One type of use of a water right is for recreational use. K.A.R. 5-1-1 defines
“recreational use” as “use of water in accordance with a water right that provides entertainment, enjoyment, relaxation, and fish and wildlife benefits.”
A recreational water right is commonly pursued for hunting and fishing purposes. For example, one may wish to pump groundwater from a specified diversion point for the purpose of flooding a pond for duck hunting. The pond would thus be the place of use.
A recreational water right must be developed like any water right. An applicant must seek a permit. A separate and distinct face sheet must be completed for a recreational water right. For someone coming from a perspective of loving the outdoors, a recreational water right is a vital tool.
An important bill is being debated regarding assessment caps for groundwater management districts. That bill is SB 194. Groundwater management districts can impose assessments on landowners in the respective district, along with charges on appropriators of water. Right now those assessments are capped.
The problem is that several groundwater districts simply cannot meet operating expenses given the current assessment caps. Thus, the groundwater districts, along with support from other entities, are lobbying to change the caps.
SB 194 will increase the capped rates from $1 to $1.50 for water used within the respective groundwater management district. It will also increase the rate from $1.50 to $2 if more than 50 percent of the water is used outside the district.
The bill also doubles the assessments on land owned within the district. The bill has already passed the Senate and is now before the House for consideration.