48-3613. Authorization required for development in watercourses; exceptions; enforcement
A. Except as provided in section 48-3625 and in this section, a person shall not engage in any development which will divert, retard or obstruct the flow of waters in any watercourse without securing written authorization from the board of the district in which the watercourse is located. Where the watercourse is a delineated floodplain no development shall take place in the floodplain without written authorization from the board of the district in which the floodplain is located.
B. Written authorization is not required for nor shall the board prohibit:
1. The construction of bridges, culverts, dikes and other structures necessary for the construction of public highways, roads and streets intersecting or crossing a watercourse.
2. The construction of storage dams for watering livestock or wildlife and structures on banks of a watercourse to prevent erosion of or damage to adjoining land if the structure will not divert, retard or obstruct the natural channel of the watercourse or dams for the conservation of floodwaters as permitted by title 45, chapter 6.
3. Construction of tailing dams and waste disposal areas used in connection with mining and metallurgical operations. This paragraph does not exempt those sand and gravel operations which will divert, retard or obstruct the flow of waters in a watercourse from complying with and acquiring authorization from the board pursuant to regulations adopted by the board under this article.
4. Other construction if it is determined by the board that written authorization is unnecessary.
5. Any flood control district, county, city, town or other political subdivision from exercising powers granted to it under this article.
6. The construction of streams, waterways, lakes and other auxiliary facilities in conjunction with development of public parks and recreation facilities by a public agency or political subdivision.
7. The construction and erection of poles, towers, foundations, support structures, guy wires, and other facilities related to power transmission as constructed by any utility whether a public service corporation or a political subdivision.
C. Before any construction authorized by subsection B of this section may begin, the person must submit plans for the construction to the board for review and comment.
D. In addition to other penalties or remedies otherwise provided by law, this state, a political subdivision or a person who may be damaged or has been damaged as a result of the unauthorized diversion, retardation or obstruction of a watercourse has the right to commence, maintain and prosecute any appropriate action or pursue any remedy to enjoin, abate or otherwise prevent any person from violating or continuing to violate this section or regulations adopted pursuant to this article. If a person is found to be in violation of this section, the court shall require the violator to either comply with this section if authorized by the board or remove the obstruction and restore the watercourse to its original state. The court may also award such monetary damages as are appropriate to the injured parties resulting from the violation, including reasonable costs and attorney fees.