The New Development program develops presently unused and/or unappropriated waters of Wyoming. The program is funded by Water Development Account No. 1 [W.S. 41-2-124(a)(i)] which has received general fund appropriations of $117,600,000 and receives twelve and forty-five hundredths percent of the revenues from the state's severance tax distribution account. Legislative approval must be granted prior to allocating funds to a particular purpose or project.
New development projects can proceed as sponsored projects or state projects.
1. Sponsored Projects
A project sponsor can be a municipality, irrigation district, or other approved assessment district which will realize the major direct benefits of the project. The project sponsor must be willing and capable of financially supporting a portion of the project development costs and all operation and maintenance costs. Typically, sponsors request project technical and financial assistance from the WWDC through the application process.
The sponsor may request that a Level I or Level II study be conducted to identify solutions and alternatives for addressing water supply issues or they may request funds for a Level III construction project, if it is determined the project is technically and economically feasible and serves to meet a water supply need or alleviate a water supply problem.
The New Development Program provides an opportunity for sponsors to develop water supplies for anticipated future needs and to insure that lack of water supply will not inhibit economic stability. The program encourages water development through state/local partnerships. The sponsor can complete a water supply project with state funding assistance. If a project is developed to meet the needs of the sponsor alone, the sponsor owns the project and its revenues. However, if there is the opportunity to sell water to additional users, the sponsor and state share in the revenues.
2. State Projects
The typical state project serves to benefit more than one entity and is multipurpose in nature. The projects are configured to serve present needs and provide water that can be marketed to meet future needs. Another common characteristic of state projects is that each has a difficult permitting or political issue which must be addressed. These issues may include developing a partnership with the federal government, another state and/or private industry to encourage project development; resolution of endangered species, water quality, or wetland issues; or addressing resistance to the project from downstream states.
The WWDC shall consider investments in state projects on a case-by-case basis. However, it should be recognized that present federal laws and regulations make it difficult to achieve federal clearances for projects in which there is not a clearly defined purpose and need.
Operating Criteria Table of Contents
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