WHEREAS in 1973, the Colorado Legislature passed landmark legislation to protect Colorado’s natural environment through a pioneer in-stream flow law; and
WHEREAS since the inception of Colorado’s in-stream flow program, the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) has adjudicated in-stream flow rights on more than 8,500 miles of Colorado’s streams and rivers and more than 475 rights to protect natural lake levels; and
WHEREAS the CWCB has the exclusive authority under Colorado law to appropriate water for in-stream flows, and it has a legislative mandate to balance environmental protection with potentially competing consumptive water uses; and
WHEREAS the current in-stream flow program allows the CWCB to file for new water rights appropriations for the minimum amount of water necessary to protect the environment to a reasonable degree; and
WHEREAS the current in-stream flow program allows the CWCB to accept senior absolute water rights for conversion to in-stream flow rights when and where such senior rights would better protect the natural environment or natural lake levels; and
WHEREAS the Colorado in-stream flow program has proven its ability to balance protection of Colorado’s stream and lake environments with other agricultural, industrial and municipal water uses; and
WHEREAS Colorado’s in-stream flow program has been a successful, state-based alternative to federally-imposed by-pass flow requirements; and
WHEREAS the CWCB has a statutory obligation to protect both existing water users and the future ability to fully develop Colorado’s full water entitlements if and when Coloradoans choose.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that CLUB 20 supports Colorado’s landmark in-stream flow program and opposes any legislative proposal or initiative effort intended to significantly change Colorado’s in-stream flow legislation and insists that any proposal or initiative should be pursued only following extensive discussion by all interested parties and only with a broad consensus.
Adopted 3/ 8/2002