Adjudication of a water right is simply a determination by the Board of Control that water has been and is being beneficially applied to the land to the extent and by the means set in the permit. It finalizes the priority date, point of diversion location, the area(s) or point(s) of use, use(s) and rate (cfs or gpm). Once a water right is adjudicated, a Certificate of Appropriation or Construction (reservoirs only) is issued and filed in the county clerk’s office where the appropriation is located.
The Board of Control is responsible for the adjudication process for each permit. The Adjudication procedure involves a field inspection to assure that the water is being put to a beneficial use as specified under the permit.
SURFACE WATER PROOFS
The requirements for submission of, advertising, holding open for inspection, opportunity of contest, and allowance of proofs of appropriation of water are set out in W.S. 41-4-511, and the other statutes mentioned therein. Hearings and contests of proofs, hearing fees, and dispositions after hearing are governed by W.S. 41-4-311 through W.S. 41-4-314 and Chapter IV, Adjudication of Proofs, Section 1 of the Regulations and Instructions (Part IV) of the State Board of Control.
When the final notice of completion of beneficial use of water or completion of construction of a reservoir is filed by the water user, a proof will be forwarded by the Adjudication Officer to the superintendent of the water division in which the project is located. A letter is sent to the water user advising him of the necessary action for submission of final proof. A water user may also contact the superintendent to arrange a time and place when final proof will be taken (see W.S. 41-4-511). Aslo See Chapter IV, Adjudication of Proofs, Section 1 of the Regulations and Instructions (Part IV) of the State Board of Control for more information.
GROUND WATER PROOFS
Rights to the use of ground water shall be adjudicated by the State Board of Control as provided in W.S. 41-4-511 (also see W.S. 41-4-513). To adjudicate a ground water right, various steps must be taken by the water user, by the State Engineer’s Office, and by the State Board of Control. See Chapter IV, Adjudication of Proofs, Section 2 of the Regulations and Instructions (Part IV) of the State Board of Control for a brief outline of the basic procedure.