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Letter to the Editor: A South Dakota Water Lottery

Posted on: October 20th, 2014
by David Ganje

Letter to the Editor: A South Dakota Water Lottery

Posted Aberdeen American News, Farm Forum: Monday, October 13, 2014 9:08 am

by David Ganje

While it has yet to come to the attention of the national environmental and natural resources community, the South Dakota state legislature passed a first-in-the-nation law this year in the field of natural resources. The state will use a ‘lottery system’ for the issuance of certain state managed water permits. The water lottery system is combined with a moratorium on water use for identified water bodies managed by the state. Under current South Dakota law, all water within the state’s jurisdiction is property of the people of the state. The right to the use of water may be acquired by private parties and municipalities by a state-managed appropriation procedure. The state has been historically a first in time, first in right state when granting water use rights. South Dakota’s ‘water management’ jurisdiction does not however apply to Indian Country or on federal lands. Water use in South Dakota is authorized when the state Water Management Board grants a private, beneficial use of the state’s water resources. An example of a private use is an irrigation permit. A water use permit is issued either as a new water use or as a vested water right for an existing water use if it predates 1955.

The new water lottery system comes into play in situations where the state Water Board has determined that an existing groundwater source is ‘fully appropriated.’ A water source is fully appropriated when the state rules that no new or further access to the water should be granted because it would prejudice the ability of the water source to recharge to an acceptable level. The lottery system will not apply to open or unappropriated aquifers. The Water Board under the new legislation can accept water permit applications even for a fully appropriated aquifer. A 30 day application time period will also be set for a fully appropriated aquifer by public notice. The notice gives prospective applicants the right to apply under the lottery system. The applications are then placed in a lottery drawing system. The actual method for drawing successful applicants has not yet been implemented but will be announced in the next several weeks. The ‘winning’ applicants will then have to wait under the state’s five-year moratorium on approval of permits in those instances when the state has made a designation of a ‘fully appropriated aquifer.’

A lottery system for resource development permits has been used in the past, but never by a state for access to state managed water. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management used a lottery system for granting oil and gas leases until 1987 but has not used it since. The state, of course, does not call this new law a lottery system. I do. The new unchallenged law describes the lottery system as a procedure in which, “the board shall create a priority list using a random selection process to be determined by the board.” This new lottery system is an effort to cure problems in past experiences when an aquifer is placed in a moratorium. One cannot criticize the conceptual fairness of the new law. The statutes attempt to treat water permit applicants seeking access to a particular aquifer equally by using the “random selection process” in a moratorium scenario. The law itself has some challenges in its language as well as in its untested procedure. It is soon to be implemented by the state Water Board and the S.D. DENR. The new law is a unique effort by the state to deal with natural resources stewardship issues. In that regard the legislature should be applauded. Will the bar of reason support this brave new attempt at fairness? Time will tell.


Tags: Environmental Law, Infrastructure Security, Natural Resources Law, Water Law, Water Regulation, Water Rights, Water Systems Security

Illinois Association of American Water Works Recognizes Ganje’s Water Workshops

Posted on: September 19th, 2014
by David Ganje

Illinois Association of American Water Works Recognizes Ganje’s Water Workshops

The Illinois Section of the American Water Works Association (ISAWWA) has recognized David Ganje of Ganje Law Offices for his recent workshops given for the Association.  David Ganje recently presented two specialized workshops to the ISAWWA on the subjects of water law and water security. The Association wrote letters of appreciation to Mr. Ganje for the work and will use the presentations in future workshops.

Ganje Selected as Super Lawyer for 2014

Posted on: September 1st, 2014
by David Ganje

Ganje selected as Super Lawyer for 2014

David Ganje has been selected to the 2014 New York Super Lawyers list in the category of energy and natural resources. Each year no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement

Missouri River & Ogallala Aquifer Indian Water Rights Conference 2014

Posted on: July 11th, 2014
by David Ganje

Missouri River & Ogallala Aquifer Indian Water Rights Conference 2014

Hosted by:          Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance

Event Sponsors:         Standing Rock Sioux Tribe..Ogala Sioux Tribe..Rosebud Sioux Tribe



Presentation:          Tribal Water Codes – Their Administration and Enforcement

Part 1

Historical And Legal Context As Well As Some Relevant Case Law Affecting Tribal Water Codes

Part 2

Issues, Strategy And Recommendations For Writing And Maintaining Successful Tribal Water Codes


Presentation by:

David L Ganje

Ganje Law Offices                                                                              Web: lexenergy.net

Water Systems: A Twofold Look into Physical Security & Cyber Security

Posted on: July 6th, 2014
by David Ganje

Water Systems: A Twofold Look into Physical Security & Cyber Security WEBINAR IEPA# 0000—Illinois Section, American Water Works Association

12/12/14 Water Systems: A Twofold Look into Physical Security & Cyber Security WEBINAR IEPA# 0000

When: Thursday September 4th, 2014

From 12:00 -1:00 PM CDT

Where: Your home or office computer

Presenter: David Ganje

Contact: Marianne Perino


Phone: 866-521-3595


Registration Information: Online registration is available until: 12/12/2014




Water Systems: A Twofold Look into Physical Security & Cyber Security

CEU TYPE: Technical


IEPA#: 0000

Summary: A security threat to a water system may include the deliberate elimination/destruction of the safe water supply or the disruption of the delivery of the safe water supply for residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural purposes. System threats can come from within a water systems organization or from the outside. External threats include terrorist activities and civil disobedience. Threats may range from trespassing, tampering and vandalism to sabotage, theft and terrorism; these threats may be of a physical nature or they could be non-physical such as a cyber attack. Terrorist threats have been made against water systems. In most instances, the specifics of such attacks are unknown to most systems operators. Hazards from these threats include loss of power and communications, SCADA (supervisory control and data) cyber attack, explosions, intentional fires, chlorine release, broken water mains, chemical or biological contamination, pump failure, dam failure or storage tower failure. The focus of this presentation will address: conducting an on-site security audit using recommended national systems as well as local public and private resources.

http://www.isawwa.org/resource/resmgr/headshots-people/ganje.jpgPresenter: David Ganje, Ganje Law Offices

REGISTRATION & HOURS: This webinar will begin at 12:00pm and conclude by 1:00pm CST. Earn up to 1 PDH or RTC hour. After registering with Illinois Section AWWA, attendees will be furnished via email with all materials and links needed to participate in the webinar. Questions? Call 866-521-3595 Ext. 3