Section 9-10B-20

Submission of declaration of beneficial use; requirements and limitations; certificate of use.

(a) A declaration of beneficial use shall be submitted within 90 days of the promulgation of rules and regulations governing such declarations by each public water system that regularly serves, individually or in combination with other such systems, more than 10,000 households and by each person who diverts, withdraws, or consumes more than 100,000 gallons of water on any day from the waters of the state.

(b) A declaration of beneficial use shall be submitted within 180 days of the promulgation of rules and regulations governing such declarations by each public water system that regularly serves, individually or in combination with other such systems, less than 10,000 households.

(c) No declaration of beneficial use shall be required to be submitted by any person, other than public water systems, who diverts, withdraws, or consumes less than 100,000 gallons of water each day from the waters of the state unless the commission determines by regulation that the submission of declaration of beneficial use by such person is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this chapter. In addition, no declaration of beneficial use shall be required and no certificate of use shall be issued for:

(1) In-stream uses of water, including, but not limited to, recreation, navigation, water oxygenation system, and hydropower generation; or

(2) Impoundments covering not more than 100 acres in surface area:

a. Confined and retained completely upon the property of a person; and

b. Used solely for recreational purposes, including sport fishing.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, each person who has the capacity to use 100,000 gallons or more of water on any day in total for purposes of irrigation shall submit a declaration of beneficial use to the Office of Water Resources on or before January 1, 1995. Persons who use waters for purposes of irrigation, but who do not have the capacity to use 100,000 gallons or more of water on any day in total for purposes of irrigation, are not required to submit a declaration of beneficial use unless the commission determines by regulation that such action is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this chapter.

(e) The Office of Water Resources shall issue a certificate of use to any person required to submit a declaration of beneficial use upon the submission of a declaration of beneficial use. The declaration of beneficial use shall contain all information required to be submitted under regulations promulgated by the commission and shall establish that the proposed diversion, withdrawal, or consumption of such water shall not interfere with any presently known existing legal use of such water and is consistent with the objectives of this chapter. Each certificate of use shall contain the following statement: "THE ISSUANCE OF THIS CERTIFICATE OF USE SHALL NOT CONFER OR MODIFY ANY PERMANENT INTERESTS OR RIGHTS IN THE HOLDER THEREOF TO THE CONTINUED USE OF THE WATERS OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA."

(f) It shall be a condition of each certificate of use issued by the Office of Water Resources that reports be submitted annually to the Office of Water Resources, indicating the amount of water, in gallons, diverted, withdrawn, or consumed on a monthly basis by such person and such other information required under regulations promulgated by the commission. Such reports shall be signed and certified that to the best of the person's knowledge and belief, the information contained therein is true, accurate, and complete.

(Acts 1993, No. 93-44, p. 78, §21.)