April 14, 2011--Roundtable backs water law study (Pueblo Chieftain)

A study to determine if state law helps or hinders new strategies to share water was approved Wednesday by the Arkansas Basin Roundtable. The study would help projects like the Arkansas Valley Super Ditch, or any effort that would allow farmers to retain water rights yet lease water, to determine what limitations could work against the concept, and what laws might help implementation. The study would then be discussed in a facilitated dialogue to air concerns in public. “If we change something, it might not help our neighbors,” said Gary Barber, chairman of the roundtable. The $20,000 study would be administered by the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority, which Barber manages, and would be jointly funded by four separate roundtables, in hopes of avoiding the pitfalls of a failed bill that raised numerous objections. Some were nervous about the implications of changing water law.

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