Alaska Statutes.
Title 46. Water, Air, Energy, and Environmental Conservation
Chapter 15. Water Use Act
Section 166. Judicial Adjudications.
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AS 46.15.166. Judicial Adjudications.

(a) Instead of initiating an adjudication under AS 46.15.165 , the commissioner may, with the concurrence of the attorney general, if a federal reserved water right has been or might be asserted by an agency of the United States on its own behalf or on behalf of a person described in AS 46.15.165 (c)(3) - (6), file on behalf of the state a complaint in superior court to initiate a judicial adjudication consistent with 43 U.S.C. 666 to quantify and determine the priority of all water rights in a drainage basin, river system, ground water aquifer system, or other identifiable and distinct hydrologic regime, including any hydrologically interrelated surface and ground water systems.

(b) The venue for an action filed under (a) of this section shall be established by rule of the supreme court under AS 22.10.030 .

(c) In a complaint brought under (a) of this section, the court may appoint an impartial, qualified person as a master to hold hearings, take testimony, collect evidence, and make recommendations to the court regarding the scope and content of a proposed judicial decree that would finally adjudicate the validity of water rights, quantify them, and determine priorities among the water right appropriations in the adjudication area. Employment by a federal, state, or local government agency does not disqualify an individual from appointment as master under this subsection if the court determines that the individual is otherwise impartial and qualified to act as master. The master may, with the court's permission, take action that the commissioner would be authorized to take in an administrative adjudication under AS 46.15.165.

(d) In an adjudication under this section, the court may incorporate in an order or judgment final orders of the commissioner previously issued under AS 46.15.165 .

(e) Proceedings under this section shall be conducted without a jury.

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