Title: Proposal for Implementing the Water Policy of Mississippi
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Title: Proposal for Implementing the Water Policy of Mississippi
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Language: English
Publisher: The Mississippi Water Resources Policy Commisssion
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Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Richard Hamann's Collection - Proposal for Implementing the Water Policy of Mississippi
General Note: Box 12, Folder 2 ( Water Resources Reports - Various States - 1955 - 1957 ), Item 11
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00002940
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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Full Text









Proposal For Implementing

The Water Policy of Mississippi





A SUPPLEMENT TO:

Water For The Future

Mississippi





REPORT OF
THE MISSISSIPPI WATER RESOURCES
POLICY COMMISSION

Submitted to
THE MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE
1956


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MISSISSIPPI
WATER RESOURCES POLICY COMMISSION
JACKSON. MISSISSIPPI

To the Governor and to the 1956 Legislature of Mississippi:

Pursuant to an Act of the 1954 Legislature and in compliance
with its provisions, the Mississippi Water Resources Policy Com-
mission released a report on October 15, 1955, entitled "Water For
The Future In Mississippi." That report set forth the results of a
year's study into Mississippi water problems.
In the letter transmitting that report, the Commission point-
ed out that it contained basic information on water problems of
Mississippi and analyses of those data, together with findings, con-
clusions and broad recommendations.
This second report, referred to in the October 15th report,
contains specific suggestions in the form of a legislative proposal.
In developing the proposal, the Commission has received valuable
assistance from many organizations and groups in the State; and
in the opinion of the Commission, the proposal represents a sound
basic water policy for the State and practicable means of imple-
menting the policy at this time. The Commission emphasizes that
the solution of water problems in the State will call for continuing
study and the development of additional legislative and other pro-
grams over the years.
For these reasons, the Commission respectfully requests con-
sideration of the proposal contained herein and favorable action up-
on it by the Governor and by the 1956 Legislature.

Respectfully submitted,

Sam A. Thompson,
Chairman.














SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT
Mississippi is blessed with an overall abundance of water,
but its occurrence varies so much as to time, place, amount and
quality in relation to our needs that we have serious shortage prob-
lems where the casual observer might conclude that an adequate
supply exists at all times.
In our early history our citizens concerned themselves more
with getting rid of excess water than with conserving it for benefi-
cial use, because of the simple agrarian needs of those times. Thus,
our early programs were concerned mainly with drainage, flood
control, and navigation.
But in the last decades our interest has centered more on
development and conservation of supplies for beneficial use. Shifts
in population, additional use by major water users, and new uses
for water in many fields have focused our attention on the need to
maintain a balance between supply and demand through develop-
ment, wise use, conservation and protection of water sources.
Then the recurring droughts of the early '50s brought to the
attention of many water users that local shortages of water and
competition for supplies had actually become a more acute problem
in Mississippi than was generally realized.
In 1953 a number of organizations in the State joined to-
gether and formed the Mississippi Inter-Organizational Committee
on Water Resources, including representatives of agricultural, in-
dustrial, municipal and recreational, groups, the four major water
users.
After study and analysis, this Committee published its find-
ings and recommendations in a report entitled "The Beneficial Use
of Water in Mississippi," and submitted it to the Governor, the
Legislature and the people of Mississippi. It suggested, among oth-
er things, that the Legislture declare the policy of the State in
regard to water in the State and appoint a commission to study into
the matter of implementation.
The 1954 Legislature passed House Bill No. 7, "An Act to
provide for the preservation of existing valid rights in the use of
water; to provide for the appointment of a commission, to be known
as the Mississippi Water Resources Policy Commission, to conduct
a study into the matter of a State water policy and of implementa-














tion of the policy; to require the commission to report its findings
and recommendations to the next session of the legislature."

In the time available to it, this Commission has made a rath-
er comprehensive study of Mississippi's physical and legal water
problems.

The results of the study and the Commission's findings,
conclusions and broad recommendations are given in a previous
report entitled "Water For The Future In Mississippi," released
October 15, 1955. In carrying out the study and in analyzing and
summarizing the resulting data, many organizations, agencies and
groups provided much valuable assistance which the Commission
gratefully acknowledges. Helpful assistance was rendered by the
Mississippi Inter-Organizational Committee on Water Resources,
composed of representatives of the following organizations:

Mississippi Association of Soil Conservation
District Commissioners
Mississippi Association of Supervisors
Mississippi Bankers Association
Mississippi Economic Council
Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
Mississippi Forestry Association
Mississippi Manufacturers Association
Mississippi Municipal Association
Mississippi Press Association
Mississippi Wildlife Federation
State Junior Chamber of Commerce
State Soil Conservation Committee
The Delta Council

Other agencies, institutions, and organizations provided valu-
able help by designating members to serve on fact-finding com-
mittees and as advisors. They include:
U. S. Corps of Engineers
U. S. Farmers Home Administration
U. S. Forest Service
U. S. Geological Survey
U. S. Soil Conservation Service
U. S. Weather Bureau















Millsaps College
Mississippi State College
University of Mississippi
Mississippi Forestry Commission
Mississippi Game & Fish Commission
Mississippi Geological Survey
State Agricultural Workers Coordinating Council
Also, representatives of industries, municipalities and county
agricultural workers coordinating councils cooperated very effec-
tively in answering questionnaires on water use, water-use trends
and other problems.
The findings, conclusions and broad recommendations con-
tained in the Commission's report "Water For The Future In Mis-
sissippi" are not binding on the organizations, agencies and groups
which assisted the Commission in its study.
Prior to the release of this report, Commission members held
a series of fourteen meetings over the State at which time the tenta-
tive findings, conclusions, and broad recommendations were dis-
cussed. The Commission is grateful to those organization repre-
sentatives, individuals and members of the Legislature who attend-
ed the meetings and offered suggestions. Their suggestions helped
the Commission improve the data and conclusions in the first re-
port; and their contributions were given careful consideration in
preparing the legislative proposal which follows in this report.
In a further effort to provide the 1956 Legislature with as
sound and complete recommendations as possible, the Commission
asked the Mississippi Bar Association to appoint a committee to
assist with preparation of specific recommendations in the form
of a legislative proposal. After the data contained in the first re-
port, the Commission's findings, conclusions and recommendations
and other materials had been reviewed with this Committee, it, in
cooperation with the Attorney General's Office, prepared a tenta-
tive draft which was studied jointly by the Commission and Com-
mittee members.
The assistance of this Committee appointed by the Missis-
sippi Bar Association in drafting the legislative proposal does not
constitute an endorsement by the Bar Association.
In the opinion of members of the Commission, the proposal
embodies its broad recommendations, and is a good beginning to-













LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF
THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. a. Declaration of Policy: It is hereby declared
that the general welfare of the people of the State of Mississippi
requires that the water resources of the State be put to beneficial
use to the fullest extent of which they are capable, and that the
waste or unreasonable use, or unreasonable method of use, of water
be prevented, and that the conservation of such water be exercised
with the view to the reasonable and beneficial use thereof in the
interest of the people, and that the public and private funds for
the promotion and expansion of the beneficial use of water re-
sources shall be invested to the end that the best interests and wel-
fare of the people is served.

b. Water occurring in any watercourse, lake or other na-
tural water body of the State, is hereby declared to be public waters
and public wealth of the State and subject to appropriation in ac-
cordance with the provisions of this Act, and the control and de-
velopment and use of water for all beneficial purposes shall be in
the State, which, in the exercise of its police powers, shall take such,
measures as shall effectuate full utilization and protection of the
water resources of Mississippi. Nothing in this Act shall deprive
any person of any vested right in the use of water.
SECTION 2. The words and phrases when used in this act
shall, for the purposes of this act, have the meanings respectively
ascribed to them in this Section, except in those instances where
the context clearly indicates a different meaning.
a. "Person"-Every natural person, firm, partnership, as-
sociation, cooperative, public and private corporations, irrigation
or other improvement district and any state or federal agency.
b. "Surface Water"-That water occurring on the surface of
the ground; and "Ground Water"-That water occurring beneath
the surface of the ground.
c. "Domestic Uses"-The use of water for ordinary house-
hold purposes, the watering of farm livestock, poultry and domestic
animals and the irrigation of home gardens and lawns.


















ward the orderly development of our water resources and the ulti-
mate solution of Mississippi water problems.
There has never been a forthright legislative declaration of
policy regarding the use of water resources. It is now necessary and
proper that a declaration of water policy be made in the interest
of orderly development, wise use, conservation and protection of
this our most basic natural resource.
The old rules of law adopted in the period of early settle-
ment of the State no longer suffice and must be modernized to bring
them abreast of the changing wants and needs of our people. The
health, welfare and safety of our people in an expanding economy
demand this.
The proposal herein contained is divided into thirty provi-
sions. But these may be grouped into two broad classes, namely;
substantive and procedural provisions. The procedural provisions
are designed to facilitate the orderly acquisition of new water rights
and the full protection of established lawful rights of use. All pro-
visions are designed to become operative under the sovereign or
police powers of the State as the instrument of regulation for the
common good.
Since surface waters do not conform to county or other local
political boundaries, any sound system of regulation and control
must be made statewide. Limitations have been written into the
proposal to assure that no action of the proposed Board may be
taken without full hearing-all in the interest of equity and fair-
ness to water users.
The entire proposal has been checked by competent legal au-
thorities who are convinced that it is within the framework of the
State Constitution.
We, the members of the Mississippi Water Resources Policy
Commission, offer the report "Water For The Future In Missis-
sippi" for your study; and we recommend favorable action on the
following proposal by the 1956 Legislature.
















d. "Municipal Use"-The use of water by a municipal gov-
ernment and the inhabitants thereof, primarily to promote the life,
safety, health, comfort and business pursuits of the inhabitants. It
does not include the irrigation of crops, although within the cor-
porate boundaries.

e. "Beneficial Use"-The application of water to a useful
purpose that inures to the benefit of the water, user and subject
to his dominion and control, but does not include the waste of
water.

f. "Appropriator"-The person who obtains a permit from
the Board authorizing him to take possession by diverson or other-
wise and to use and apply an allotted quantity of water for a de-
signated beneficial use, and who makes actual use of the water
for such purpose.

g. "Appropriation"-The use of a specific amount of water
at a specific time and at a specific place, authorized and allotted
by the Board for a designated beneficial purpose within the specific
limits as to quantity, time, place and rate of diversion and with-
drawal.

h. "Vested right"-The right to continue the use of water
having actually been applied to any beneficial use at the time of
the effective date of this act, or within three years thereto to the
extent of the beneficial use made therof. Provided, that it is not
the intent of this act that any person making use of any watercourse
for waste disposal or in pollution abatement, on the effective date
of this act, shall be construed as having any vested right to pollute
the waters of the watercourse.

"Vested right" shall include the right to take and use water
for beneficial purposes where a person is bona fide engaged in the
construction of works for the actual application of water to a bene-
ficial use at the time of the effective date of this act, provided such
works shall be completed and water is actually applied for such use
within three years after this act becomes effective, with extension
of not more than seven years in the discretion of the Board. It is
not the intent, however, to validate any claim to the use of water,
or for rights of construction looking to the use of water, not lawful
on the effective date of this act.














/"Vested right" shall include the right of any riparian land-
owner as defined in this act to take and use water for beneficial
purposes any time within ten years after effective date of this act
where such landowner shall indicate his intent so to do by filing a
f notice of such intent with the Board prior to the end of such ten
year period, and shall within ten years after effective date of the
S "act actually apply to beneficial purposes the water indicated in
his notice of intent. All notices of intent shall be filed with the Board
in accordance with its rules and regulations. It is not the intent to
validate any claim to the use of water not lawful on the effective
date of this act.

i. "Watercourse"-Any natural lake, river, creek, cut or oth-
er natural body of water or channel having definite banks and bed
with visible evidence of the flow or occurance of water.
j. "Established average minimum flow"-When reasonably
required for the purposes of this act, the Board shall determine and
establish the average minimum flow for a given stream at a given
point thereon. The "average minimum flow" as used in this act
shall be the average of the minimum daily flow occurring during
each of the five lowest years in the period of the preceding twenty
consecutive years. Such determinations shall be based upon avail-
able stream-flow data, supplemented, when available data is in-
complete, by reasonable calculations.
k. "Board"-The Board of Water Commissioners of the State
of Mississippi.
1. "Water engineer"-The water engineer of the Board of
Water Commissioners of the State of Mississippi.
m. "Riparian land"-Land lying within the watershed of a
natural watercourse, contiguous thereto and consisting of the small-
est tract held under one title in the chain of title leading to the
current owner.
SECTION 3. Nothing in this Act shall deprive any person
of any vested right in the use of water or interfere with any rela-
tionship between legal water-users established by contract; nor shall
any action of the Board materially affect the vested right or con-
tractual right of any person without his consent.












