Rio Grande Basin: The objectors to the groundwater management subdistrict #1 rules have filed an appeal of Judge O. John Kuenhold’s recent approval of the plan

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Matt Hildner):

The subdistrict water management plan approved by Judge O. John Kuenhold calls for subdistrict members to tax themselves to pay for injuries to senior surface rights owners and fallow up to 40,000 acres of farmland.

The subdistrict includes roughly 174,000 acres of irrigated farmland and 3,000 wells.

Objectors want the Supreme Court to determine whether the trial court erred in relegating authority to the subdistrict and the State Engineer’s office to devise annual replacement plans to compensate surface rights owners for injury.

The appeal questioned if the trial court erred by deferring any finding of injury and instead retaining jurisdiction over the plan to make such a determination.

A series of points in the appeal also question the sources of potential replacement water.

More San Luis Valley groundwater coverage here and here.

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