Colorado Water Law: An Historical Overview, Update 4

Colorado Supreme Court Justice Hobbs has written a series of Colorado Water Law updates, published in the University of Denver Water Law Review. The first article was published in Volume 1, Issue 1, in 1997. To provide our readers with the most up-to-date water law information, the editors have periodically updated works previously published in the Water Law Review. The following is an update to Colorado Water Law: An Historical Overview, Appendix – Colorado Water Law: A Synopsis of Statutes and Case Law and was published in the Water Law Review, Volume 6 in 2001. 


Simpson v. Bijou Irrigation Co.

“As a result of the [1969] Act’s stated policy of conjunctive use, wells were required to be integrated into the priority system, although unadjudicated wells in existence prior to 1969 were allowed to continue. The Act nevertheless encouraged the adjudication of existing wells by allowing well owners who filed an application by July 1, 1971, to receive a water decree with a priority dating back to their original appropriation date. The 1969 Act also introduced the concept of augmentation plans into the water law adjudication and administration scheme. Augmentation plans were the primary means provided by the Act for integrating groundwater into the state priority system…. ”  Simpson v. Bijou Irrigation Co., 69 P.3d 50, 60 (Colo. 2003) (citations and footnotes omitted).

“In response to the large number of augmentation plan applications which had been filed, in 1974 the General Assembly vested the State Engineer with the authority to grant temporary approval of augmentation plans. Significantly, however, a precondition to even temporary approval by the State Engineer was that the water user had an augmentation plan application pending in water court.

Click here for a PDF of the entire article: 8 U. Denv. Water L. Rev. 213, 2004-2005.


View the first article by Justice Hobbs here: 1 U. Denv. Water L. Rev. 1, 1997-1998.

View the first update to Colorado Water Law:  2 U. Denv. Water L. Rev. 223, 1998-1999.

View the second update to Colorado Water Law: 4 U. Denv. Water L. Rev. 111, 2000-2001.

View the third update to Colorado Water Law: 6 U. Denv. Water L. Rev. 116 2002-2003.