174C-44 Ground water criteria for designation. In designating an area for water use regulation, the commission shall consider the following:

(1) Whether an increase in water use or authorized planned use may cause the maximum rate of withdrawal from the ground water source to reach ninety per cent of the sustainable yield of the proposed ground water management area;

(2) There is an actual or threatened water quality degradation as determined by the department of health;

(3) Whether regulation is necessary to preserve the diminishing ground water supply for future needs, as evidenced by excessively declining ground water levels;

(4) Whether the rates, times, spatial patterns, or depths of existing withdrawals of ground water are endangering the stability or optimum development of the ground water body due to upconing or encroachment of salt water;

(5) Whether the chloride contents of existing wells are increasing to levels which materially reduce the value of their existing uses;

(6) Whether excessive preventable waste of ground water is occurring;

(7) Serious disputes respecting the use of ground water resources are occurring; or

(8) Whether water development projects that have received any federal, state, or county approval may result, in the opinion of the commission, in one of the above conditions.

Notwithstanding an imminent designation of a ground water management area conditioned on a rise in the rate of ground water withdrawal to a level of ninety per cent of the area's sustainable yield, the commission, when such level reaches the eighty per cent level of the sustainable yield, may invite the participation of water users in the affected area to an informational hearing for the purposes of assessing the ground water situation and devising mitigative measures. [L 1987, c 45, pt of 2; am L 1999, c 197, 6]

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