Alaska Statutes.
Title 46. Water, Air, Energy, and Environmental Conservation
Chapter 15. Water Use Act
Section 140. Abandonment, Forfeiture, and Reversion of Appropriations.
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AS 46.15.140. Abandonment, Forfeiture, and Reversion of Appropriations.

(a) The commissioner may declare an appropriation to be wholly or partially abandoned and revoke or amend the certificate of appropriation as to the unused quantity of water if an appropriator, with intention to abandon, does not make beneficial use of all or a part of the appropriated water.

(b) The commissioner may declare that an appropriator has wholly or partially forfeited an appropriation, and shall revoke the certificate of appropriation in whole or in part if the appropriator voluntarily fails or neglects, without sufficient cause, to make use of all or a part of the appropriated water for a period of five successive years. A person who has a permit to develop a use of water including but not limited to residential, agricultural, industrial, or mining use, but has not developed that property to the point of water use before permit expiration, may file a request for permit extension with the commissioner.

(c) Failure to use beneficially for five successive years all or part of the water granted in a certificate of appropriation raises a rebuttable presumption that the appropriator has abandoned or forfeited the right to use the unused quantity of water and shifts to the appropriator the burden to prove otherwise to the satisfaction of the commissioner.

(d) If the commissioner revokes a certificate in whole or in part, the portion of the certificate covered by the revocation reverts to the state and the water becomes unappropriated water.

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