HB 10-1159: Mitigation for water exports

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

In [HB 10-1159 Concerning the Water Court’s Authority to Consider Conditions in Decrees to Address the Effects of a Water Export Across Water Division Boundaries], Pace seeks to require mitigation agreements between communities giving up water (often rural) and those that are taking it through transport (generally urban). The agreements proposed by Pace would address both economic and ecological factors. If the water districts involved in a transfer could not reach an agreement, a judge in water court would set the terms. “It’s a carrot-and-stick approach that I’m proposing,” Pace said. “The carrot is the ability for urban and rural areas to work together collectively on mitigation agreements. The stick would be the provision for judges to apply mitigation when a compromise can’t be reached.”

Pace’s bill also calls for community meetings where citizens could express their positions on transfer agreements, something that doesn’t happen now. “The only individuals who have any standing in water court now are those with senior water rights who can show (economic) injury,” Pace said. “This bill would for the first time give communities a voice.”

More 2010 Colorado Legislation coverage here.

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