SECTION 4. a. After January 1, 1957, no right to appro-
priate or use water subject to appropriation shall be initiated or
acquired except upon compliance with the provisions of this Act,
and no person shall take water from a stream, lake or other water-
course without having a valid right to do so. Any person convicted
of violating the provisions hereof shall be fined not to exceed one
hundred dollars, or be imprisoned not to exceed thirty days, or
both, in the discretion of the court; provided however, nothing
herein shall interfere with the customary use of water for domestic
purposes, and the user of water for domestic purposes may elect
to establish a right to the use of such water under the procedures
provided in this Act; and provided, further, that nothing herein
shall operate to deprive any landowner of the right to the use of
the water from a spring arising on his land so long as such use does
h.ot interfere with the right of any water user below; and provided,
Further, that nothing herein shall interfere, with a landowner to
'7jl place a dam across a originates on his property so long as provision is made for continued
established average minimum stream flow, if and when such flow
is required to protect the rights of water users below.
b. Subject to the common law, or other lawful water rights
of others, any person may build and maintain a dam on any stream
having a minimum flow of not more than one-half million gallons of
water per day and utilize up to three hundred acre feet of the im-
pounded water without a permit from the Board so long as such
action does not affect the established average minimum flow in
the stream below the dam, and provided, however, that any such
person who seeks to build and maintain a dam on such stream
within the territorial limits of any watercourse lying in whole or in
part within a levee district duly constituted under the laws of this
State shall first obtain permission from the levee board of such
levee district.
.c. The Board shall have the authority to permit the ap-
propriation of water of any stream only in excess of the established
average minimum flow as based upon records or computations by
the Board; provided, however, exceptions may be made for domes-
tic and municipal users; and provided, further, that the Board may
authorize any appropriator to use the established minimum flow
upon written assurance that such water will be immediately return-














ed to the stream in substantially the same amount to insure the
maintenance at all times of the average minimum flow.
d. No appropriation of water shall be authorized that will
impair the effect of stream standards set under the pollution control
laws of this State based upon a minimum average stream flow.
SECTION 5. No water appropriation acquired pursuant to
law shall be declared forfeited and surrendered except by a court
of competent jurisdiction as other property rights are determined.
SECTION 6. The right of the appropriator and his success-
ors to the use of water shall terminate when he ceases for three
consecutive years to use it for the specific beneficial purpose au-
thorized in his permit or license; provided, however, that upon his
application prior to the expiration of said three year period for
extension of said permit or license, the Board may grant such ex-
tension without the loss of priority.
SECTION 7. Appropriation of surface waters of the State
shall not constitute absolute ownership or absolute rights of use of
such waters, but such waters shall remain subject to the principle
of beneficial use. It shall be the duty of the Board to approve all
applications made in such form as shall meet the requirements of
this Act and such rules and regulations as shall be promulgated
by the Board, and which contemplate the utilization of water for
beneficial purposes, within reasonable limitations, provided, the
proposed use does not prejudicially and unreasonably affect the
public interest. If it is determined that the proposed use of the wa-
ter sought to be appropriated is not for beneficial purposes, is not
within reasonable limitations, or would impair vested rights, prior
appropriations, or be detrimental to the public interest, it shall be
the duty of the Board to enter an order rejecting such application
or requiring its modification.
SECTION 8. For the administration of this Act there is
hereby created a Board of Water Commissioners of the State of
Mississippi, consisting of five members appointed by the Governor,
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, whose terms of
office shall be for a period of six years as follows: one from each
of the Supreme Court districts, and two from the state at large. At
all times the membership of said Board shall have represented on
it at least one member from each of the major types of water users


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in the state as follows: recreational, industrial, municipal, and ag-
ricultural. The chairman shall be elected by the members of the
Board

Provided, however, in the first appointment of the member-
ship of said Board, the terms of said offices shall be as follows:
two members shall be appointed for a term of two years, two mem-
bers shall be appointed for a term of four years, one member shall
be appointed for a term of six years. Thereafter, the term of ap-
pointment for each member shall be for a term of six years.

SECTION 9. The Governor shall call a meeting of the Board
within thirty (30) days after its appointment. At such first meeting
the Board shall elect one of its members as chairman and one as a
secretary. Each member of the Board shall receive twenty-five
dollars per day, not to exceed sixty days in any fiscal year, and
actual traveling expenses while in the performance of the duties
for which appointed, and such sums shall be paid from the General
Fund of the State.

SECTION 10. The Board is authorized to employ a water
engineer and such other personnel as may be necessary, all of whom
shall serve during the pleasure of the Board, at such salaries as shall
be fixed by law. The water engineer shall act as executive officer
and advisor to the Board in all matters pertaining to the distribution
and conservation of surface waters of the State as provided by this
Act. The person appointed as water engineer shall be a licensed
engineer, trained in hydraulics and hydrology, qualified by exper-
ience, knowledge and personality to serve as required by the Board
and to represent it whenever required.

SECTION 11. a. The Board shall cooperate with all per-
sons and agencies interested in regulating and conserving the use
of water.

b. The Board shall establish such units of measurement as
are necessary in the administration of this Act.

SECTION 12. As soon as practicable, the Board shall inven-
tory the water resources of the State and gather such adequate data
as may be helpful in the administration of this Act. The Board
may cooperate with any agency of the Federal or State govern-
ments in accumulating such data.















SECTION 13. a. The Board shall make such observations
and measurements as will enable it to administratively determine
and establish the rights of all water users who, on the effective date
of this Act, are making beneficial use of water, and shall afford
such water users an opportunity to be heard.
b. Such administrative determination of rights, as provided
for in this section, shall be made the subject of a written order, the
original of which shall be furnished the person concerned. Such
observations and measurements as were made shall be reduced to
writing and filed with a copy of the order of determination certi-
fied to by the Chairman of the Board, in the office of the Clerk of
the Chancery Court in the county in which the point of diversion
exists.
c. Service of notice shall be deemed completed upon de-
positing the notice in the post office, as registered mail, addressed
to the person concerned at his last known post office address. The
order of determination of the Board shall be in full force and effect
from the date of its entry in the records of the office of the Clerk
of the Chancery Court until its operation shall be stayed by an
order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
SECTION 14. The Board shall divide the State into water
districts with reference to drainage areas or watersheds; however,
no district shall be created until a necessity therefore exists.
SECTION 15. The following are hereby declared to con-
stitute unappropriated waters: a. All water which has never been
appropriated. b. All water heretofore appropriated which has
not been in process, from the date of the initial act of appropria-
tion, of being put, with due diligence in proportion to the magni-
tude of the work necessary properly to utilize it for the purpose
of appropriation, or which has ceased to be put to that useful or
beneficial purpose for which appropriated. c. All water appro-
priated pursuant to authority of the Board which has ceased to
be put to the useful or beneficial purpose for which it was appro-
priated. d. Water which having been appropriated or used seeps
or flows back into a stream, lake or other surface body of water.
SECTION 16. Any person intending to acquire an appro-
priate right to any of the surface streams, lakes and other water-
courses of the State for beneficial use, may do so only by making

















