We offer to you, "A Resolution to reaffirm the process by which Colorado Water Rights are to be administered under the statutory laws of the State of Colorado."
Because Coloradans have a long standing history of supporting and enforcing "pre-existing law," we believe your sponsorship and ultimate passage of this Resolution will have 100% support.
We encourage the addressed in this email, to please let your legislators know you "support this Resolution."
This Resolution will resolve Water problems statewide.
Thank you for your consideration.
A Resolution to reaffirm the process by which Colorado Water Rights are to be administered under the statutory laws of the State of Colorado.
Be it hereby resolved by this legislative body, the State of Colorado directs and requires State Water Engineers to administer, distribute and regulate the water of the state in a manner consistent with the rules of the Prior Appropriation system: *“First in time, first in right" or "Prior Appropriation” doctrine is based on *Priority Date and amount, aka *Allotment Quantity,” of both surface water and groundwater tributary to a surface stream.
There has been no law made that extinguished, “first in time, first in right.” Therefore, we wholly defer to C.R.S. 37-92-102 and hereby declare C.R.S. 37-92-102 stand as the policy of the state of Colorado that, in the determination of water rights, uses, and administration of water, the following principles shall apply:
The Legislator finds the language of this Statute to be clear and unambiguous.
This Resolution hereby orders the State Engineer shall apply the law as it is written.
From: C.R.S. 37-92-102 Legislative declaration basic tenets of Colorado Water Law
Recognizing that previous and existing laws have given inadequate attention to the development and use of underground waters of the state, that the use of underground waters as an independent source or in conjunction with surface waters is necessary to the present and future welfare of the people of this state, and that the future welfare of the state depends upon a sound and flexible integrated use of all waters of the state, it is hereby declared to be the further policy of the state of Colorado that, in the determination of water rights, uses, and administration of water, the following principles shall apply:
· Water rights and uses vested prior to June 7, 1969, in any person by virtue of previous or existing laws, including an appropriation from a well, shall be protected subject to the provisions of this article.
· The existing use of groundwater, either independently or in conjunction with surface rights, shall be recognized to the fullest extent possible, subject to the preservation of other existing vested rights, but, at his own point of diversion on a natural watercourse, each diverter must establish some reasonable means of effectuating his diversion. He is not entitled to command the whole flow of the stream merely to facilitate his taking the fraction of the whole flow to which he is entitled.
· The use of groundwater may be considered as an alternate or * supplemental source of supply for surface decrees entered prior to June 7, 1969, taking into consideration both previous usage and the necessity to protect the vested rights of others.
· No reduction of any lawful diversion because of the operation of the priority system shall be permitted unless such reduction would increase the amount of water available to and required by water rights having senior priorities.”
*Supplemental well drilled prior to 1969 will have the same priority date as the original surface appropriation and can be used to supplement the surface allotment quantity only up to the adjudicated amount of the original surface appropriation. Any water pumped above the total original surface appropriation amount will only have a priority of the date upon which the well was drilled and put to beneficial use. This was the intent of the State legislature as expressed in this Statute.
*First in time, first in right. An appropriation is made when an individual physically takes water from a stream (or underground aquifer) and places that water to some type of beneficial use. The first person to appropriate water and apply that water to use has the first right to use that water within a particular stream system. This person (after receiving a court decree verifying their priority status) then becomes the senior water right holder on the stream, and that water right must be satisfied before any other water rights can be fulfilled.
*Priority date: “previous, existing, pre-existing, valid, vested and senior water rights.” and amount of surface and groundwater connected, not separate.
The appropriation date of a water right is the earliest date on which the applicant can demonstrate the initiation of the appropriation, and applies to surface and groundwater (conjunctive use) tributary to a surface stream.
*surface water and groundwater are connected.
*Allotment Quantity: Assume three water-users exist on a stream system with adjudicated water rights totaling 5 cfs (cubic feet per second). The user with the earliest priority date has a decree for 2 cfs, the second priority has a decree for 2 cfs, and the third priority right has a decree for 1 cfs of water. When the stream is carrying 5 cfs of water or more, all of the rights on this stream can be fulfilled. However, if the stream is carrying only 3 cfs of water, its priority number 3 will not receive any water, with priority number 2 receiving only half of its 2 cfs right. Priority number 1 will receive its full amount of 2 cfs under this scenario.
This process of allocating water to various water users is traditionally referred to as "Water Rights Administration," and is the responsibility of the Division of Water Resources.