For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases, unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context, shall have the following meanings:
(1) AREA OF THE STATE. Any municipality or county, including portions thereof, or other geographical area of the state as may be designated by the commission pursuant to this chapter.
(2) BENEFICIAL USE. The diversion, withdrawal, or consumption of the waters of the state in such quantity as is necessary for economic and efficient utilization consistent with the interests of this state.
(3) CAPACITY STRESS AREA. An area of the state designated by the commission pursuant to this chapter where the commission determines that the use of the waters of the state, whether ground water, surface water, or both, requires coordination, management, and regulation for the protection of the interests and rights of the people of the state.
(4) CERTIFICATE OF USE. A certificate which shall be issued by the Office of Water Resources, upon receipt of a declaration of beneficial use, in accordance with this chapter acknowledging the diversion, withdrawal, or consumption of the waters of the state.
(5) COMMISSION. The Alabama Water Resources Commission or its successor.
(6) SURFACE WATER REGIONS. Those certain areas of the state designated by this chapter and to be referred to individually as:
a. Central Alabama Surface Water Region. That area of the state formed by the counties of Etowah, Cherokee, St. Clair, Calhoun, Cleburne, Shelby, Talladega, Clay, Randolph, Bibb, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Chilton, Perry, Autauga, Elmore, Macon, Montgomery, Dallas, Lowndes, Wilcox, and Monroe.
b. Coastal Alabama Surface Water Region. That area of the state formed by the counties of Mobile and Baldwin, and all bays, tidal estuaries, and portions of the Gulf of Mexico over which this state has jurisdiction.
c. North Alabama Surface Water Region. That area of the state formed by the counties of Lauderdale, Limestone, Madison, Jackson, Colbert, Franklin, Lawrence, Morgan, Marshall, and DeKalb.
d. Southeast Alabama Surface Water Region. That area of the state formed by the counties of Russell, Bullock, Pike, Barbour, Lee, Chambers, Butler, Crenshaw, Coffee, Dale, Henry, Conecuh, Covington, Geneva, Houston, and Escambia.
e. West Alabama Surface Water Region. That area of the state formed by the counties of Marion, Winston, Cullman, Blount, Lamar, Fayette, Walker, Jefferson, Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Greene, Hale, Sumter, Marengo, Choctaw, Clarke, and Washington.
(7) CRITICAL USE STUDY. An analysis of the available supply of water resources within an area of the state and an assessment of the existing and reasonably foreseeable future demand for such resources to determine if such area of the state should be designated as a capacity stress area.
(8) DECLARATION OF BENEFICIAL USE. A writing signed and certified by, or on behalf of, a person to receive a certificate of use and shall include the following: the name of the person to receive a certificate; the source or sources of the waters of the state subject to such person's beneficial use; the estimated quantity, in gallons, of the waters of the state used on an annual average daily basis by such person and the estimated capacity in gallons, of waters of the state potentially diverted, withdrawn or consumed on any given day by such person; and a statement of facts establishing that the use of such waters constitutes a beneficial use.
(9) DEPARTMENT. The Department of Economic and Community Affairs or its successor.
(10) DIRECTOR. The Director of the Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
(11) DIVISION CHIEF. The Chief of the Office of Water Resources or its successor.
(12) GROUND WATER. Water in a saturated zone or stratum beneath the surface of land or water, whether or not flowing through known and definite channels.
(13) OFFICE OF WATER RESOURCES. The Alabama Office of Water Resources or its successor.
(14) PERSON. Any and all persons, natural or artificial, including any individual, firm, association, organization, partnership, business, trust, corporation, company, any federal agency, authority, or corporation created by the United States of America, and the state and all political subdivisions, regions, districts, municipalities, and public agencies thereof.
(15) PUBLIC WATER SYSTEM. A system for the provision to the public of piped water for human consumption or other uses, if such system has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals at least 60 days out of the year. A public water system includes:
a. any collection, treatment, storage, and distribution facilities under the control of the operator of such system and used primarily in connection with such system; and
b. any collection or pretreatment storage facilities not under such control which are used primarily in connection with such system.
(16) STATE. The State of Alabama.
(17) SURFACE WATER. Water upon the surface of the earth, whether contained in bounds created naturally or artificially or diffused. Water from natural springs shall be considered "surface water" when it exits from the spring onto the surface of the earth.
(18) WATER RESOURCES COUNCIL. The Alabama Water Resources Council or its successor.
(19) WATERS or WATERS OF THE STATE. A quantity of any spring, brook, creek, stream, river, pond, swamp, lake, reservoir, impoundment, sound, tidal estuary, bay, waterway, aquifer, or any other body or accumulation of water, surface water, or ground water, public or private, natural or artificial, that
a. is contained within the borders of this state;
b. flows through or to this state or any portion thereof; or
c. borders upon this state or any portion thereof, including those portions of the Gulf of Mexico over which this state has jurisdiction.