Colorado

Oct 23, 2009 6:05 PM by Greg Boyce

Representative plans water mitigation bill

State Representative Sal Pace (D-Pueblo) plans to introduce a bill in next year's legislative session that would encourage buyers of rural water to take steps to ease problems that may arise once the water is gone. 

Pace spoke before the Fountain Creek Watershed District Board this afternoon at the Pueblo County Courthouse.  He said while water is considered property under the state constitution and can be bought and sold, his bill would provide an incentive to help communities that lose water through sales to large communities.

"The applicant in court, moving the water, would have a lower standard to meet in water court, if they come to mitigation agreements with the water district where the water was moved from," according to Pace.

Board members seemed to like the proposal, but will not endorse it until they get a chance to read the final version.

Pace said after large water sales from Crowley County to Aurora in the '80s, Crowley County fell on tough times and is now the poorest in the state.  He said the Colorado Division of Water Resources projects the Denver  area will need another 800,000 acre feet of water for future growth.

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