Final
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING

WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE

Date:10/11/2013
ATTENDANCE
Time:09:17 AM to 03:59 PM
Brophy
X
Coram
X
Place:SCR 356
Hodge
X
Jones
*
This Meeting was called to order by
Mitsch Bush
X
Senator Schwartz
Roberts
X
Sonnenberg
X
This Report was prepared by
Vigil
X
Brooke Maddaford
Fischer
X
Schwartz
X
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
Least Cost Water Strategies
Urban Drainage Planning and Flood Hazard Reduction
Requests for Draft Legislation
Water Court Procedures
Long-term Funding Needs and Finance Mechanisms for Public Wastewater and Drinking Water Projects
Requests for Draft Legislation
Committee discussion only
Committee discussion only
Committee discussion only
Committee discussion only
Committee discussion only
Committee discussion only

09:17 AM

Staff distributed a document from Representative Fischer to the committee regarding the Colorado WaterWise Water Conservation Summit event (Attachment A).

1011AttachmentA.pdf1011AttachmentA.pdf

09:18 AM -- Least cost Water Strategies

Amory B. Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute, described some of the issues associated with least-cost water strategies and discussed the "end use-least cost" approach to energy usage. Mr. Lovins talked about the patterns that can be observed in United States energy policy, the cost of thermal power plants, electricity usage patterns in the United States, and utility efficiency efforts. Mr. Lovins said that, over time, electric needs will dwindle as efficiency improves. He discussed trends observed with regard to wind energy and photovoltaic power and explained how global markets are rapidly shifting to distributed renewable energy. He talked about the usage of non-hydro renewable energy sources outside of the United States and explained how the electricity sector is transforming. Mr. Lovins discussed the effects of this transformation on water consumption. He talked about how U.S. water productivity outpaced energy productivity over the last 60 years and explained some of the variations in water productivity found in different states. He discussed water usage in agriculture, household water use, Colorado's water productivity gains from 1985-2005, Colorado household water efficiency, and consumptive water rights policies in Colorado. Mr. Lovins identified some of the arguments against using water efficiently and basic elements of modern water strategy. He answered questions from the committee regarding market structure in saved water, the definition of "low-value ag use," new methods being used to increase water efficiency, and implications of modern water strategies on state water policies. He continued to answer questions from the committee regarding potential effects of eliminating coal and oil production on the U.S. job market, the effects of Spain's photovoltaic energy policy on their economy, case studies examining water markets and water savings in Montana, and Colorado's prior appropriation water law.

10:30 AM -- Urban Drainage Planning and Flood Hazard Reduction

Dr. Andrew Earles, Wright Water Engineers, distributed a document discussing urban drainage principles (Attachment B) and the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD) Activity Summary (Attachment C). He discussed how urban drainage infrastructure performed during the 2013 flood, some of the costs associated with flood damage and the amounts of runoff observed as a result of the flood.

1011AttachmentB.pdf1011AttachmentB.pdf 1011AttachmentC.pdf1011AttachmentC.pdf

10:40 AM

Ken MacKenzie, Urban Drainage and Flood Control District's Master Planning Program, discussed the UDFCD boundary and outlined areas in the district that experienced major flooding during the 2013 flood. He explained the mission of the UDFCD and discussed the UDFCD alert system, flood prediction models, and various reports that the UDFCD received during the 2013 flood. Mr. MacKenzie discussed several regional facilities that the UDFCD built and manages along Westerly Creek. He talked about how Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood performed during the 2013 flood

10:51 AM

Dr. Earles discussed some of the effects of the flood seen in Boulder and talked about 13 major drainage-ways in Boulder. Dr. Earles discussed the street flooding that occurred in Boulder, the South Boulder Creek floodplain, and stream relocations that occurred in and near gravel pits. Mr. MacKenzie and Dr. Earles answered questions from the committee regarding gravel pit permitting criteria, gravel pit locations, and the definition of a 100-year flood. Dr. Earles talked about some of the lessons learned during the 2013 flood.


11:14 AM -- Requests for Draft Legislation

Senator Schwartz explained the process for requesting draft legislation.

