Senior Water Rights

July 11, 2015--Interactive map: Indian water rights in the Colorado River Basin (Circle of Blue)

With the oldest claims to water, Native American tribes in the Colorado River Basin command a considerable role in directing the region’s future. Combined, the tribes hold rights to a substantial portion of the Colorado River’s flow: roughly 20 percent, or 2.9 million acre-feet, which is more water than Arizona’s allocation from the river.


June 16, 2015--Colorado cuts into use-or-lose system that caused water waste (Denver Post)

Colorado water rights owners are forging a way out of the state's ingrained "Use It Or Lose It" rule that penalizes those who divert less than their full allotment from rivers — opening a path to cut water use as shortages grip the West. For 139 years, state enforcers have said farmers, cities and ranchers who don't use all the water they are entitled to could have


June 14, 2015--California moves to restrict water pumping by pre-1914 rights holders (Los Angeles Times)

In a rare action, California officials move to restrict water diversions by senior rights holders. Some pre-1914 California water rights holders ordered to reduce diversions. For the first time in nearly 40 years, state regulators are telling more than 100 growers and irrigation districts with some of the oldest water rights in California that they have to stop drawing suppli

February 28, 2015--Calif. farms to go without federal water again in 2015 (Capital Press)

Many farms in California’s Central Valley will have to do without federal water again this year unless big spring storms replenish the state’s woeful mountain snowpack. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s initial allocation, announced Feb.


August 7, 2014--California century-old water rights profit from drought (Bloomberg)

Last summer, in the second year of California’s latest dry spell, Michael Perez, a farmer in the state’s Central Valley, paid $250 an acre-foot for water to irrigate his almonds, cherries, tomatoes, and cotton.


July 10, 2014--5 Tribal land and water rights bills get SCIA attention (Indian Country)

Seeking to hear directly from tribal leaders on the important issue of land and water rights, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) held a hearing on five bills that would strengthen tribal land and water rights and increase economic development on tribal lands July 9.


May 27, 2014--California's flawed water system allows 4,000 to thrive while others conserve (Daily Camera)

Call them the fortunate ones: Nearly 4,000 California companies, farms and others are allowed to use free water with little oversight when the state is so bone dry that deliveries to nearly everyone else have been severely slashed. Their special status dates back to claims made more than a century ago when water was plentiful.


May 21, 2014--Water fight has irrigators steamed (Mancos Times)

The Division of Water Resources stopped the flow of water from the West Mancos River through Chicken Creek this spring. This had resulted in a very limited flow for the irrigators along the Carpenter-Mitchell Ditch and reduces the water available to Bauer Reservoir.


May 9, 2014--Potential for harm: Opponents of Senate Bill 23 express concern about upstream water users (Steamboat Today)

Senate Bill 23, which recently passed the Colorado Legislature, aims to provide incentives for agricultural water users and irrigators on the Western Slope to make their operations more efficient, but some opposed the bill on the grounds that it has the potential to harm others’ water rights.


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