Larry Myers


This Comment proposes constitutional and statutory amendments that would allow water courts to consider the public interest in water allocations. It offers a model public interest standard and argues that this public interest standard is an economic necessity given the shifting contributions of water-reliant industries and the nature of their water needs. Assuming the purpose of Colorado water law is to promote growth and the economic health of the state, then Colorado must adjust the guiding laws to reflect the current economic reality. Where facilitating economic growth formerly required consumptive diversions from streams to subsidize homesteads, ranches, and mines, now it often means leaving the water in streams to maximize real estate values and the conditions desirable for the recreation and service economies. This Comment argues that Colorado will allocate its limited water resources more efficiently by implementing a public interest standard that allows water courts to consider local and state economic interests

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