Here’s an analysis of the bill from Amy Huff writing in The Durango Herald. Click through and read the whole article. Here’s an excerpt:
Senate Bill 97 creates a new category of water court application – A Simple Change in a Surface Point of Diversion – that enjoys a rebuttable presumption that the change will not enlarge the historic use of the water right and that eliminates the requirements to satisfy “can and will” and the anti-speculation doctrine…
This new less onerous procedure for changing the point of diversion for water right is available only when the change involves a surface diversion and there are no intervening water rights between the decreed point of diversion and the new point of diversion. It can be utilized for either conditional water rights or absolute water rights with respect to a change that has already been physically accomplished or one that is anticipated.
The Applicant for A Simple Change in Surface Point of Diversion, however, still must prove that the change will not result in the diversion of a greater flow rate or amount of water than has been decreed and is physically and legally available at the original point of diversion and that the change will not cause injury to other water rights. Those burdens of proof are consistent with the requirements for any change of water right.
More 2012 Colorado Legislation coverage here.