Snowpack Update

The National Resources Conservation Service May 14, 2013 Snowpack Update lists the Colorado statewide snowpack at 83% of average.  The South Platte basin has the State’s highest snowpack at 119% of average, while the Upper Rio Grande basin has the lowest snowpack at 28% of average.  Some water providers in the South Platte and Colorado River basins remain cautious despite increases in snowpack caused by spring snows, and Denver Water has continued its Stage 2 drought restrictions declared on April 1, 2013.

Concerning the Application for Water Rights of Ginn Battle South, LLC

In Concerning the Application for Water Rights of Ginn Battle South, LLC, No. 11SA169, the Colorado Supreme Court found that the Division 5 Water Court’s did not abuse its discretion when it issued corrected decrees after errors in monthly limitations were discovered in the original decrees.  The Court found that C.R.S. § 37-92-304(10) allows a petitioner to correct substantive errors as well as clerical errors so long as the conditions set forth in the statute, such as a showing of mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect are met.  The Colorado Supreme Court also agreed with the Water Court’s finding that the corrections to the original decree did not make the decree any less restrictive on the applicant than the limitations contained in the Original Decree such that they were consistent with decrees attached to stipulations with an opposer.  The Court’s opinion is available at http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8807&courtid=2

 

Archuleta v. Gomez

In Archuleta v. Gomez, No. 12SA47, the Colorado Supreme Court was presented with an adverse possession dispute over legal interests in water and an easement rights associated with ditches.  The Court affirmed its previous precedent that the requirement to prove exclusive and continuous use in an irrigation right adverse possession case “necessitate both (1) intercepting water within the ditch that belongs to another person’s right, at times and in amounts the adverse possessor’s crop production requires and (2) placing the intercepted water to an actual beneficial use that results in water consumption for crop production.”  However, the Court also held that not every drop of water needs to be consumed, and that a court is to examine all relevant circumstances, including crop efficiency, in determining whether exclusive and continuous use of the irrigation water has been made.  The Court’s opinion is available at: http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8769&courtid=2