174C-41 Designation of water management area. (a) When it can be reasonably determined, after conducting scientific investigations and research, that the water resources in an area may be threatened by existing or proposed withdrawals or diversions of water, the commission shall designate the area for the purpose of establishing administrative control over the withdrawals and diversions of ground and surface waters in the area to ensure reasonable-beneficial use of the water resources in the public interest.

(b) The designation of a water management area by the commission may be initiated upon recommendation by the chairperson or by written petition. It shall be the duty of the chairperson to make recommendations when it is desirable or necessary to designate an area and there is factual data for a decision by the commission. The chairperson, after consultation with the appropriate county council, county mayor, and county water board, shall act upon the petition by making a recommendation for or against the proposed designation to the commission within sixty days after receipt of the petition or such additional time as may be reasonably necessary to determine that there is factual data to warrant the proposed designation.

(c) Designated ground water areas established under chapter 177, the Ground-Water Use Act, and remaining in effect on July 1, 1987, shall continue as water management areas. [L 1987, c 45, pt of 2; am L 1999, c 197, 4]

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