News

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. … [Read More]

Colorado Division of Water Resources issues guidance for implementation of the St. Jude’s ruling

October 4, 2016   |   Real Estate and Real Property, Water Law

Recently, the Division for Water Resources (“DWR”) issued written instructions reflecting the State Engineer’s direction to Division Engineers concerning consultation and administration duties in light of the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling in St. Jude’s Co. v. Roaring Fork Club.

Briefly, in St.[Read More]

General Assembly passes the Colorado Water Rights Protection Act

May 5, 2016   |   Real Estate and Real Property, Water Law

The Colorado Water Rights Protection Act (click here to access the bill) unanimously passed the House and Senate, and Governor Hickenlooper signed the bill on April 21. The bill is aimed at protecting state water rights on federal lands.… [Read More]

General Assembly Passes Bill Approving Use of Rain Barrels

April 25, 2016   |   Water Law

The Colorado General Assembly has passed a bill (click here to access the bill) that permits the use of rain barrels that collect rain from residential rooftops.  The bill passed the House in March and Senate in April, and it is now awaiting the Governor’s signature, which should come shortly.… [Read More]

Bill Introduced to Override Decision in St. Jude’s v. Roaring Fork Club

March 18, 2016   |   Water Law

A bill (House Bill 16-1382) has been introduced in the General Assembly that aims to effectively override the decision that the Colorado Supreme Court released in St. Jude’s Co. v. Roaring Fork Club LLC on June 29, 2015. The Court’s decision in St.[Read More]

Final Colorado Water Plan Released

November 24, 2015   |   News

On November 19, 2015, the final Colorado Water Plan was released, and can be accessed here. The plan is intended to be a road map with measurable objectives that that will help Colorado meet its projected future water needs.  Chapters discuss, among other things, Colorado water law, each basin in the state, current and projected water supply and demand, future water management, and actions that will implement the plan, including legislative and funding options.  … [Read More]

Colorado Division of Water Resources Issues Guidance on Diversions during Free River and during a “Futile Call Determination”

November 11, 2015   |   Water Law

On November 4, the Division of Water Resources (“DWR”) issued “Written Instructions” that outline principles that the Division Engineers will apply to diversion during Free River and during a Futile Call Determination, which can be found here.  The “Written Instructions” are not statute or administrative regulations; they are statements of what DWR believes the law requires/allows.  … [Read More]

Colorado Supreme Court decision effectively prohibits direct-flow water rights for aesthetic, recreation, or fishery purposes.

July 20, 2015   |   Litigation, Water Law

On June 29, The Colorado Supreme Court released its decision in St. Jude Co. v. Roaring Fork Club that could have significant impacts on water rights and real-property development throughout Colorado. The Court’s decision effectively prohibits direct-flow water rights for aesthetic, recreation, or piscatorial (fishery) purposes.… [Read More]

CO Supreme Court Releases Water Rights Decision With Potentially Significant Ramifications

June 10, 2015   |   Litigation, Water Law

On June 1, the Colorado Supreme Court released its decision in Frees v. Tidd, in which it held that a land owner whose property is burdened by an irrigation ditch easement may obtain a junior conditional water right at the headgate of that irrigation ditch for non-consumptive hydropower use of water that the neighbor is diverting from the stream under a senior water right.… [Read More]

Final “Waters of the United States” Rule Released

June 3, 2015   |   Environmental Law, Water Law

On May 27, the EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) released the final “waters of the United States” rule, which defines the scope of waters protected by the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act itself provides that it covers “navigable waters,” which are defined in the statute as “waters of the United States, including territorial seas.” According to EPA and the Corps, the new rule, which replaces the current rule that was codified in 1986, aims to make the process of identifying waters protected by the Clean Water Act easier to understand and more predictable.… [Read More]