid parts of the state, needs to be filed in.