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General Assembly passes law aimed at limiting effect of St. Jude’s decision

May 12, 2017   |   News

The General Assembly passed HB17-1190, which is intended to limit the effect of the Supreme Court’s decision in St. Jude’s Co. v. Roaring Fork Club.  Briefly, in St. Jude’s Co. the Court held that direct diversion of water from a river to a private ditch for aesthetic, recreational, and piscatorial purposes on private property, without impoundment, are not beneficial uses of water under Colorado law.  For a more detailed analysis of the decision, click here.

The new law protects aesthetic, recreational, and piscatorial direct flow rights that were decreed as of July 15, 2015.  The protection applies to both conditional and absolute rights. If conditional, such rights can be maintained through findings of reasonable diligence and can be made absolute.  Also, plans for augmentation can be approved related to such rights.  The only limitation is that any change to such rights may only be a change of point of diversion.