BILL:Requests for Draft Legislation
TIME: 11:21:01 AM
MOVED:Hodge
MOTION:Draft a bill related to State Engineer's Office Printing Requirements. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Brophy
Coram
Hodge
Jones
Mitsch Bush
Roberts
Sonnenberg
Vigil
Fischer
Schwartz
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection


BILL:Requests for Draft Legislation
TIME: 11:22:28 AM
MOVED:Roberts
MOTION:Draft a bill to create forest watershed roundtables. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Brophy
Coram
Hodge
Jones
Mitsch Bush
Roberts
Sonnenberg
Vigil
Fischer
Schwartz
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection

BILL:Requests for Draft Legislation
TIME: 11:24:52 AM
MOVED:Fischer
MOTION:Draft a bill related to FLEX market approach. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Brophy
Coram
Hodge
Jones
Mitsch Bush
Roberts
Sonnenberg
Vigil
Fischer
Schwartz
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection

11:25 AM

Committee discussion ensued regarding the bill.
BILL:Requests for Draft Legislation
TIME: 11:29:47 AM
MOVED:Coram
MOTION:Draft a bill to create small hydroelectric incentives. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Brophy
Coram
Hodge
Jones
Mitsch Bush
Roberts
Sonnenberg
Vigil
Fischer
Schwartz
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection

11:30 AM

Committee discussion ensued regarding the bill.
BILL:Requests for Draft Legislation
TIME: 11:36:49 AM
MOVED:Fischer
MOTION:Draft a bill related to ground water management district enforcement. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Brophy
Coram
Hodge
Jones
Mitsch Bush
Roberts
Sonnenberg
Vigil
Fischer
Schwartz
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection


BILL:Requests for Draft Legislation
TIME: 11:38:54 AM
MOVED:Sonnenberg
MOTION:Draft a bill regarding special use permits and water rights. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Brophy
Coram
Hodge
Jones
Mitsch Bush
Roberts
Sonnenberg
Vigil
Fischer
Schwartz
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection




11:40 AM

Committee discussion ensued regarding the bill.
BILL:Requests for Draft Legislation
TIME: 11:42:16 AM
MOVED:Fischer
MOTION:Draft a bill to allow surface water rights to be used as replacement water for groundwater depletions without requiring a change of use as a plan for augmentation. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Brophy
Coram
Hodge
Jones
Mitsch Bush
Roberts
Sonnenberg
Vigil
Fischer
Schwartz
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection

11:44 AM


Committee discussion ensued regarding the bill.
BILL:Requests for Draft Legislation
TIME: 11:56:03 AM
MOVED:Schwartz
MOTION:Draft a bill to incentivize cluster/denser development. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Brophy
Coram
Hodge
Jones
Mitsch Bush
Roberts
Sonnenberg
Vigil
Fischer
Schwartz
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection

BILL:Requests for Draft Legislation
TIME: 11:57:51 AM
MOVED:Schwartz
MOTION:Draft a bill to streamline water court procedures. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Brophy
Coram
Hodge
Jones
Mitsch Bush
Roberts
Sonnenberg
Vigil
Fischer
Schwartz
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection


BILL:Requests for Draft Legislation
TIME: 12:01:27 PM
MOVED:Fischer
MOTION:Draft a bill to create a legislator water education fund. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Brophy
Coram
Hodge
Jones
Mitsch Bush
Roberts
Sonnenberg
Vigil
Fischer
Schwartz
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection

BILL:Requests for Draft Legislation
TIME: 12:05:23 PM
MOVED:Schwartz
MOTION:Draft a joint resolution in support of divisible loads for biomass trucking. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Brophy
Coram
Hodge
Jones
Mitsch Bush
Roberts
Sonnenberg
Vigil
Fischer
Schwartz
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection

12:07 PM

The committee recessed.


01:34 PM -- Water Court Procedures

The committee returned to order.

01:36 PM

Representative Fischer discussed the WaterWise (Attachment A) document that was distributed to the committee in the morning.