an application to the Board for a permit to make such appropria-
tion, with a fee of three dollars accompanying such application.
The application shall set forth: a. The name and post office ad-
dress of the applicant; b. The source of water from which the ap-
propriation shall be made; c. The amount of water sought, in stand-
ard units of measurement; d. the location of the proposed works
for the diversion and use of the water, including such maps or
plats as may be necessary for positive identification; e. the esti-
mated time for the completion of the works; f. the estimated
time for the first actual application of the water for the beneficial
use proposed; g. if for irrigation use, a description of the land to
be irrigated by designating the number of irrigable acres, and its
relative location with respect to the source of the water supply;
h. if for municipal water supply, or the supply of an adjacent area
to be served by the municipality, it shall give the present popula-
tion to be served, and the estimated future requirements of the
city, not to exceed twenty years; said twenty years' estimate of
future requirements to be based on the same rate of increase of
population as that had in the twenty-year period, or such fraction
thereof as required, immediately preceding the estimate, unless
an unusual situation shall be shown to the Board to exist, or is
foreseen which would justify a deviation from the twenty-year
rule; i. any additional factors which may be required by the Board.

All fees received by the Board as herein prescribed shall be
deposited in the General Fund of the State.

SECTION 17. a. Upon receipt of the application it shall
be the duty of the Board to have endorsed thereon the date of the
receipt and assign it a number. If upon examination the application
is found to be defective, inadequate or insufficient to enable the
Board to determine the place, nature and amount of the proposed
appropriation, it shall be returned for correction or completion or
for other required information. No application shall lose its priority
of filing on account of such defects, provided acceptable data,
proofs, maps, plats, plans, and drawings are filed in the office of
the Board within thirty days following the date of the posting of
the return of such application or such further time, not exceeding
one year, as may be given by the Board.

b. All maps, plats, plans and drawings shall conform to
prescribed uniform standards as to materials, size coloring and















scale as prescribed by the Board, and shall show: a. the source
from which the proposed appropriation is to be taken; b. all pro-
posed dams, dikes, reservoirs, canals, pipe lines, power houses and
other structures for the purpose of storing, conveying or using
water for the purpose approved and their positions or courses in
connection with the boundary lines and corners of the lands which
they occupy. Land listed for irrigation shall be shown in acres.
Default in the refiling of any application within the time limit
specified shall constitute a forfeiture of priority date and the dis-
missal of the application. All maps, plats, plans, drawings and ap-
plications submitted shall become the property of the Board.
SECTION 18. a. Upon approval of the application the Board
shall notify the applicant to that effect and issue a permit authoriz-
ing him to proceed with the construction of the proposed diversion
works and to take all steps required to apply the water to the ap-
proved and proposed beneficial use, and otherwise perfect his
proposed appropriation. An application may be approved for a less
amount of water than that requested if, in the opinion of the Board,
the approval of the full amount requested would interfere with a
vested right or is against public interest. An applicant shall be en-
titled to proceed with construction of diversion works and with the
diversion and use of water in accordance with the approval and
such limitations as may be prescribed by the Board. Provided,
however, that no application shall be approved until the substance
thereof shall have been published by the applicant in a newspaper
having general circulation in the county wherein the point of di-
version exists, at least ten days before approval of such application,
and a public hearing accorded any person whose rights may be ad-
versely affected by such approval. At such hearing all persons con-
cerned will be accorded the right of counsel and the right to intro-
duce evidence in their behalf.
b. If the application is refused the Board shall so notify
the applicant, and it shall be unlawful for such applicant to take
any steps toward the construction of the proposed diversion works
or to divert or use any such water, so long as the refusal shall con-
tinue in force. Any person who proceeds subsequent to the effect-
ive date of this Act to construct and maintain diversion works with-
out the approval of the Board being first obtained, may be en-
joined in any court of competent jurisdiction. The Board shall limit
the time for the perfecting of an appropriation to a reasonable


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period within which the proposed works can be completed by due
diligence taking into consideration the size, complexity and cost of
the work, and seasonal conditions, and may for good cause shown
by the applicant allow an extension of time.
SECTION 19. Within sixty days after the completion of the
construction of the works and the actual application of water to
the proposed beneficial use within the time allowed, the permitted
shall so notify the Board. The Board shall then examine and inspect
the appropriation diversion works and, if it is determined that such
works have been completed and the appropriation right perfected
in conformity with the approved application and plans, the Board
shall issue a license in duplicate. The original of such license shall
be sent to the licensee and shall be recorded in the office of the
Clerk of the Chancery Court in the county wherein the point of di-
version is located as other instruments affecting real estate, and the
duplicate shall be made a matter of record in the office of the
Board. The fee for filing the license in the office of the Clerk of
the Chancery Court shall be one dollar, to be paid by the applicant.
SECTION 20. Any person desiring to build a dam or reser-
voir on any watercourse as herein defined, except as provided in
Section 4, before proceeding with the construction thereof, must
obtain a written statement from the Board that such construction
will not affect plans for the proper utilization of the water resour-
ces of the State; provided, however, any such petition which
seeks authorization of any program of works to be performed within
the territorial limits of any watercourse lying in whole or in part
within a levee district duly constituted under the laws of this State
shall include a copy of a resolution adopted by the levee board of
such levee district approving all relief sought under the petition;
and any individual violating the provisions of this section may be
enjoined therefrom.
SECTION 21. The Board shall have authority to enter into
compacts and agreements concerning this State's share of waters
flowing in watercourses or in lakes or ponds where a portion of
such waters are contained within the territorial limits of a neigh-
boring state.
SECTION 22. Any member of the Board or any person
authorized by it, shall have the right to enter upon private, county
or state lands for the purpose of making surveys and examinations

















