Here’s the release from the Progressive 15 via The Fort Morgan Times:
Progressive 15 has issued a resolution opposing two initiatives dealing with water. The group’s board of directors has issued a statement that Progressive 15 opposes both 2011-2012 Initiative No. 3 and Initiative No. 45 as unwise, unnecessary, disruptive to the fair and responsible allocation and stewardship of Colorado’s scarce water resources and an unwarranted taking of vested property interests.
The resolution says that:
Water frequently does not naturally exist where and when it is needed in sufficient quantities to sustain human settlement and enterprise in Colorado.
As a scarce natural resource, water in Colorado requires a system of allocation, ownership, and enforcement to meet the needs of Colorado’s citizens and the natural environment.
The Colorado Water Congress supports Colorado’s system of prior appropriation as a fair and orderly system for allocating Colorado’s scarce water resources.
Colorado’s prior appropriation system has proven itself both successful and flexible in addressing the public’s changing demands, beneficial uses, and values regarding Colorado water resources (including instream flow water rights).
These two state constitutional amendment initiatives that would reject Colorado’s historical reliance on the prior appropriation doctrine for water allocation and replace it with an undefined public trust doctrine and certain public control mandates.
The adoption of either of these initiatives would undermine the constitutional foundation for Colorado’s prior appropriation system and result in a takings of private and public water rights that currently meet essential agricultural, commercial, environmental, industrial, and municipal needs.
The adoption of either of these initiatives would create great uncertainty in providing a secure water supply for agricultural, commercial, environmental, industrial, and municipal purposes.
These initiatives are masquerading as a measure to protect the public’s control of water, it would prevent farmers, cities, families and businesses from making beneficial use of water rights that have vested in them over the past 150 years under Colorado’s statues and constitution.
More 2012 Colorado November election coverage here.