Location: SCR 357
BILL SUMMARY for HB17-1289
SENATE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES, & ENERGY
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03:37 PM -- HB 17-1289
The committee returned from recess. Senator Coram and Senator Crowder, co-prime sponsors, described the provisions of House Bill 17-1289 concerning State Engineer rules for historical consumptive use. Representative Coram distributed Amendment L. 003 (Attachment M). Under current law, if the owner of a water right brings an action to change the amount of water the owner may use, the amount of water that can be changed is limited to the historical consumptive use of water under the right. This bill directs the State Engineer in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to adopt rules taking into account local conditions that an applicant can use to calculate the historical consumptive use of a water right. The use of the methodology, approach, or local factors developed by the State Engineer is voluntary, and the resulting calculation of historical consumptive use carries no presumptive effect in the determination by the State Engineer, water referee, or water judge.
The committee recessed.
The committee returned from recess.
The following persons testified on the bill:
03:43 PM -- John Kaufman, Centennial Water and Sanitation District, spoke in opposition to the bill,
03:47 PM -- Pat Ratliff, South Metro Water Supply Authority, spoke in opposition to the bill.
03:49 PM -- Joan Greene, Water Rights Association of the South Platte, City of Greeley, spoke in opposition to the bill.
03:54 PM -- Kevin Rein, Deputy State Engineer, DWR, testified in support of the bill and distributed a handout that explains the concept of change of use and points out key components of the bill (Attachment N). He also responded to questions from the committee about Amendment L.003.
03:57 PM -- Jay Winner, Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, testified in support of the bill and discussed the lease fallowing tool being used in the Arkansas River Basin and the benefits of the lease fallowing for farmers.
03:59 PM -- Phillip Chavez, Diamond A. Farms, testified in support of the bill and discussed the cost of water right litigation in which he is participating.
04:03 PM -- Lauren Ris, Department of Natural Resources, spoke in support of the bill and distributed a statement of support from the department (Attachment O).
04:06 PM -- John Schweizer Jr., Super Ditch, spoke in support of the bill and discussed the cost of water right litigation.
04:03 PM -- Michael Weber, Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, testified in support of the bill.
The bill was laid over unamended and tentatively scheduled for action only on May 3.