Wayne Aspinall is credited with saying, “In the West, when you touch water, you touch everything.” Well, these days you can hardly read an article about our new governor or the General Assembly that doesn’t mention water somewhere so I guess I have to agree with Aspinall.
Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs was at the capitol building yesterday talking Colorado water history. Here’s a report from Patrick Malone writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:
Ancestral Pueblo Indians built [water works] in the southwest corner of the state between 750 and 1180 A.D. The San Luis People’s Ditch, the state’s oldest water right dating from 1852, is still honored today. “We didn’t even become a territory until 1861,” Hobbs said…
He discussed the complexities of water source augmentation, the unique role Colorado’s courts play in water decisions (appellate courts are bypassed straight to the Supreme Court on appeal), how Colorado’s neutral decision makers on water disputes — the courts — differ from other states’ more political approaches and the state’s history of consideration to agriculture in structuring water law.
More 2011 Colorado legislation coverage here.