necessary in the gathering of facts concerning streams and natural
watersheds, subject to responsibility for any damage done to prop-
erty entered.
SECTION 23. a. The Board may consider, approve, modi-
fy at the request of the applicant, or reject applications for per-
manent or temporary changes in the place of diversion or use of
water from those originally appropriated or approved, subject to
the rules and regulations of the Board and following the procedure
herein established for original application for appropriation.
b. Any person who changes or attempts to change the point
or place of diversion or use of water, either permanently or tem-
porarily, without first applying to the Board in the manner pre-
scribed, shall obtain no right thereby and shall be guilty of a mis-
demeanor, and punished therefore in the discretion of the court,
not to exceed a fine of two hundred dollars. Each day of such un-
lawful change shall constitute a separate offense, separately pun-
ishable.
c. Each application for a temporary or permanent change
shall be accompanied by a fee of one dollar. All fees received by
the Board as herein prescribed shall be deposited in the General
Fund of the State.
SECTION 24. Whenever the rights for the use of waters
within the State shall have been adjudicated by any court, the
Board shall aid in the distribution of water in accordance with the
terms of the decree, and it shall be the duty of the clerk of any
court in which such decree has been issued, within ten days after
such decree shall have been entered, to forward to the Board of
Water Commissioners, by registered mail, a certified copy of the
decree.
SECTION 25. a. Any order, decision or other official act
of the Board in administering the provisions of this Act, may be
appealed by any person aggrieved thereby to the circuit court of
the county wherein the point of diversion exists by serving the
Chairman or someone of discretion at the office of the Board, within
sixty days after receipt of written notice of the order, decision or
official act, notice of appeal stating the grounds upon which the ap-
peal is founded. The appeal may be based on legal or factual
grounds or both. After proper hearing, at which testimony may be
offered for any aggrieved person, the court may sustain, reverse or
















modify the order of the Board which may be appealed to the Su-
preme Court the same as other orders of the circuit court. The At-
torney General, or his representative, shall represent the Board on
all appeal matters. The Board shall, within thirty days after serv-
ice of the notice of appeal, make a return to the circuit court, giv-
ing copies of all documents and orders and a transcript of the tes-
timony taken.
b. Within fifteen days after the service of the notice of ap-
peal, the Board may serve upon the appellant an offer in writing
to correct the order from which appealed in any of the particulars
mentioned in the notice of appeal. The appellant may thereupon,
and within fifteen days thereafter, file with the Board a written
acceptance of such offer, and in such cases the Board shall there-
upon make a minute of such acceptance in its permanent files and
correct the order accordingly, and the same, so corrected, shall
stand as the order of the Board and shall be filed in the office of
the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
SECTION 26. At any hearing or other proceeding authorized
by this Act, the Board shall have power to administer oaths; to
take testimony; to issue subpoenas and compel the attendance of
witnesses, which shall be served in the same manner as subpoenas
issued by the courts of the State; and to order the taking of deposi-
tions in the same manner as depositions are taken in the courts.
SECTION 27. The Board shall report fully to the Legisla-
ture within ten days after convening date of each regular session
on its work during the biennium.
SECTION 28. If for any reason any section, provision, item,
phrase, clause, sentence, or part of any section of this Act shall be
held unconstitutional, the invalidity of such section, provision,
items, phrase, clause, sentence, or part of section shall not affect
the validity of the remainder of the Act; but such remainder shall
be permitted to stand and the various provisions of this Act are
hereby declared to be separable for that purpose.
SECTION 29. All acts or parts of acts inconsistent herewith
are hereby repealed.
SECTION 30. Except as provided in Section 4 herein, this
Act shall take effect and be in force from and after passage.


r








MISSSISIPP?I LEGISLATURE REGULAR SESSION 195$
By: Messrs. Morrow, Gardner, To: Water and Water
Richardson and Smith Resources






(As approved by Governor)
HOUSE BILL NO. 232



AN ACT ESTABLISHING A PERMANENT SEVEN-MAN BOARD OF WATER COMMISSIONERS OF
THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI: PROVIDING FOR THEIR SELECTION, TERMS OF OFFICE; AND COM-
PENSATION; PROVIDING FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A WATER ENGINEER AS EXECUTIVE OFFICER
AND ADVISOR OF THE BOARD; PRESCRIBING THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD, INCLUDING
THE ISSUANCE OF WATER PERMITS FOR A FEE, COMMENCING JANUARY 1, 1957; PROTECTING
EXISTING WATER RIGHTS AND CONTROLLING USE OF ADDITIONAL AVAILABLE WATER IN THE
FUTURE TO MAKE THE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS USE FOR AGRICULTURAL, INDUSTRIAL, MUNICIPAL,
AND RECREATIONAL PURPOSES: TO PROVIDE FOR APPEALS FROM BOtIRD ORDERS OR COMPROMISE
THEREOF; rAND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.


BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. (a) Declaration of Policy: It is hereby declared that the
general welfare of the people of the State of Mississippi requires that the water
resources of the state be put to beneficial use to the fullest extent of which they
are capable, and that the waste or unreasonable use, or unreasonable method of use,
of water be prevented, and that the conservation of such water be exercised with
the view to the reasonable and beneficial use thereof in the interest of the people,
and that the public and private funds for the promotion and expansion of the bene-
ficial use of water resources shall be invested to the end that the best interests
and welfare of the people is served.

(b) Water occurring in any watercourse, lake or other natural water body
of the state, iajherabydeclared to be public waters and public wealth of the state
andsub~ject to appropriation in accordance with the provisions of this act, nd
the control and deveopmentE and use of water for zll beneficiEl purposes shall be
in the state, which, in the exercise of its police powers, shall take such measures
as shall effectuate full utilization end protection of the water resources of
Mississippi.

(C) Nothing in this act shall be construed or interpreted as affecting
ground or_subterranean water rights or usage.

SECTION 2. The words and phrases when used in this Ect shell, for the pur-
poses of this act, have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section,
except in those instances where the context clearly indicEtes r different meaning.

(a) "Person" Every natural person, firm, partnership, association, co-
operative, public and private corporations, irrigation or other improvement dis-
trict and any state or federal agency.

(b) "Surface Water" That water occurring on the surface of the ground;
and "Ground Water" That water occurring beneath the surface of the ground.

i






H.B. No. 232
Page 2

(c) "Domestic Uses" The use of water for ordinary household purposes, the
watering of farm livestock, poultry and domestic animals end the irrigation of home
gardens and lawns.

(d) "Municipal Use" The use of water by a municipal government a~nd the
inhabitants thereof, primarily to promote the life, safety, health, comfort and
business pursuits of the inhabitants. It does not include the irrigation of crops,
although within the corporate boundaries.

(e) "Beneficial Use" The application of water to a useful purpose that
inures to the benefit of the water user and subject to his dominion and control
but does not include the waste of water.

