GENERAL QUESTIONS – TECHNICAL REPORT: DE MINIMIS DOMESTIC, STOCKPOND, AND STOCK AND WILDLIFE WATERING USES IN THE VERDE RIVER WATERSHED

 
Q: Why did I receive this Notice?

ADWR is legally required to give notice of its De Minimis Report to individuals who are believed to be using water within the Verde River watershed, and other interested persons. You have received the Notice of Publication either because 1) you are currently believed to be using water on a property that is located inside the Verde River watershed, or 2) because you, or someone who previously lived at your address, has filed a Statement of Claimant (SOC) in the general stream adjudication claiming the right to use water within the Verde River watershed.

Q: Why did I receive this Notice?
ADWR is legally required to give notice of its De Minimis Report to individuals who are believed to be using water within the Verde River watershed, and other interested persons. You have received the Notice of Publication either because 1) you are currently believed to be using water on a property that is located inside the Verde River watershed, or 2) because you, or someone who previously lived at your address, has filed a Statement of Claimant (SOC) in the general stream adjudication claiming the right to use water within the Verde River watershed.
 
Q: What is a general stream adjudication and what is ADWR’s role in the adjudication?
ADWR serves as the technical advisor to the court. ADWR collects information and produces reports as directed by the court.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 45-251, a general adjudication is “... an action for the judicial determination or establishment of the extent and priority of the rights of all persons to use water in any river system and source.”  The Maricopa County Superior Court will determine the water rights of the people using water within the Verde River watershed. Additional information can be found on the Maricopa County Superior Court’s website at: 
 
Q: What is the report about?
The report inventories claimed domestic, stockpond, and stock and wildlife watering uses within the Verde River watershed. The report then assesses the combined impact of those uses on surface water supplies in the watershed.
The purpose of the report is to provide the court with information supporting a possible de minimis classification for certain domestic, stockpond, and stock and wildlife watering uses within the Verde River watershed.
 
Q: What is de minimis classification?
A de minimis classification is a case management decision by the court that simplifies the adjudication of certain small water uses. In the adjudication, the court will classify water uses that are so small that the costs of a detailed adjudication would outweigh the benefits that would result. 
If the court approves an expedited process to determine water right attributes (characteristics, such as quantity and priority date) for any of the small water uses analyzed in the Technical Report, those standards will be applied when ADWR issues future reports on individual domestic, stockpond, stockwatering, and/or wildlife watering uses for the Verde River watershed.
 
Q: What water uses are eligible for de minimis classification?
Certain small water uses, such as domestic (household), stockpond, and stock and wildlife watering uses, may be considered for de minimis classification.
 
Q: What is domestic water use?
According to A.R.S. § 45-251, a domestic use is “...a single appropriative water right serving a residence, or multiple residences up to a maximum of three residential connections, for household purposes with associated irrigation of lawns, gardens or landscape in an amount of not more than one-half acre per residence. Domestic use does not include the use of water delivered to a residence or multiple residences by a city, town, private water company, irrigation provider or special taxing district established pursuant to Title 48.”
 
Q: What is stockpond water use?
According to A.R.S. § 45-251, a stockpond is “…an on-channel or off-channel impoundment of any size that stores water that is appropriable under section 45-141, subsection A and that is for the sole purpose of watering livestock and wildlife.” An impoundment is an enclosure built as a means of collecting water for future use.
 
Q: What is a stock or wildlife watering use?
According to A.R.S. § 45-251, stockwatering (stock and wildlife watering) is “…the consumption of water by livestock and wildlife, either: (a) Directly from a naturally occurring body of water, such as an undeveloped spring, cienega, seep, bog, lake, depression, sink or stream. (b) From small facilities, other than a stockpond, that are served by a diversion of water that is appropriable under section 45-141, subsection A.” 
 
Q: How can I view the De Minimis Report?
An electronic version of the report can be found on ADWR’s website at:
A hard copy or CD of the report can be obtained by contacting Susana Reyes at [email protected] or 602-771-6163. A paper copy of the report will cost $20 and an electronic copy on DVD will cost $10.00.
 
