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Idaho Change Application (19-ID-b)

A water right transfer is a change to a water right's point of diversion, place of use, period of use, and/or nature of use. Where the developer owns a water right, but needs to change the point of diversion and/or place, period, or nature of use, the developer must request a water right transfer by submitting an application and supporting documentation to the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR). The developer's transfer must not injure the rights of other existing water users.

Change Application Process

19-ID-b.1 – Application to Change the Point of Diversion, Place of Use, Period of Use, or Nature of Use

In accordance with Idaho Code 42-222, any water right holder wishing to change the point of diversion, place of use, period of use, or nature of use of their water right must first make an application to the Idaho Department of Water Resources for approval of such a change. These applications are typically called “change applications.”

For a list of necessary forms, see the Water Rights Applications, Forms & Fees webpage.

19-ID-b.2 to 19-ID-b.3 – Examine Application and Provide Public Notice

Upon receipt of a change application and satisfactory filing fee, the Director of IDWR will examine the application, obtain any consent necessary under Idaho Code 42-108, and provide public notice under Idaho Code 42-203(a). The public notice must specify:

  • The number of the applicant;
  • The date of the filing;
  • The name and post-office address of the applicant;
  • The source of water supply;
  • The amount of water the to be appropriated;
  • The nature of the proposed use;
  • The approximate location of the point of diversion; and
  • The point of use.

The public notice must be published in a newspaper printed within the county where the point of diversion lies, or in the event no newspaper is printed within the county, then in a newspaper of general circulation within the county. If the application proposes a diversion in excess of ten c.f.s. or one thousand acre feet, the notice must be published in a newspaper(s) sufficient to achieve statewide circulation. The IDWR must publish the notice at least once each week for two consecutive weeks and allow the notice to be accessible from the IDWR's internet homepage beginning on or before the date in which the notice is first published in a newspaper.

Public notice must advise anyone who desires that any protest to the change application must be filed within 10-days of the last date of publication.

19-ID-b.4 to 19-ID-b.5 – Was a Protest Filed During the Public Comment Period

If any protest if filed, the Administrator must investigate each protest and hold a hearing to address the issues raised (I.C. 42-222).

19-ID-b.6 – Notify Director of IDWR of His Recommendation on the Application

The Watermaster of the District in which the water is use of the proposed change will be notified by IDWR of the proposed activity and all comments/protests filed during the public comment period. The Watermaster is then required to notify the director of IDWR of his recommendation on the application. IDWR may not make a final determination on the change action until it has received from the Watermaster his recommendation (I.C. 42-222).

19-ID-b.7 – Does the Change Injure Other Water Rights or the Public Interest

IDWR will examine all the evidence including the application, any protests, evidence from the public hearing, the Watermaster’s recommendation, and any other evidence presented. The application may be approved, changed in whole or in part, approved with conditions, or denied outright.

IDWR will approve applications “provided no other water rights are injured thereby, the change does not constitute an enlargement in use of the original right, the change is consistent with Idaho Code 42-202B, the change will not adversely affect the local economy of the watershed or local area within which the source of water for the proposed use originates…and the new use is a beneficial use” (I.C. 42-222).

19-ID-b.8 – Send Copy of Approved Application for Change to Applicant

A copy of the approved change application will be returned to the applicant upon a approval and he will then be authorized to make the proposed change. The original water right is presumed to have been amended by reason of this change.

If IDWR decides to deny the application, the Director will deny the application through a forward notice of such action to the applicant by certified mail. This decision is subject to judicial review as provided in Idaho Code Title 42, Chapter 15.

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Contact Information

Edit Idaho Department of Water Resources
Water Access and Water Rights Issues Contact 208.287.4947 shelleyabbazabbakeen@idwrabbazabbaidahoabbazabbagov Visit Website