The 2008 Idaho Legislature pass the following bills affecting the Northern Idaho Adjudications.
Senate Bill No. 1354 — Northern Idaho Adjudications Petition, Defer Rights
The purpose of this legislation is to amend Idaho Code § 42-1406B to defer participation in the northern Idaho water adjudications of individual domestic water users and request the commencement order be issued only if the court determines it is possible to defer the adjudication of domestic and stock water users. In other Idaho water adjudications, the court was able to defer domestic water users and they were not mandated to participate. This would make the treatment of northern Idaho citizens equal to the treatment afforded other Idahoans in the adjudication of water rights.
Senate Bill No. 1352 — Water Rights Claim, Filing Fee Reduced
The purpose of this legislation is to restore the funding levels for fees for filing notice of claims for water adjudication to the point they were at prior to the passing of the Northern Idaho Adjudication (NIA), which was a driving factor in the increase. Northerners have expressed concern that the doubling of fees is unfair and that they should pay the same amount as southerners did during the Snake River adjudication. This legislation accomplishes that leveling and fairness. Additionally, this legislation caps the filing fee for power generation projects at a maximum of $250,000 each. Amending this fee structure relieves utility customers of excessive filing fees while still providing adequate resources to IDWR and the court to adjudicate northern Idaho water rights claims.
Senate Bill No. 1418 — Northern Idaho Water Adjudications, Excludes Basin 98
The purpose of this legislation is to clarify that the definition of the waters of northern Idaho contained in Idaho Code § 42-1406B does not extend to IDWR administrative basin 98. Inclusion of basin 98 is not required for purposes of adjudication of the other waters of northern Idaho. Given the absence of current water conflicts within this basin and the complexity of addressing international issues within this basin, there is no compelling reason to proceed immediately with the adjudication of the water rights within administrative basin 98.