Exempt Well Issues in the West

By Bracken, Nathan | Environmental Law, Winter 2010 | Go to article overview

Exempt Well Issues in the West


Bracken, Nathan, Environmental Law


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  I. INTRODUCTION
 II. STATUTORY AND REGULATORY AUTHORITY REGARDING EXEMPT WELLS AND
     EXEMPT WELL DRILLING
     A. Alaska
        1. Exemption
        2. Drilling
     B. Arizona
        1. Exemption
        2. Subdivisions
        3. Drilling
     C. California
        1. No Exemption
        2. Subdivisions
        3. Drilling
     D. Colorado
        1. Exemption
        2. Subdivisions
        3. Drilling
     E. Idaho
        1. Exemption
        2. Subdivisions
        3. Drilling
     F. Kansas
        1. Exemption
        2. Drilling
     G. Montana
        1. Exemption
        2. Subdivisions
        3. Drilling
     H. Nebraska
        1. Exemption
        2. Drilling
     I. Nevada
        1. Exemption
        2. Subdivisions
        3. Drilling
     J. New Mexico
        1. Exception
        2. Subdivisions
        3. Drilling
     K. North Dakota
        1. Exemption
        2. Drilling
     L. Oklahoma
        1. Exemption
        2. Drilling
     M. Oregon
        1. Exemption
        2. Drilling
     N. South Dakota
        1. Exemption
        2. Drilling
     O. Texas
        1. Exemption
        2. Subdivisions
        3. Drilling
     P. Utah
        1. No Exemption
        2. How Utah Administers Its Domestic and Stock
           Permitting Processes
        3. Subdivisions
        4. Drilling
     Q. Washington
        1. Exemption
        2. Subdivisions
        3. Drilling
     R. Wyoming
        1. Exemption
        2. How Wyoming Administers Its Domestic and Stock
           Permitting Processes
        3. Subdivisions
        4. Drilling
III. HOW EXEMPT WELLS CAN COMPLICATE OR COMPROMISE WATER RESOURCES
     ALLOCATION, ADMINISTRATION, AND QUALITY
     A. Water Resources Allocation
        1. The Cumulative Effect of Many Exempt Wells May Equal the
           Impact of a Single Large Withdrawal
        2. The Impacts of Exempt Wells upon Surface Flows, Habitats,
            and Aquifers
        3. The Potential Impact of Exempt Wells upon Water Rights
        4. Well Owners May Lack the Hydrologic Knowledge and
           Engineering Expertise to Develop a Long-Term Water Supply
     B. Administration
        1. There Is a Lack of Information Regarding Exempt Wells
        2. There Is a Lack of Administrative Resources for Exempt Well
           Monitoring and Enforcement.
        3. The Challenges of Quantifying the Impacts of Exempt Wells
        4. "Exempt "Subdivisions
        5. Exempt Wells Are Not Subject to Conservation Efforts
        6. Coordination Among Agencies
     C. Potential Water Quality Problems
        1. Naturally Occurring inorganic Contaminants
        2. Nitrification of Groundwater Supplies
        3. Pesticides
        4. Contamination Related to Well Maintenance and Construction
        5. Seawater intrusion
        6. Wastewater and Septic Tanks
 IV. SPECIFIC CHALLENGES WSWC MEMBER STATES FACE WITH RESPECT TO
     EXEMPT WELLS
     A. Arizona
        1. Managing Exempt Wells Within Active Management
           Areas (AMAs)
        2. Water Quality
     B. Colorado
        1. Legal Questions
     C. Idaho
        1. General Challenges
        2. Admiministrative Challenges
        3. Exempt Well Use in Subdivisions
        4. Issues for Further Discussion
     D. Montana
        1. Exempt Well Use in Subdivisions
        2. Groundwater Ponds
     E. Nevada
        1. Data Regarding Domestic Well Numbers
        2. Water Quality
        3. Protecting Domestic Well Owners
     F. New Mexico
        1. New Mexico's Sixth Judicial District Court Ruling
        2. Development on Land Where the Appurtenant Water Rights Have
           Been Severed
     G. Oregon
        1. Land-Use Laws Restricting Development in Rural Areas
     H. Washington
        1. Use of "Six Pack" Group Domestic Wells in Subdivisions
        2. Whether Washington 's Stock Watering Exemption Is Limited
           or Unlimited
  V. … 

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