Water Rights

July 22, 2014--Drier than the Dust Bowl: Waiting for relief in rural America (Washington Post)

As rural America wilts, this is how those left working its powder-dry land get by: At the appointed hour, Chuck turns the head gate at the Fort Lyon Canal, sending water sluicing through ditches bordering the fields. He tracks up and down the rows, adjusting pipes and valves to make sure the water is flowing just right.


June 19, 2014--Forest Service changes stance on ski resorts, water (Grand Junction Sentinel)

A U.S. Forest Service rule aimed at assuring that ski areas don’t sell off their water rights was welcomed by Colorado’s two senators and panned by the office for the representative whose district includes several resorts.


June 19, 2014--In arid West, water rights are like gold (Durango Herald)

After another winter of below average snowfall, the spring runoff has dropped to a trickle on the La Plata River with most of the irrigation ditches being shut down. Our winter snows are the lifeblood for most of the agriculture that occurs in Southwest Colorado.


June 7, 2014--Family farmers: A vanishing breed (Cortez Journal)

The average age of farmers and ranchers in Montezuma County crept up to 59.5 years in 2012 from 57.6 in 2007, according to recently released agricultural census data. Dolores County saw a similar trend with its current average, 59.6 years of age. The state average hit 58.9 years in 2012, up from 57 years in 2007.


May 21, 2014--California takes first step toward curtailing water rights (Rueters)

Some farmers and community water districts in drought-hit California could soon face limits on their ability to use water from strained streams that flow into the Sacramento River.


May 21, 2014--Water fight has irrigators steamed (Mancos Times)

The Division of Water Resources stopped the flow of water from the West Mancos River through Chicken Creek this spring. This had resulted in a very limited flow for the irrigators along the Carpenter-Mitchell Ditch and reduces the water available to Bauer Reservoir.


May 15, 2014--Three legislators challenge Navajo Water Rights Settlement (Daily Times)

Three legislators and an official with an agency that represents San Juan River irrigation ditches are asking New Mexico's highest court to cancel the Navajo Water Rights Settlement because they say its approval violated the state constitution. "There was no Legislature involvement," said Rep. Paul Bandy, R-Aztec.


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.


May 9, 2014--Potential for harm: Opponents of Senate Bill 23 express concern about upstream water users (Steamboat Today)

Senate Bill 23, which recently passed the Colorado Legislature, aims to provide incentives for agricultural water users and irrigators on the Western Slope to make their operations more efficient, but some opposed the bill on the grounds that it has the potential to harm others’ water rights.


May 6, 2014--Roberts’ ski water bill dies (Cortez Journal)

The ski season is over, and so is the Legislature’s latest effort to keep the U.S. Forest Service from claiming ski resorts’ water rights. Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, wasn’t expecting much when she brought her water rights bill to the Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday.


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