CWCB: HB10-1051 Conservation Data Collection DRAFT Guidelines Available for Public Comment

September 15, 2011

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From email from the Colorado Water Conservation Board:

In 2010, the Colorado General Assembly adopted House Bill 10-1051, an Act Concerning Additional Information Regarding Covered Entities’ Water Efficiency Plans. The Bill requires covered entities to annually report water use and water conservation data to the CWCB to be used for statewide water supply planning. The Bill also directs the CWCB to adopt guidelines regarding the reporting of water use and water conservation by covered entities, and to report to the Legislature regarding the Guidelines.

For the past 10 months the CWCB, with the invaluable support and detailed input from two advisory groups representing a diverse group of stakeholders, including many municipal water providers around the State, has been working on a draft set of Guidelines Regarding the Reporting of Water Use and Conservation Data by Covered Entities. The process has also developed a set of accompanying documents to support the Guidelines and their implementation.

The Draft Guidelines Regarding the Reporting of Water Use and Conservation Data by Covered Entities and Appendices are posted on the CWCB website and are available for public comment. The public comment period will run for 45 days and end at 5:00pm on October 29, 2011. We encourage the public to review the Guidelines and documents and provide the CWCB with comments. Please direct any questions or comments to Veva Deheza, Section Chief, Office of Water Conservation & Drought Planning, at 303-866-3441 ext. 3226.

More CWCB coverage here.


2011 Colorado legislation: HB 11-1286 (Clarify State Engineer Nontributary Rule Authority) passes state Senate

April 20, 2011

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From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel):

House Bill 1286 tells the courts to give deference to state water regulators, who adopted maps last year to show when gas and oil wells need to be given greater scrutiny to make sure they don’t injure the water rights of nearby landowners. Farmers and ranchers have sued the state over the rules, saying they are a giveaway to the gas industry. HB 1286 passed 35-0, and the bill is now on its way to Gov. John Hickenlooper.

More 2011 Colorado legislation coverage here.


2011 Colorado legislation: HB 11-1300 — Conservation Easement Tax Credit Dispute Resolution

April 19, 2011

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Patrick Malone):

Under HB1300, easement donors whose claims are being disputed by the Colorado Department of Revenue could forego hearings before the Department of Revenue and take their cases straight to court in a jurisdiction close to home. The bill includes a provision that would remove the surety bond requirement that is presently necessary to take a conservation easement case to court. The prohibitive sum of those bonds has been a barrier to challenging easements in dispute for some landowners in the past…

One aim of HB1300 would be resolution of easement challenges that are pending. To that end, it calls for suspending interest and penalties against donors who willingly participate in resolution of their cases through district court. The bill’s primary sponsors are Rep. Marsha Looper, R-Calhan, and Sens. Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City, and Jeanne Nicholson, D-Black Hawk. Its first hearing will be in the House Committee on Finance.

More 2011 Colorado legislation coverage here.


2010 Colorado gubernatorial election transition: What should Colorado’s water strategy look like under a Hickenlooper administration?

January 23, 2011

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Water policy is surfacing as the top issue for the incoming administration. The governor has appointed John Stulp to a top-level water position and has repeatedly mentioned water as a priority. Mr. Stulp’s role will be to shape water policy. From email from Mr. Stulp via the Colorado Water Conservation Board:

As the new IBCC director, I am looking forward to a lively discussion regarding the report the IBCC sent to former Governor Ritter and Governor Hickenlooper. As part of my new charge, I’m seeking to engage not only the roundtables, a process that is underway, but also a wider set of the water community on this emerging framework. My goal is to have enough information on this framework that we can have a productive conversation at the March 3rd Statewide Roundtable Summit to improve the document with a geographically and politically diverse group of people in the room.

I have asked CWCB staff and the IBCC facilitator Heather Bergman, in support of the IBCC, to coordinate a public input process. You are officially invited to provide feedback in one or more of the following ways:

Facilitated Public Forums for detailed feedback on the Framework on both the West and East Slopes

o Feb. 4th 3:30-5:30 at the Warwick Denver Hotel, 1776 Grant Street, Denver, CO 80203

o Feb. 25th 1-4 , Glenwood Springs, CO (exact location for this meeting will be sent out next week)

Written Feedback Survey and Comment Opportunity, available at the Statewide Roundtable Summit webpage in the additional information section on the right side of the page. Additional comment emails or attachments may be sent to Viola.Bralish@state.co.us, but all are encouraged to take the survey. Surveys and written public feedback are due February 24th.

The March 3rd Statewide Roundtable Summit at the Doubletree Hotel Denver – North, 8773 Yates Drive, Westminster, CO 80031. Participants in the Summit are expected to participate in one of the above forums first. Registration is $25 for non-roundtable members to cover conference costs. Please register by clicking here.

In order to download a copy of the report, or hear IBCC members’ discussion with Governor Ritter, please visit the Statewide Roundtable Summit webpage.

Please let Jacob Bornstein know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns…

I look forward to learning from all of you,

John Stulp

Special Policy Advisor to the Governor / IBCC Director

I expect that Trout Unlimited will heed the call to help shape the framework since Drew Peternell has already offered an opinion in a recent Boulder Daily Camera guest column. Click through and read the whole thing. Here’s an excerpt:

In an age of water limits, can Colorado meet its water needs for agriculture, industry, and growing cities while also protecting its rivers and quality of life?

