Bill amending temporary water rights advances in Wyoming senate

SF0065, enhancing Wyoming's temporary water rights flexibility to 5 years and broadening use, passed the Senate Committee and awaits full Senate vote.
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February 20, 2024 — Wyoming Senate File No. SF0065Opens in a new tab. has cleared the Senate Committee on Water and passed its second reading yesterday.  The next step is for the bill to face a full Senate vote.  The amendment will increase flexibility in using temporary water rights in Wyoming, while focusing on protecting existing rights holders.

Changes include:

  • Extended Time Period: The most significant change increases the maximum time a temporary water right can be held, from two (2) years to five (5) years.
  • Broadening Temporary Uses: The amendment opens up the potential uses for temporary water rights by replacing specific use cases with the more general term “temporary beneficial purposes.”
  • Protection of Existing Rights: The amendment emphasizes that state engineers should not approve temporary water transfers if they would harm the rights of other water rights holders.

Ultimately, SF0065 will mean:

  • Greater Flexibility: Extending the temporary water use period offers increased flexibility for industries like highway construction, drilling, and other projects with fluctuating or longer-term water needs.
  • Potential for Expanded Use Cases: The broadened language concerning allowable uses creates the potential for temporary water rights to be used in a broader range of scenarios, as long as the beneficial use is temporary.
  • Prioritization of Existing Rights: The amendment underscores the importance of protecting existing water rights, ensuring that those holding permanent water rights remain the priority holders and are not negatively affected by temporary water use agreements.


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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