June 18, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Historical Consumptive Use Analysis May Only Be Conducted on Water Associated with Water Right

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Concerning the Application for Water Rights of Widefield Water & Sanitation District and the City of Fountain in Custer County: Widefield Water & Sanitation District v. Witte, Division Engineer for Water Division 2 on Monday, December 22, 2014.

Historical Consumptive Use Analysis.

In this interlocutory appeal from the water court, the Supreme Court determined whether, when a decree delineates specific acreage to be irrigated, an applicant seeking to change the decreed right may conduct a historical consumptive use analysis on acreage beyond that lawfully associated with the relevant water right. The Court held that this is impermissible and that an applicant may conduct such an analysis only on acreage lawfully irrigated in accordance with the expressly decreed appropriation. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the judgment of the water court and remanded the case to that court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

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