(f) "Appropriator" The person who obtains a permit from the board author-
izing him to take possession by diversion or otherwise and to use and apply an
allotted quantity of water for a designated beneficial use, and who makes actual use
of the water for such purpose.

(g) "Appropriation" (1) The use of a specific amount of water at a
specific time and at a specific place, authorized and allotted by the board for a
designated beneficial purpose within the specific limits as to quantity, time, place
and rate of diversion and withdrawal.

(2) The right to continue the use of water having actually been applied to
any beneficial use at the time of the eff a this-&e, or with three
(3) years prior thereto to the extent of the beneficial use mnde thereof. Provided,
thfimTs.i 'oa--e intent of tKiructstht~a-y person making use or niy watercourse
for waste disposal or in pollution abatement, on the effective date of this act,
shall be construed as having eny vested right to pollute the waters of the wotercoursi

(3) The right to take and use water for beneficial purposes where a person
is bonafide enga th-nstruion of &orks for the actual application of
water to a beneficial use at the time of the effective date of this .ct, provided
such works shall be completed and water is actually applied for such use within
three (3) years after this act becomes effective, with extension of not more than
seven (7) years in the discretion of the board. It is not the intent, however, to
validate rny clrim to the use of water, or for rights of construction looking to the
use o- wcter, not lawful on the effective date of this act.

(h) "Watercourse" Any natural lake, river, creek, cut or other natural
body of fresh water or channel having definite banks and bed with visible evidence
of the Hlow or occurrence of water, except such lakes without outlet to which only
one landowner is riparian.

(i) "Established average minimum flow" When reasonably required for the
purposes of this act, the board shell determine and establish the average minimum
flow for a given stream at a given point thereon. The "average minimum flow" as
used in this act shall be the average of the minimum daily flow occurring during
each of the five (5) lowest years in the period of the preceding twenty (20) con-
secutive years. Such determinations shall be based upon available stream-flow date,
supplemented, when available date is incomplete, by reasonable calculations.

(j) "Board" The Board of Water Commissioners of the State of Mississippi.

(k) "Water Engineer" The water engineer of the Board of Water Commis-
sioners of the State of Mississippi.





H.B. No. 232
Page 3


SECTION 3. Nothing in this act shall be construed as making same applicable
to dredging or washing of sand and gravel.

SECTION 4. (a) After Aprii Z-1958, no right to appropriate or use water
subject to appropriation shall be initiated or acquired except upon compliance with
the provisions of this act, and-no person shall take water from a stream, lake or
other watercourse withQo ib ng-a valUld right ,to o so. Any person convicted of
violating the provisions hereof shall be fined not to exceed one hundred dollars
($100.00), or be imprisoned not to exceed thirty (30) days, or both, in the discre-
tion of the court; provided however, nothing herein shell interfere with the custo-
mary use of water for domestic purposes, and the user of water for domestic purposes
may elect to establish a right to the use of such waterr under the procedures provi-
ded in this act; and provided, further, that nothing herein shall operate to deprive
any landowner of the right to the use of the water from a sring rising on his land
so long as such use does not interfere with the right of any water user below; and
provided, further, that nothing herein shall interfere with a .l)anders.-right to
place a dam across c gully on his property or across a stream that originates on his
property so long as provision is made for continued established average minimum
stream flow, if and when such flow is required to protect the rights of water users
below.

(b) Subject to the common law, or other lawful water rights of others, any
person may build and maintain a dam on any stream having a minimum flow of not more
than one half million gallons of water per day and utilize up to three hundred (300)
acre feet of the impounded water without a permit from the board so long_ such
action does D.Qt effect the established ve-~ge minimum flow inh-im.the
dam, and provided, however, that any such person who seeks to build and maintain ae
dam on such stream within the territorial limits of any watercourse lying in whole
or in part within a levee district duly constituted under the laws of this state
shall first obtain permission from the levee board of such levee district.

(c) The board shall have the authority to permit the appropriatio-n ofwter
of any stream onya ~in of-the-est'bll shed average m m fti low as based upon
recorsor computea tions by 'the boar~f- provided, however, exceptions ny be m-ce m or
domestic and municipal users; and provided, further, th.t.the board may Euthorize
any appropriator to use the established minimum flow upon written assurance that
such water will be immediately returned to the stream in substantially the same
amount to insure the maintenance at all time of the average minimum flow.

(d) No appropriation of water shall be authorized thz t will impair the
effect of stream standards set under the pollution control laws of this state based
upon a minimum average stream flow.

(e) No appropriation of water shell be authorized or continued that will
impair the navigability of any navigable watercourse. A determination of impairment
by the Corps of Engineers of the United States Army shell constitute prima facie
evidence of such impairment.

SECTION 5. No water appropriation acquired pursuant to law shall be declared
forfeited and surrendered except by a court of competent jurisdiction as other
property rights are determined. Provided, however, upon good cause shown, the board
may modify or terminate any appropriation at any time.

SECTION 6. The right of the appropriator and his successors to the use of
water shall terminate when he ceases for three (3) consecutive years to use it for
the specific beneficial purpose authorized in his permit or license; provided,








