2016 #coleg: Two CCGA-supported water bills see success during the 2016 Colorado Legislative Session

Flood irrigation in the Arkansas Valley via Greg Hobbs
Flood irrigation in the Arkansas Valley via Greg Hobbs

From the Colorado Corn Growers Association:

Colorado House and Senate leaders found common ground on two CCGA-supported state bills — House Bill 16-1228 and House Bill 16-1256 — that had each passed through the 2016 Colorado Legislative Session in recent weeks, but came out of the two chambers in varying versions.

With concurrence, though, from both Senate and House leaders in more recent days, both bills are on their way to the governor for his signature.

The 2016 Colorado Legislative Session ended at midnight on May 11.

House Bill 16-1228, “Ag Protection Water Right Transfer Mechanism,” would authorize owners of ag water rights to seek change-in-use decrees, allowing the transfer of up to 50 percent of the water subject to that water right, to any beneficial use for renewable one-year periods, without designating the specific beneficial use, if the owner obtains a substitute water supply plan, and other conditions are met.

House Bill 16-1256, “South Platte Water Storage Study,” would require the state to conduct or commission a study of the South Platte River Basin to determine, for each of the previous 20 years, the amount of water that has been delivered to Nebraska in excess of what’s required under compact. The study must also include locations that have been identified as possible sites for new reservoirs within the South Platte River Basin, between Greeley and Julesburg.

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