San Miguel County: Water 101

A picture named bridalveilfallstelluride.jpg

Here’s a recap of Friday’s Water 101 event in Telluride, sponsored by the New Community Coalition, the San Juan Citizens Alliance, the San Miguel Whitewater Association, the Telluride Institute, the Southwestern Water Conservation District and the Water Information Program, from Ben Fornell writing for the Telluride Daily Planet. From the article:

On Friday, Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Gregory Hobbs was in Telluride to explain how the laws that govern water rights came into being…

Part history lecture, part legal discussion, part vacation slide show, the justice said he was eager to take the members of the room on a “journey,” through the water-sharing cultures of various ancient peoples and into modern day Colorado…

And the crowd of more than 100 packed into the town council room in Rebekah Hall seemed to have no problem sitting attentively at the judge’s feet while he unwound a yarn as long as the Colorado river itself. Slated for an hour, the judge’s talk lasted nearly two, but everyone seemed to be in rapt attention. At the end, the crowd pined for more questions, and despite warnings of “just one more” from a moderator, the judge indulged his desire to dialog with the crowd.

One of the major concepts the judge discussed was the idea that, in Colorado, one has the right to cross private lands in order to obtain water — both physically and with a ditch or conduit.

More Colorado water coverage here.

Leave a Reply