Water Rights

Animas-La Plata Project Water Rights Settlement

In November, a settlement was reached by several local agencies with a stake in the Animas-La Plata Project water rights. In late 2013, the Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD) filed for conditional to absolute and continued diligence for the remaining portions of the water right held for development of the Animas-La Plata Project. Several agencies filed statements of opposition. Among them were: the Southern Ute Indian Tribe; Ute Mountain Ute Tribe; San Juan Water Commission; La Plata Water Conservancy District; and the Animas-La Plata Operation, Maintenance and Replacement (ALPOM&R) Association. Since then, these agencies have been hashing out the details of the administration of Lake Nighthorse storage rights, as well as the future of irrigation, municipal, and industrial uses along the Animas and La Plata rivers. The settlement agreement and proposed decree were entered with the court during a November hearing. The agreement was complex, but resulted in portions of the water right being transferred to the ALPOM&R Association for the Project as built, and SWCD retaining portions of the water rights for future uses as previously decreed including irrigation.


December 30, 2015--Forest Service buries plan on transfer of ski area water rights (Denver Post)

The U.S. Forest Service will not require ski resorts to transfer water rights to the federal government as a condition of operating on public land.


December 11, 2015--Lake Nighthorse water-rights settlement pushed to Jan. 15 (Durango Herald)

A ruling on the settlement agreement reached last month in the years-long Animas-La Plata Project legal battle over water rights to Lake Nighthorse was continued to Jan.


November 19, 2015--Colorado's Water Plan will need everyone to pitch in, officials say (Denver Post)

Colorado adopted a landmark $20 billion water plan Thursday to try to accommodate rapid population growth by conserving more, re-using more, storing more, sharing more between farmers and cities — and diverting less west-east across mountains. "Now is the time to re-think how we can be more efficient," Gov.


November 10, 2015--Water rights stakeholders able to reach settlement in Animas - La Plata Project (Durango Herald)

A collective sigh of relief was let out in 6th Judicial District Court on Monday after a settlement was reached by several local agencies with a stake in the water rights of the Animas-La Plata Project stored in Lake Nighthorse. Chief District Judge Gregory Lyman will review the details of the settlement in the coming weeks, and the court will reconvene 1:30 p.m. Dec.


September 21, 2015--State agrees to improve flows on Lower Dolores (Durango Herald)

Colorado’s top water board agreed Tuesday to improve flows on the Lower Dolores River to boost the health of the river and its native fish. The Colorado Water Conservation Board will seek an in-stream flow right of up to 900 cubic feet per second on the Lower Dolores below its confluence with the San Miguel River. In-stream flows are designated by the board to preserve an


August 1, 2015--Colorado farmers grow more food on less water amid rising competition (Denver Post)

While farmers around him give up control over water used for a century to irrigate crops, Marc Arnusch is crouching in a thick cornfield inspecting blue digits on his new sensor. The third-generation farmer installed it to measure exactly the level of moisture in soil right at the roots of his corn. He's also considering underground tubes that emit water only upon contact by roots.


July 17, 2015--Water rights
 bill by Tipton
 passes House (Grand Junction Sentinel)

A packet of measures that included U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton’s bill to protect state-issued water rights against federal demands passed the U.S. House on Thursday. The Western Water and American Food Security Act, H.R. 2898, passed the House on a 245-176 vote and now goes to the Senate.


July 10, 2015--It's about to get easier for California farmers to conserve water—and sell it (CityLab)

There’s no “solving” California’s drought, as so many headlines suggest. Drought is a regular feature of the Western climate cycle.


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