Colorado Water Rights

 REALTORS are continually being asked for property listings that “sit next to the river” ”have a stream or pond” “can

Arkansas River

Arkansas River

 have a well dug” or other requests for water. Water is a BIG deal in Colorado. REALTORS are not lawyers. REALTORS  can look for and research property that has water. But if you find a property with ‘water’ you need to get a water attorney. Just because the water crosses your property you do not have the right to use it, divert it, borrow it, make a pond, water your animals or anything else to do with water until you have the rights, permits and paper work in order.

Tales never stop about people being shot or going to jail over water. Don’t end up on the front page of the newspaper, in the back of a sheriffs vehicle or in front of a judge over water. Find the right piece of property and if water rights are for sale with it great! But be sure all the paper work is in order and have an attorney review it all.

“The first thing you need to know is water rights are deeded separately as are mineral rights in Colorado. Just because that beautiful mountain stream runs through your property does not automatically entitle you to it! “ Source:

“During virtually every session, Colorado’s General Assembly is asked to consider numerous new bills relating to water rights issues.”

“The Water Right Determination and Administration Act of 1969 created seven water divisions based upon the drainage patterns of various rivers in Colorado. Each water division is staffed with a division engineer, appointed by the state engineer; a water judge, appointed by the Supreme Court; a water referee, appointed by the water judge; and a water clerk, assigned by the district court.”

“Water judges are district judges appointed by the Supreme Court and have jurisdiction in the determination of water rights, the use and administration of water, and all other water matters within the jurisdiction of the water divisions.”

“All water courts operate under a standard case definition approved by the Supreme Court in 1981. This made possible the establishment of water court filings standards, which have been reported annually by water division since July 1, 1981. Water resume publication requirements are governed by C.R.S. § 37-92-302(3)(a).” Source :

About Water Law:

“The Water Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association is a group of over three hundred lawyers committed to enhancing the practice of water law and the administration of water rights in the State of Colorado.  The Section provides a forum for the education and communication among water law practitioners and their staff, judges, members of he water law community, elected officials, the state bar association, and members of the public.” Source:

Helpful links about water in Colorado:

A House, A Home on the Arkansas River:

The Arkansas River:

Dena Stevens~REALTOR “Putting the ‘real’ into REALTOR since 2004

About Dena Stevens (719) 369.9087

Putting the 'real' into REALTOR since 2004 Ask about vacant land, ranch land or residential properties. Loyalty and devotion are things buyers and sellers expect from their Realtor as well as the fiduciary responsibility of due diligence. Dena is a certified Ecobroker, focused on sustainability, energy efficiency and the environment and is a Certified Sales Professional from the Association of Home Builders. Specialties: A client once said "you put the 'real' into REALTOR" to me. I took it as a complement and I've been using it ever since, I'm a no nonsense kind of person. I've been helping people buy and sell real estate since 2004. Associate Broker REALTOR Certified Sales Professional (CSP) Short Sale Foreclosure Resource (SFR) Ecobroker GHSP The Fair Housing Act is a federal act in the United States intended to protect the buyer or renter of a dwelling from seller or landlord discrimination. Its primary prohibition makes it unlawful to refuse to sell, rent to, or negotiate with any person because of that person's inclusion in a protected class.
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