?_ge 4


however, that upon his application prior to the expiration of said three 3) year
period for extension of said permit or license, the board may grant such extension
without the loss of priority.
SECTION 7. Appropriction of surface waters of the state rhbll not constitute
absolute ownership cr e.6bs61ie rights of use qf such uatars, but su-uh waters shall
remain subject to the principle of beneficial use. JIt shall be the duty of the board
to ai ve-ro eons aein such form as shall IeaOt-e de" irements of this
actand such rules and regulations as shall be promulgated by the board, and which
contemplate the utilization of water for beneficial purposes, within reasonable li-
mitations,p ided, the proposed use does not prejudicially-and--uni asonably affect
the public interest. If its determined that the proposed use of the water sought
to be approprfjated is not for beneficial purposes,is not within reasonable limita-
tions, or be detrimental to the public interest,it shall be the duty of the board
to enter an order rejecting such application or requiring its modification.
SECTION 8. For the administration of this act there is hereby created a Board
of Water Commissioners of the State of Mississippi, consisting of seven (7) members
appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, whose
terms of office shall be for a period of four (4) years as follows: One from each of
the congressional districts as now constituted, and one from the state at large. At
all times the membership of said board shall have represented on it at least one
member well versed in each of the major types of water users in the state as follows:
recreational,industrial,municipal and agricultural. The chairman shall be elected
by the members of the board.
SECTION 9. The governor shall call a meeting of the board within thirty (30)
days after its appointment. At such first meeting the board shall elect one of its
members as chairman and one as a secretary. Each member of the board shall receive
fifteen dollars ($15.00) per day,not to exceed sixty (60) days in any fiscal year,
and actual traveling expenses while in the performance of the duties for which ap-
pointed,and such sums shall be paid from the general fund of the state.
SECTION 10. The board is authorized to employ a water engineer and such other
personnel as may be necessary, all of whom shall serve during the pleasure of the
board,at such salaries as shall be fixed by the board. The water engineer may act as
executive officer and advisor to the board in all matters pertaining to the distri-
bution and conservation of surface waters of the state as provided by this act.The
person appointed as water engineer shall be a licensed engineer,trained in hydraul-
ics and hydrology,qualified by experience,knowledge and personality to serve as re-
quired by the board and to represent it whenever required.
SECTION 11. (a) The board shall cooperate with all persons and agencies in-
terested in regulating and conserving the use of water. (b) The board shall estab-
lish such units of measurement as are necessary in the administration of this act.
SECTION 12. As soon as practicable,the board shall inventory the water re-
sources of the state and gather such adequate data as may be helpful in the adminis-
tration of this act. The board may cooperate with any agency of the federal or state
governments in accumulating such data.
SECTION 13. (Qa The boprd shall make such observations and measurements as
will enable it to admJiX tratixely determine and establish the-.rgt.. .all".ater
us rs-w on tfihe effective da. % tis act are bien sand
shlIP s^ o Aiasuch water users an oJpportfuniyto be heard 4b) Suchadministae
determ .n on fihtS provided for in this section, shall be made the subject
of a written order,E~ original of which shall be furnished the. persn-aoa=.need.
Such observations aid-me&esaments as were made shall be reduced to writing and filed
with a copy of the order of determination certified to by the chairman of the board,
In the office of the clerk of the chancery court in the county in which the point of
diversion exists.


I -----~--3-Y~-I--~ ~---. -----_---.^-I- _~---~I-- ~_







R. B. No. 232 -5
Pago 5

(c) Service of notice shall be deemed completed upon depositing the
notice in the post office, as registered mail, addressed to the person con-
cerned at his last known post office address. The order of determination of
the board shall be in full force and effect from the date of its entry in the
records of the office of the clerk of the chancery court until its operation
shall be stayed by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

SECTION 14. The board sha diat. ^ t*i cts wi"e
refae-pce-to- waerr eaaes; however, no district shall be created until a
necessity therefore exists.

SECTION 15. The following are hereby declare to constitute unappropri-
ated waters: (a) All water which has never been appropriated. (b) A711 after
heretofore appropriated wRich F'h- =ot- bcee-iT proce ss, from the date of the in-
itial act of appropriation, of being put, with due diligence in proportion to
the magnitude of the work necessary properly to utilize it for the purpose~ of
appropriation, or which has ceased to be put to that ueful or. beneficial purpose
for which_aEppropriated. (c) All water appropriated pursuant to authority of
the t6oard which" has ceased to be put to the useful or beneficial purpose for
which it was appropriated. (d) Water which having been appropriated or used
seeps or flows back into a watercourse.

SECTION 16. Any person intending to acquire an appropriate right to any
of the surface streams, lakes and other watercourses of the state for beneficial
use, may do so only by making application to the board for a permit to make
such appropriation, with a fee of three dollars (3.00) accompanying such appli-
cation. The application shall set forth: (a) the name and post office address
of the applicant; (b) the source of water from which the appropriation shall
be made; (c) the amount of water sought, in standard units of measurement; (d)
the location of the proposed works for the diversion and use of the water, in-
cluding such maps or plats as may be necessary for positive identification;
(e) the estimated time for the completion of the works; (f) the estimated time
for the first actual application of the water for the beneficial use proposed;
(g) if for irrigation use, a description of the land to be irrigated by desig-
nating the number of irrigable acres, and its relative location with respect
to the source of the water supply; (h) if for municipal water supply, or the
supply of an adjacent area to be served by the municipality, it shall give the
present population to be served, and the estimated future requirements of the
city, not to exceed twenty (20) years; said twenty (20) years' estimate of fu-
ture requirements to be based on the same rate of increase of population as
that had in the twenty (20) year period, or such fraction thereof as required,
immediately preceding the estimate, unless an unusual situation shall be shown
to the board to exist, or is foreseen which would justify a deviation from the
twenty (20) year rule; (i) any additional factors which may be required by the
board.

All fees received by the board as herein prescribed shall be deposited
in the general fund of the state.




-----------------------------^


S6.


SECTION 17. (a) Upon recei nt. nf the r'nl1iYnt in shall be the duty
of the board to have endorsed er _t.the .ata of-the-pr cei l.~d assiJi a
nuahr.._ If upon examination the application is found to be defective, inede-
quate or insufficient to enable the board to determine the place, nature and
amount of the proposed appropriation, it shall be returned for correction or
completion or for other required information. Nopiicc~tinJ shall lse its
prioritZ of filing on account of such defects, provided acceptable data, proofs,
maps, plats, plans, and drawings are filed in the office of the board within
thirty (30) daVs following the date of the posting of the return of such appli-
cation or such further time, not exceeding one year, as may be given by the board.

(b) All maps, plats, plans and drawings shall conform to prescribed
uniform standards as to materials, size, coloring and scale as prescribed by the
board, and shall show: (a) the source from which the proposed appropriation is
to be taken; (b) all proposed dams, dikes, reservoirs, canals, pipe lines,
power houses and other structures for the purpose of storing, conveying or
using water for the purpose approved and their positions or courses in connec-
tion with the boundary lines and corners of the lands which they occupy. Land
listed for irrigation shall be shown in acres. Default in the refiling of any
application within the time limit specified shall constitute a forfeiture of
priority date and the dismissal of the application. All maps, plats, plans,
drawings and applications submitted shall become the property of the board.

SECTION 18. (a) Upon ap!- oanf ,2n the board shall no-
tif rMgoggg_ r
th the construction of the Pro' eeo e s re-
re r o__he adoved an be 'cial use. an oher-
w perf c I pro ose apropriation. An application may be approved '
a less amount of water h tsted if, ani opinion of the board, the
approva-l~6'the full amount requested would interfere with a vested right or is
against public interest. An applicant shall be entitled to proceed with con-
struction of diversion works and with the diversion and use of water in accord-
ance with the approval and such limitations as may be prescribed by the board.
Provided, however, that no application shall be approved until the bs a
thereof shall have be el_ pJp Kn the, haviu ae-
eral circus ti n thecunty wherein the poIn oT version exists, at least
ten (ICD)-O ys before approval of such application.~ and i i iri corded
any person hose rij ts may be adversely affected b such approval. At such
hearing allpersons concerned will be accorded the right of counsel and the
right to introduce evidence in their belief.

