SB 364 directs that alternative water supply (AWS) development projects are eligible for consumptive use permits (CUPs) of at least 30 years, if there is sufficient data to provide reasonable assurance that the conditions will be met for the duration of the permit. If, within 7 years after a permit is granted, the permittee issues bonds to finance the project and completes construction, the permit may be extended to expire upon the retirement of the bonds or 30 years after construction was completed. The maximum duration would be 37 years.
Under the bill, these permits would still be subject to compliance reports and water management district (WMD) water shortage orders. The bill also provides that these AWS permits may be reduced to prevent unanticipated harm to water resources or existing legal uses.
The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee and will now move on to Community Affairs, its second of four committees of reference. The House companion (HB 109 - Young) was passed by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee, and will now move on to the State Affairs Committee, its final reference.