STAND. COM. REP. NO.695-02
RE: H.B. No. 2550
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 2550, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO APPURTENANT RIGHTS UNDER THE WATER CODE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Commission on Water Resource Management (Commission) to determine appurtenant water rights under the State Water Code.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and Earthjustice testified in support of the intent of this measure and suggesting an amendment.
Currently water rights are considered an incident of land ownership. The Attorney General has advised that under current law, appurtenant water rights are to be determined by the courts.
Your Committee finds that the Commission needs authority to determine appurtenant water rights in order to protect the exercise of appurtenant rights and to allow the Commission to allocate water in water management areas and determine instream flow standards.
Your Committee has amended this bill by removing the requirement that "satisfactory evidence of title to land" be established before the Commission is authorized to determine water rights. Earthjustice believes that this requirement would subject the Commission's determinations to legal challenge, and the DLNR supports this suggested amendment.
Your Committee also made technical, nonsubstantive amendments to the bill for purposes of clarity and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2550, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2550, H.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs,
ERIC G. HAMAKAWA, Chair