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[Boulder, Colorado : Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment]


51 pages (includes 1 color map)

Introduction -- Definitions -- Water rights -- Change of water right -- Transfers of water rights -- Water sharing agreements -- Losing your water rights ("use it or lose it") -- Preventing the transfer of water out of the acequia -- Conservation easements -- Governing the acequia -- Assessments -- Easements -- Enforcement -- Tort liability -- Water quality -- The Rio Grande Compact -- Main government water entities -- Where can an acequia get legal assistance? -- Appendix I. Water rights : frequently asked questions -- Appendix II. Acequia bylaws : frequently asked questions -- Appendix III. Acequia incorporation : frequently asked questions -- Appendix IV. Model bylaws -- Appendix V. Catlin provision (Also included at Art. 10 in Model Bylaws) -- Appendix VI. Topics to consider about bylaws -- Appendix VII. The new Acequia laws passed in 2009 and 2013 -- Appendix VIII. Process for incorporating -- Appendix IX. Protest to Revised Abandonment List -- Appendix X. Contacts for organizations and agencies.

"Acequias are unique and longstanding cultural and legal institutions in Colorado. Spanish and Mexican farmers and ranchers who settled here long before Colorado became a state created these systems for irrigation and water sharing that ensure sustainable use of water, and create important community bonds. Despite their long history, which includes acknowledgment in the session laws of the Colorado Territory, it was not until 2009 that acequias received recognition in Colorado state statutes. The 2009 Acequia Recognition Law, which was amended in 2013, allows acequias to continue to exercise their traditional roles in governing community access to water, and also strengthens their ability to protect their water. For acequias in Colorado to take full advantage of the statute, it is necessary to have a set of written bylaws that formalize existing customs and adopt the recently recognized powers. This Handbook was drafted in part to highlight the opportunities presented by the Acequia Recognition Law, as well as to explain the basics of Colorado water law for acequia members and those who work with acequias."--Introduction


Cover title.

"(Revised 2016)".

"The purpose of this Handbook is to provide general information to acequias (irrigation ditches) in Costilla, Conejos, Huerfano and Los Animas Counties. This handbook is not intended to provide legal advice."--Title page verso.

"Made possible with generous support from: Gates Family Foundation; Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation; Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area."--Title page verso.

"This handbook is a joint effort of the Sangre de Cristo Acequia Association, the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment at the University of Colorado Law School, Colorado Open Lands, and dedicated private attorneys."--Title page verso.

"The handbook represents the work of law student volunteers at the University of Colorado Law School, with supervision and guidance from Colorado law professors and attorneys. Student contributors to the content of this handbook were: Blake Busse, Karoline Garren, Julia Guarino (Getches-Wyss Fellow), Megan Gutwein, Cori Hatch, Melissa S. Jensen, Shannon Liston, Gunnar Paulsen, Nate Miller, John R. Sherman, Dan Weiss, Michael Weissman, Emily Neiley."--Title page verso.

Colorado Acequia Handbook: Water Rights and Governance Guide for Colorado's Acequias