Rain barrels are in the news again in Colorado, the only state in the US where collection of rainwater is illegal. Many react with a question: why is rainwater capture, a strategy that seems aligned with a water conservation ethic, still illegal in a dry state that needs to conserve water? Others answer just as strongly that the longstanding and tightly managed “prior appropriation” system of Western water rights must be protected. What are some of the finer points overlooked in this debate?
The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling on May 2nd that struck down bans and moratoriums on fracking has assured two things: one, a fight about fracking at the ballot box, and two, be on the lookout for other creative production-halting threats. Where are oil and gas companies getting their water from? Is it from a secured, legal and reliable source that know won’t be changing?
What if an oil and gas operator purchases water knowing that the seller deceptively purchased it for agricultural use? Does it make a difference if the operator is unaware of any deception, but knows that the water isn’t approved for industrial use? Water Sage tackles the question of stolen water in Colorado.
The challenge for Colorado’s new water plan, and other state water planning efforts, is to clearly set forth specific, concrete action steps and avoid the fate of their 1970s predecessors as “shelf art.” View this week’s blog post about how the national water planning efforts present an opportunity for state and federal government sources to make data investments to address data gaps that exist in all states.
In the arid West, your water rights are a critical component of the land where you live, work, and play. While most landowners understand the importance of their water rights, many do not know how to effectively manage and protect them for themselves or for future generations. The bottom line is that you are the best person to manage your water rights assets. But where to start?
The Aug. 5 release of 3 million gallons of orange mine waste into a tributary of the Animas River has triggered a variety of calls for action. Colleen Coyle takes a deep dive into how a tool like Water Sage can benefit government officials, industrial operators, and water users to further improve notice procedures and find an “orange lining” in this environmental crisis.
There’s something counterintuitive about buying acreage, but somehow not receiving any right to use the water “on” the property. Such confusion can usually be resolved with a quick lesson on Colorado water rights. To save you the headache of finding out about Colorado’s complex water allocation system the hard way, we’ve put together this post to explain the basics of a Colorado water right.