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Water Banks Administration

Concerning the administration of water banks.
2016 Regular Session
Bill Summary

The bill provides water banking throughout the state by authorizing the Colorado water conservation board (board) to adopt rules establishing a water bank and authorizing the board, after the board has operated the water bank for at least 2 years, to delegate operation of a portion of the water bank to a water conservation district or a water conservancy district that chooses to operate a portion of the water bank and has demonstrated to the board's satisfaction that it can effectively operate a portion of the water bank.

The board's rules must allow a person to deposit water for renewable periods of up to 10 years each. The board's rules must limit the amount of water a person may deposit into the water bank to depositing all of the water subject to a decree for up to 3 years in any consecutive 10-year period or depositing up to 30% of the water subject to the decree in any consecutive 10-year period. The board's rules must also prohibit a lease, loan, or trade of water from the water bank that would negatively affect an interstate obligation or result in transferring water out of the Rio Grande or Arkansas River basins or across the continental divide.

As part of the application process that the board is required to establish by rule, the board, in conjunction with the state engineer, shall develop a streamlined process by which a person may calculate the historical consumptive use and return flows of the person's water right and any potential material injury arising from a deposit of water from the person's water right. The state engineer will use the streamlined process to certify water deposit applications.

Individual water bank transactions will not require water court approval. However, the board's rules governing the water bank will be published before becoming effective, and a person may protest the board's rules in a water division designated by the Colorado supreme court in the same manner that a person would protest a water referee's ruling in water court.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)




Bill Text


Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Rep. J. Arndt, Rep. E. Vigil
Sen. L. Crowder



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