Yes – but only with creative solutions and strong leadership. Gov. Hickenlooper has a golden opportunity to move Colorado away from reliance on costly and destructive large dams and pipelines toward a smart water future built on low-impact alternatives such as conservation and reuse, small-scale storage, and innovative sharing arrangements between cities and farms.

We urge the new governor to seize the moment.

Governor Hickenlooper is the keynote speaker at Friday’s Wayne Aspinall Awards Luncheon to close out the Colorado Water Congress’ Annual Convention.

More 2010 Colorado election coverage here.


Water-smart home option now available to Colorado home buyers

January 2, 2011

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From the Associated Press via KDVR.com:

New homes in Colorado are getting a small change in 2011 — builders are now required to offer options to save water. The law taking effect Saturday requires builders to offer the option of “water-smart homes” that include options such as low-flow toilets.

More coverage from Tim Hoover writing for The Denver Post. From the article:

House Bill 1358, sponsored by Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins, and Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, would require builders of single-family, detached homes to offer customers the option of water-conserving toilets, faucets and showerheads. The bill even specifies what kinds of fixtures qualify, noting for example that “toilets shall use no more than one and 2 8/100ths of a gallon per flush.” And if builders offer upgrades for appliances and landscaping, they also will have to offer homebuyers water-thrifty dishwashers and Xeriscaping.

More conservation coverage here.


Governor Ritter Creates Mediation Process for River Access Disputes

December 26, 2010

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Here’s the release from Governor Ritter’s office (Myung Oak Kim/Todd Hartman):

Gov. Bill Ritter today issued a report outlining a series of proposals for resolving disputes between landowners and rafters in Colorado. He also signed an executive order creating the River Access Mediation Commission to provide a way for some of the most contentious conflicts between boaters and property owners to be addressed.

“I’m pleased to announce this report, and the formation of a mediation commission, so we can move forward in resolving these issues fairly and thoughtfully,” Gov. Ritter said. “I believe a mediation commission can work its way through these matters in a civil, reasoned way where all parties’ views are respected and considered in developing a resolution that could alleviate the need for litigation.”

The Governor’s River Access Dispute Resolution Task Force was a 17-member group created in July to help craft ways to sort out conflicts on Colorado rivers on a stretch-by-stretch basis as those disputes arise. Gov. Ritter created the task force through executive order as part of an agreement with stakeholders to set aside numerous conflicting ballot measures on the issue.

The task force report includes eight unanimous recommendations to the Governor on ways to limit disputes between various parties. The recommendations include creation of the River Access Mediation Commission to address the thorniest disagreements. Participation by disputing parties would be voluntary, and the commission would not have the power of arbitration. The report can be accessed on the website of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources at http://dnr.state.co.us/

“I commend the hard work of the task force in developing this report, and extend my thanks for its effort in working through difficult issues that required members to find common ground,” Gov. Ritter said. “The report includes a host of recommendations with great potential to reduce friction between rafters and landowners. I look forward to sharing the recommendations with Governor-Elect John Hickenlooper, and urge him, along with the State Legislature, to thoughtfully review the report.”

More coverage from the Associated Press via The Durango Herald:

The bill was prompted by disputes between landowners who don’t want boaters using waterways flowing through their property and boaters who say the state’s waters belong to the public. The conflict came to a head on western Colorado’s Taylor River last year when a developer told commercial rafters they could no longer float through his property.

“I believe a mediation commission can work its way through these matters in a civil, reasoned way where all the parties’ views are respected and considered in developing a resolution that could alleviate the need for litigation,” Ritter said in a statement.

More whitewater coverage here. More HB 10-1188 coverage here.


River Access Dispute Task Force meeting recap

September 24, 2010

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From The Mountain Mail (Audrey Gilpin):

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area was presented as a “success story,” with park manager Rob White highlighting the citizens task force and river management plan as a way of monitoring river use and mitigating disputes among landowners, non-commercial boaters and private boaters. Comprised of anglers, private and commercial boaters, water users, environmental interests, property owners and local government representatives, White said the Arkansas headwaters task force creates a “communication tool” and management of the Arkansas River that’s “all about compromise,” White said…

The long-standing dispute about whether a “right to float” in Colorado exists or ought to exist, however, is not what the task force was charged to decipher. Mike King, deputy director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, said the task force is trying to find adequate processes and tools to mitigate disputes. Arkansas River Canyon landowner Tim Canterbury said he’d “hate” to see any standard go statewide. “We have a unique situation on the Arkansas River. Can you legislate respect?” he said…

Task force members will attempt to find “solutions” in dealing with problems identified during the meeting including criminal trespass, obstructions in the river such as diversions, fences and structures; issues with commercial and non-commercial boaters, volume of boaters and impact to natural resources. The Governor’s group will meet from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 13 in Glenwood Springs followed by a public input meeting from 5-7 p.m. The task force is to submit a final report to the governor no later than Dec. 31, identifying a framework for a “dispute resolution process for conflicts between rafters and landowners.”

More whitewater coverage here.


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