Colorado Supreme Court Okays Water Ballot Initiatives

The Colorado Supreme Court has approved the titles for two proposals that critics say would change the way Colorado has handled water rights since 1876. On April 16th the court announced that each proposal properly asks voters to consider only one issue. Proponents want to amend the Constitution to highlight a clause that spells out that unappropriated water in natural streams is public property. A related proposal would spell out in the Constitution that water rights can be constricted to prohibit uses that would harm the public's ownership in the water. Proponents say the measure would prevent farmers from exercising water rights during droughts that would dry up rivers, and possibly prevent water being used for hydraulic fracturing.