Water Law

Helping Good Samaritans Clean Up Abandoned Hardrock Mines

For years Colorado legislatures have been trying to pass laws that would make it easier for groups to clean up toxic pollution from abandoned mines. These groups, which are not responsible for the pollution but want to clean it up anyway, are called, appropriately enough, Good Samaritans.


July 10, 2014--Defining water’s future (Missoula News)

The Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed a new rule to define the term “the waters of the United States” as used in the federal Clean Water Act. If you care about protecting our nation’s waters and wetlands, and if you care about government efficiency, then you should support this rule. Here’s why.


June 11, 2014--Conservation groups go after Hickenlooper for water bill veto (Colorado Independent)

Governor John Hickenlooper is drawing backlash for vetoing a bill that conservationists say would have prompted farmers to update their irrigation systems and kept more water in Colorado’s Western Slope streams without asking anyone to forfeit water rights. Hickenlooper said that the final version of the bill, SB 23, lacked sufficient support from agricultural and water groups.


June 10, 2014--Will the Public Trust Doctrine issue make the ballot this fall? (Coyote Gulch)

Water initiatives that could have a significant impact on the San Luis Valley are still awaiting Colorado Supreme Court decisions before moving forward to the November ballot box.


June 7, 2014--Will the Colorado River be restored to its former glory? (Elevation Outdoors)

In the arid Southwest we put a lot of faith into a century-old agreement. Created by skillful lawmakers in 1922, it’s called the Colorado River Compact and it has little bearing on the reality of the river in 2014, or most years as it turns out.


June 5, 2014--Water issues draw debate at Vegas lawyers' event (Associated Press)

A point-counterpoint debate about whether one size fits all and the federal role in managing regional water resources took added significance Thursday during an American Bar Association water-law conference at a casino in drought-threatened Las Vegas.


May 20, 2014--House approves $12 billion-plus water bill (ABC News)

The House passed the closest thing so far this year to an infrastructure bill — a $12 billion-plus bipartisan measure authorizing 34 water projects, ranging from flood protection in California and North Dakota to deepening the Port of Savannah and widening a Texas-Louisiana waterway that services the oil industry.


May 17, 2014--Tipton wary of federal water directive (Grand Junction Sentinel)

A proposed U.S. Forest Service directive on groundwater management wouldn’t affect state-issued water rights, the U.S. Forest Service said. The Forest Service “abides by state law and therefore, if a call on water is placed, the Forest Service would comply with state direction,” the agency said in response to questions from the Daily Sentinel about the directive.


May 16, 2014--Curious about small hydro? Check this out (Durango Herald)

The Colorado Small Hydro Association is holding a workshop Monday to brief irrigators about new federal and state regulations that make it easier to install water-driven power plants on agricultural canals.  “There’s definitely a potential to add a hydro system,” Sterling Moss, director of the Natural Resources Conservation Service office in Durango.


May 13, 2014--Ski area water rights bill shot down in state senate committee (Telluride Daily Planet)

In the latest turn in a long fight over ski area water rights, a state bill that would have kept the U.S. Forest Service from claiming those rights failed to pass a state senate committee last week. House Bill 1028 was sponsored by State Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango.


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