House Members of the Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee.
Regarding HB16-1337 http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2016a/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/BA2EBB0220371C3D87257F4D006374BC?open&file=1337agr_01.pdf
We neither oppose or support HB16-1337. For as it stands, we believe it begs answers to the following critical questions before any Yes or No vote can be made.
We encourage you to please seek verifiable answers to these questions.
1) Whose Vested Water Rights Property is included? Have they been identified and properly notified, "Your property is included in HB16-1337."
2) Who's involved in this bill? Why do they deem said bill necessary?
3) Who will benefit and who will be negatively impact?
4) How will HB16-1337 be funded?
5) In referencing "district,” does it mean District “Water” court? If yes, shouldn’t the word “Water” be included along with the specific Water District #?
Since Water Districts are only authorized to enforce, administer and penalize within the defined boundaries of their district, it is imperative the Water District # be so noted.
Bill states, "State Administrative Procedure Act…” Does this imply HB16-1337 will return rightful authority to State water engineers to administer water in prior appropriation?"
State Constitution of Colorado Article XVI repeatedly refers to Water as Water. It does not include the words surface and ground water, for water is connected and to be used together (conjunctive use).
When who-so-ever put water to beneficial use, they received a date of adjudication and an allotment quantity.
Legislation that would separate ground from surface - then favor one over the other would violate Colorado Prior Appropriation of "Water."6) Are Water Rights Owners receiving their allotment quantities in prior appropriation? Are you aware of any Water Rights Owners who are being denied use of their Vested Water Right Property? If yes, have they received "just compensation" for "takings?"
For your consideration: Review of Mr. Marc Arnusch's following comments sees them as accusations; accusations this bill might be based on?
Marc Arnusch claims this bill “finally puts a stop to the games played by those looking to take advantage of our designated groundwater system.” Please ask Mr. Arnush to expand on “games,” identify “those looking to take advantage of our designated groundwater system," define "designated groundwater system" and explain to the committee the rates and amounts he appears concerned about.
Mr. Arnusch further states, “The financial resources available to many of the local management districts, like Lost Creek, are no match to those looking to speculate on the future value of water in our communities.”
Please ask Mr. Arnusch to identify “financial resources, local management districts,” and “those looking to speculate on the future value of water in our communities."
Is it possible that Mr Arnusch's concerns could be more appropriately dealt with in a court of law... rather than on General Assembly's time and taxpayer dollars?
We urge you to please demand answers to all before mentioned questions and verifiable answers made public and timely enough to give included Water Right Owners equal opportunity to respond.
Verifiable answers will give you opportunity to determine if, with corrections, the bill should proceed or die.