Initiatives 3 and 45: ‘We now know that the process is adversarial’ — Richard Hamilton

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From The Colorado Statesman (Peter Marcus):

Two efforts to protect water sources in Colorado also failed after sponsors were unable to submit signatures on Monday. Both initiatives aimed to declare water as belonging to the people of Colorado.

Initiative 3 would have simply declared that the public owns the water of Colorado; Initiative 45 would have addressed use and environmental issues by allowing the public to “limit” or “curtail” the right to divert water within the state.

Richard Hamilton, who sponsored both initiatives, said they were hampered by a challenge to the title language, which went to the Colorado Supreme Court and was not settled until April 16, dramatically shrinking the period of time sponsors had to collect signatures.

In the end, sponsors ended up with about 30,000 signatures, said Hamilton.

“We’ll go back and put something in and go after them again in 2014,” he said. “Hopefully there will not be such inordinate delays. We now know that the process is adversarial.”

Critics, including the Colorado Water Congress, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, and the Colorado River Water District, had opposed the measures, stating that the initiatives were too broad, allowing the public to block water diversions for a wide range of issues that could affect how the state and local governments distributed needed water.

More 2012 Colorado November election coverage here.

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