01:37 PM

Justice Gregory Hobbs, Colorado Supreme Court, asked staff to distribute three documents to the committee (Attachments D, E, and F). Justice Hobbs discussed the uniqueness of Colorado's water court and compared it to how many other states manage water rights. Justice Hobbs said that the purpose of the Colorado water court is to identify, adjudicate, and protect water rights. He said that the court decrees four items related to water rights: place of diversion, amount of diversion, type of use, and place of use. Justice Hobbs discussed how Colorado can only consume 1/3 of the water that arises in the state due to interstate compacts and decrees. He talked about the role of historical beneficial use and the importance of protecting return flows. He discussed the history of the 1969 legislation that changed water code so that courts could adjudicate water rights on a basin basis. Justice Hobbs offered a historical perspective regarding change cases that changed agricultural water rights to municipal water rights and discussed the role of the Colorado Water Conservation Board. He talked about various Division 1 Water Court statistics and referenced Attachment E during his discussion. Justice Hobbs discussed consumptive use and "takings." Justice Hobbs answered questions from the committee regarding the number of cases seen by the Division 1 Water Court, water court's definition of "injury," protection of historic diversion rights, and the process involved in changing a point of diversion. Justice Hobbs continued to answer questions from the committee regarding court proceedings for irrigation ditches that were impacted by the 2013 flood, the timing involved in point-of-diversion change cases immediately after disaster events like the 2013 flood, court mandated collaboration between opposing scientific experts in water court, the expense associated with and unpredictable nature of water court, and the potential for a safe-harbor provision.

1011AttachmentD.pdf1011AttachmentD.pdf 1011AttachmentE.pdf1011AttachmentE.pdf 1011AttachmentF.pdf1011AttachmentF.pdf

02:40 PM

Committee discussion ensued regarding the draft bill related to streamlining water court procedures.

02:40 PM

Tom Morris, Legislative Legal Services, answered questions from the committee regarding draft bills and a letter to the governor regarding flood impacts and funding needs.


02:57 PM -- Long-term Funding Needs and Finance Mechanisms for Public Wastewater and Drinking Water Projects


Staff distributed four documents from panel members (Attachments G, H, I, and J) to the committee.

1011AttachmentG.pdf1011AttachmentG.pdf 1011AttachmentH.pdf1011AttachmentH.pdf 1011AttachmentI.pdf1011AttachmentI.pdf 1011AttachmentJ.pdf1011AttachmentJ.pdf

Kevin Bommer, Colorado Municipal League (CML), discussed water and wastewater grants, public and private financing mechanisms, the costs associated with replacing aging infrastructure, environmental mandate compliance issues, the "stream team" comprised of people from state and federal agencies that are working to assess river channels and diversions. Mr. Bommer answered questions from the committee regarding how population growth may affect infrastructure needs and public-private partnerships.

03:10 PM

Michael Beck, Water Quality Control Division, discussed various ways that the division quantifies water infrastructure needs throughout the state that are required to be identified by the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Act. He talked about programs that are available to assist communities with project costs including the Water Quality Improvement Fund, the Small Systems Training and Technical Assistance Training Program, and the Domestic Waste Water and Drinking Water State Grant Program. Mr. Beck referenced Attachment G, which outlines potential funding sources and programs throughout the state (Attachment G), and discussed the current state of the Nutrient Grant Program.

03:17 PM

Michael Gifford, Associated General Contractors of Colorado (ACG), discussed the role of the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN).

03:20 PM

Michael Brod, Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority, discussed specifics of the project eligibility list and their associated costs. He discussed capitalization grants, the number of loans that have been executed, and the revolving nature of the funds. Mr. Brod answered questions from the committee regarding how projects are prioritized and how closely the authority works with the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB).

03:29 PM

Tony Milo, Colorado Contractors Association, discussed the handouts from his organization (Attachments H, I, and J). Mr. Milo talked about the challenges involved in ensuring that owners of facilities impacted by the 2013 flood meet federal matching requirements for financial assistance. He discussed potential funding that may be available from the state to help bolster revolving loan funds. Mr. Milo, Mr. Bommer, and Mr. Gifford answered questions from the committee regarding loan payback processes.

03:36 PM

Mr. Brod responded to questions from the committee regarding the statutory authority limits on the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority for offering loans to private entities and certificates of participation. Mr. Bommer responded to questions from the committee regarding exemptions that are allowed for smaller communities with regard to nutrient standards. Mr. Beck responded to questions from the committee regarding the prioritization of making resources available to stressed communities. Mr. Beck also responded to questions from the committee regarding the domestic wastewater and drinking water grant program. Mr. Beck responded to questions from the committee regarding the potential of drafting a bill related to amending the wastewater statute. Committee discussion ensued.

BILL:Requests for Draft Legislation
TIME: 03:50:54 PM
MOVED:Schwartz
MOTION:Draft a bill regarding wastewater treatment grants for small communities. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Brophy
Coram
Hodge
Jones
Mitsch Bush
Roberts
Sonnenberg
Vigil
Fischer
Schwartz
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection

03:57 PM

Committee discussion ensued regarding the proposed draft bill on biomass.

03:59 PM

The committee adjourned.