U.S. Water News Online
DENVER -- The Colorado state Supreme Court ruled against
Arapahoe County commissioners recently, agreeing with a water court
that denied their applications for conditional water rights for the
Union Park Reservoir Project.
The water court concluded there was insufficient water available
for the large water storage project west of the Continental Divide in
the Upper Gunnison River Basin.
The county argued that the Gunnison River Basin above the Aspinall
Unit contains ample water resources for the transbasin diversion of
water across the Continental Divide for ultimate use on Colorado's
The Supreme Court upheld the water court, holding that it properly
determined the amount of water available.
The court said Congress intended the Colorado River Storage
Project Act to serve as a mechanism for Upper Basin States to develop
their water resources and still meet their Colorado River Compact
The projects allow Colorado to develop its water resources while
ensuring that adequate water remains in storage to help meet the
compact obligations in dry years.
The court also found that the water court correctly implemented
Congress' intent to subordinate 60,000 acre-feet to in-basin water
users while providing a 240,000 acre-foot marketable pool for future
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