Operating Criteria of the
Wyoming Water Development Program
New Development Program

A. Categories of Projects

Sponsors who pass a local capital facilities tax, commit other local tax revenues to a project or secure funding from non-state sources may receive a priority ranking when compared with projects of a similar nature without such funding sources.

Inasmuch as the efficient consumptive use of Wyoming's water resources provides the best assurance that Wyoming's water will remain available for the future, the need for water shall be a key consideration in prioritizing projects and dedicating resources for water development purposes. Projects can be placed in the following three categories on the basis of need:

1. Projects developing water for a present or defined need.

These projects can be pursued through the study and design phases if the major project beneficiary has a legitimate need for the water and has a desire to pursue the project. These projects can be constructed if the sponsor has the ability and willingness to pay a portion of the development costs and all of the operation, maintenance and replacement costs, is a public entity that has the legal ability to generate revenues to repay project loans and can legally receive grant funds. If there are multiple beneficiaries, the entities shall be encouraged to form a joint powers board to serve as a project sponsor. However, if there are cases in which formation of a joint powers board is extremely difficult, but the project is a particularly sound investment, the project may be able to proceed as a state project.

2. Projects developing water for present needs and generating a surplus for future needs.

If there is the opportunity to develop water in excess of the present needs, the WWDC shall consider development on a case-by-case basis. Projects in this category may proceed as a sponsored project with the state sharing in revenues generated by sales of the surplus or a state project.

The key factors determining whether to pursue a project shall be the growth and development potential of the project area and the possibility for economic return to the State of Wyoming. Therefore, the potential for marketing the surplus water supply, plus flood control, hydropower, recreational and environmental benefits, shall be evaluated for each project. In addition, the percentage of the water that will be put to immediate use upon project completion shall also be considered.

3. Projects developing water for which there is not a present need sufficient to warrant immediate expenditure of design and construction funds.

The beneficial use of the developable water from projects in this category can be promoted. The projects can be pursued to the level necessary to determine project feasibility and to generate a development plan. The development plan may include conceptual design, operating plans, environmental investigations, water right permitting, and the identification of potential markets. This information may be used to make potential users aware that their water demands can be met within an approximate time frame and budget and to promote use without exposing the state to the financial risk of constructing, operating, and maintaining when there is not a current market for the water.

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