Current law specifies that an appropriation of water cannot be based on speculation. Speculation may be evidenced by either of the following:
- The applicant for an appropriation of water does not have either a legally vested interest or a reasonable expectation of procuring such an interest in the lands or facilities to be served by the appropriation, unless the appropriator is a governmental agency or an agent in fact for the persons proposed to be benefited by the appropriation; or
- The applicant does not have a specific plan and intent to divert, store, or otherwise capture, possess, and control a specific quantity of water for specific beneficial uses.
The act requires the executive director of the department of natural resources to convene a work group to explore ways to strengthen current anti-speculation law and to report to the water resources review committee by August 15, 2021, regarding any recommended changes.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)