(b) If the application is refused the board shall so notify the appli-
cant, and it shall be unlawful for such applicant to take any steps toward the
construction of the proposed diversion works or to divert or use any such water,
so long as the refusal shall continue in force. Any person who proceeds subse-
quent to the effective date of this act to construct and maintain diversion works
without the approval of the board being first obtained, may be enjoined in any
court of competent jurisdiction. The board shall limit the time for the perfect-
ing of an appropriation to a reasonable period within which the proposed works
can be completed by due diligence taking into consideration the size, complexity
and cost of the work, and seasonal conditions, and may for good cause shown by
the applicant allow an extension of time.







H. B. No. 232 7 -


SECTION 19. Within sixty (60) days after the completion of the con-
struction of the works and the actual application of water to the proposed
beneficial use within the time allowed, the permitee shall so notify the board.
The board shall then examine and inspect the appropriation diversion works and,
if it is determined that such works have been completed and the appropriation
right perfected in conformity with the approved application and plans, the
board shall issue a license in duplicate. The original of such license shall
be sent to the licensee and shall be recorded in the office of the clerk of the
chancery court in the county wherein the point of diversion is located as other
instruments affecting real estate, and the duplicate shall be made a matter of
record in the office of the board. The fee for filing the.license in the office
of the clerkcof the chancery court shall be one dollar ($1.00), to be paid by
the applicant.

SECTION 20. Ari person -desiring to build a dam or reservoir on any
watercourse as herein daeii3ed, exceiptnas ISc^ on~^*ced
infriiith .he construction thereof, i_T6btdalh a w st 'tYieit T&ri the
bOartart^ ^ ch coi-trnctid will n6ot-afect plans for the = l'5pTEa1roeion
of the water resources of the state; provided, however, any such peition which
seeks authorization of any program of works to be performed within .the terri-
torial limits of any-watercourse lying.in whole or in part within a levee.dis-
trict duly constituted under the laws of this state shall include a copy of a
resolution adopted by the levee board of such levee district approving all.re-
lief sought under the petition; and any individual violating the provisions of
this section may be enjoined therefrom.

SECTION 21. Th board shall have authority to enter into compacts and
agreements concern this state's share o~ Wt fling in waercouema where
a portion of such waters are conta ne~wrIfTE e fierro6a 1 ts of a neigh-
bori-ng s a ..... .. ..

SECTION 22. Any member of the board or any person authorized by it,
-shall have the right to enter upon private, county or state lands for the purpose
of making surveys and examinations necessary in the gathering of facts concern-
ing streams and natural watersheds, subject to responsibility for any damage
done to property entered.

SECTION 23. (a) The board may consider, approve, modify at the request
of the applicant, or reject applications for permanent or temporary changes in
the place of diversion or use of water from those originally appropriated or ap-
proved, subject to the rules and regulations of the board and following the pro-
cedure herein.established for original application for appropriation.

(b) Any person who changes or attempts to chang the poiAt. or .pace of
diversion..or_4ae.-of-wtr, either permanently or temporarily, without first
applying to the board in the manner prescribed, shall obtain no right.thereby and
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and punished therefore in the discretion of the
court, not to exceed a fine of two hundred dollars ('200.00). Each day of such
unlawful change shall constitute a separate offense, separately punishable.

(c) Eac apicatn fo orao or permanent change shall be ac-
companied by a--fee Of one dollar ($i.0O Tr". he ele"ve oyethe ooad as
herein prescribed shall be deposited in the general fund of the state.


_ __11__~1~_~ ___ _______I__~~_ ___ __I_~~__ _____ _I _~




---------------^


H. B. No. 232 8 -


SECTION 24. Whenever the rights for the use of waters within the
state shall have been adjudicated by any court, the board shall aid in the dis-
tribution of water in accordance with the terms of the decree, and it shall be
the duty of the clerk of any court in which such decree has been issued, within
10 (10) days after such decree shall have been entered, to forward to the board
of water commissioners, by registered mail, a certified copy of the decree.

SECTION 25. (a) Any order, decision or other official act of the
board in adninisteriang theprovrdvIIT~io a aCitE a be ape aled by any person
a .gieved thereby to the circuit court of the county_. LhArin. .the point of diver-
sion exists by serving the chairman or sor~one of discretion at the office'of the
board, ,within sixty (60) days after receipt ofw Tr-tten notice of the order, de-
cision or official act, notice of appeal stating the grounds upon which the ap-
peal is founded. The appeal may be based on legal or fact ga nbQ, h.
After proper hearing, at which testimony may e offered for any aggrieved person,
the court may sustain, reverse or modify the order of the board which may be ap-
pealed to the supreme court the same as other orders of the circuit court. The
attorney generaly-ar-hss esetat-biye,, aharl&l j....-alpreset-he- ra-^a-lsi
matters. The board shall, within thirty (30) days after service of the notice of
appeal;_,-ke a return to the circuit court, giving copies of all documents and
orders and a transcript of the testimony taken.

(b) Within fifteen (15) days after the service of the notice of appeal,
the board may serve upon the appellant an offer in writing to correct the order
from which appealed in any of the particulars mentioned in the notice of appeal.
The appellant may thereupon, and within fifteen (15) days thereafter, file with
the board a written acceptance of such offer, and in such cases the board shall
thereupon make a minute of such acceptance in its permanent files and correct the
order accordingly and the same, so corrected, shall stand as the order of the
board and shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court.

SECTION 26. At any hearing or other proceeding authorized by this act,
the board shall have power to administer oaths; to take testimony; to issue sub-
poenas and compel the attendance of witnesses, which shall be served in the same
manner as subpoenas issued by the courts of the state; and to order the taking
of depositions in the same manner as depositions are taken in the courts.

SECTION 27. The board shall report fully to the legislature within ten
(10) days after convening date of each regular session on its work during the
biennium.

SECTION 28. If for any reason any section provision, item, phrase,
clause, sentence, or part of any section of this act shall be held unconstitu-
tional, the invalidity of such section, provision, items, phrase, clause, sen-
tence, or part of section shall not affect the validity of the remainder of the
act; but such remainder shall be permitted to stand and the various provisions of
this act are hereby declared to be separable for that purpose.

SECTION 29. All acts or parts of acts inconsistent herewith are
hereby repealed.

SECTION 30. Except as provided in section 4 herein, this act shall
take effect and be in force from and after passage.




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