Copies of the report can also be found at the following locations:
 
Arizona Department of Water Resources
1110 W. Washington Street, Suite 310
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
 
Clerk of Maricopa County Superior Court
601 W. Jackson Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
 
Williams Public Library
113 S. 1st Street
Williams, Arizona 86046
 
Payson Public Library
328 N. McLane Road
Payson, Arizona 85541
 
Chino Valley Public Library
1020 W. Palomino Road
Chino Valley, Arizona 86323
 
Prescott Valley Public Library
7501 E. Civic Circle
Prescott Valley, Arizona 86314
Q: Why does this report concern me?
You received this notice because 1) you are currently believed to be using water on a property that is located inside the Verde River watershed, or 2) because you, or someone who previously lived at your address, has filed an SOC in the general stream adjudication claiming the right to use water within the Verde River watershed.
The Maricopa County Superior Court must determine the extent and priority of water rights claimed in certain watersheds, including the Verde River watershed. This legal proceeding is called a general stream adjudication. Any person or entity who uses water or has made a claim to use water on a property within the Verde River watershed may be affected by court decisions in the general stream adjudication.
In order to quantify and prioritize existing water rights in the Verde River watershed, the Maricopa County Superior Court requested ADWR’s assistance in identifying any potential domestic, stockpond, and stock and wildlife watering uses that may be eligible for de minimis classification.
If the proposed de minimis classifications are approved by the court, ADWR will incorporate those classifications when investigating individual water rights in future reports regarding the Verde River watershed. This may allow the court to expedite the adjudication of these small water rights. 
For more information regarding de minimis classifications and the adjudication process, please see Chapter 1 of the De Minimis Report on the ADWR Adjudications website at:
 
Q: Do I need an attorney?
As technical advisor to the court, ADWR cannot provide legal advice. If you have questions regarding how the adjudication may impact your water right, please consult an attorney. 
As authorized by the Arizona Legislature, The University of Arizona may represent small claimants in the general stream adjudication from case initiation through settlement negotiations. More information can be found at:  
 
Q: What should I do if this notice was sent to my address, but it is addressed to someone who no longer lives here or is deceased?
The Maricopa County Superior Court requires ADWR to send notice of the De Minimis Report to individuals who have filed a Statement of Claimant within the Verde River watershed. At the time of this mailing, ADWR cannot remove individuals from the mailing list, even upon request.
You likely received the notice because someone who previously lived at your address claimed a water right in the general stream adjudication for water use on a property that is located within the Verde River watershed.
If you did not file a claim for a water right on your property, but you use water at that location, you may wish to have the existing claim assigned to your name as the current property owner. The Assignment Form, and instructions, can be found at: 
 
Q: What if I get my water from a municipal provider, utility company, or shared well?
ADWR is limited in the advice we can give individual landowners. If you have questions about how the adjudication may impact your water right, we recommend that you seek the advice of an attorney.
 
Q: How can I provide input, tell the court that I disagree with the report, or submit additional information that the court should consider?
You may file comments or objections to the de minimis report, but you are not required to do so. An objection must state in clear and concise language the legal and/or factual reasons for the objection with a brief description of the evidence to support those reasons. 
Comments and objections must be made on the Comment and Objection Form, which can be found on ADWR’s website at: 
The original Form and two copies (including any attachments) must be sent to the Clerk of the Maricopa County Superior Court at the address stated on the Form. Comments and objections must be received by the court no later than October 28, 2022. 
 
Q: What do I need to do?
You are not required to do anything.
If you have additional questions, ADWR recommends that you seek legal advice from an attorney.
If you are a water user in the Verde River watershed, an attorney may recommend that you file a Statement of Claimant (SOC) to claim the right to use water in the Verde River watershed (if you have not already done so). 
You may also file comments or objections to this de minimis report, but you are not required to do so.
 
Q: I want to be taken off the mailing list.
The Maricopa County Superior Court requires ADWR to send notice of the De Minimis Report to individuals who have filed a Statement of Claimant for water use within the Verde River watershed or who are using water within the watershed. At the time of this mailing, ADWR cannot remove individuals from the mailing list, even upon request. 
If you previously filed a Statement of Claimant (SOC) but no longer own the property, you may wish to assign the SOC into the name of the current landowner. The Assignment Form, and instructions, are located here: 
 
Q: How do I know if there’s an SOC associated with my property?
You can use the SOC Locator Application on ADWR’s website to view SOCs located near your property at:  
Please note that SOCs are plotted using the legal location information provided in the filing and may not show up in the exact location described. Additionally, not all filed SOCs were plotted due to incorrect or absent location information.