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Second Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 980321.01 PLC
HOUSE BILL 981288
STATE OF COLORADO
BY REPRESENTATIVES Smith, Reeser, and George.
AGR., LIVESTOCK & NATURAL RESOURCES
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING THE CREATION OF A PROCESS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT
OF WATER PROJECTS TO INCREASE THE WATER RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO
THE CITIZENS OF COLORADO, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, PROVIDING
FOR MITIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF SAID PROJECTS, ESTABLISHING A
WATER PROJECT ASSISTANCE FUND, AND MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments that may be subsequently
Requires the state engineer and the Colorado water conservation board (CWCB) to assist in the organization of local, voluntary basin planning groups to identify present and future water needs, both consumptive and nonconsumptive, in the Arkansas, North Platte, South Platte, Rio Grande, San Juan, Gunnison, mainstem of the Colorado, and Yampa/White river basins within Colorado.
Directs the state engineer and the CWCB to review the work of the local planning groups and evaluate the basin studies performed by the local planning groups and develop a list of prospective water projects. Requires the state engineer and the CWCB to submit 2 reports to the general assembly, one containing the results of the basin studies and their evaluation of water projects necessary to meet statewide interests, and the 2nd, containing their recommendations concerning how the state can assist individuals and entities in meeting locally identified water needs through the implementation of identified alternatives, including, but not limited to, the construction of necessary facilities.
Orders the state engineer to identify adverse impacts of the proposed water projects. Requires mitigation of adverse impacts if water projects are built with moneys from the water project assistance fund. Creates the water project assistance fund.
Makes an appropriation.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. Article 60 of title 37, Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW PART to read:
WATER RESOURCES ACT OF 1998
3760201. Legislative declaration. THE COLORADO GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEREBY FINDS AND DECLARES THAT COLORADO IS A SEMIARID STATE IN WHICH WATER IS NOT ALWAYS NATURALLY AVAILABLE AT THE TIME AND PLACE OF NEED. IN ORDER TO FULLY AND EFFICIENTLY UTILIZE THE WATER RESOURCES TO WHICH COLORADO IS ENTITLED, THE STATE, IN COORDINATION WITH LOCAL INTERESTED PARTIES, HAS A ROLE IN THE PLANNING AND FINANCING OF WATER PROJECTS AND FACILITIES THAT WILL ALLOW FOR THE PROTECTION, EFFICIENT UTILIZATION, AND ADMINISTRATION OF COLORADO=S SCARCE WATER RESOURCES. FURTHER, THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FINDS AND DECLARES THAT THE STATE HAS A ROLE IN ENSURING THAT WATER PROJECT IMPACTS ARE ADEQUATELY MITIGATED AND THAT IMPEDIMENTS TO PROJECT DEVELOPMENT ARE ADDRESSED.
3760202. Local water needs identification. (1) THE COLORADO WATER CONSERVATION BOARD AND THE STATE ENGINEER SHALL ASSIST IN THE ORGANIZATION OF LOCAL, VOLUNTARY BASIN PLANNING GROUPS ESTABLISHED TO IDENTIFY THE PRESENT AND FUTURE WATER NEEDS, BOTH CONSUMPTIVE AND NONCONSUMPTIVE, IN THE ARKANSAS, NORTH PLATTE, SOUTH PLATTE, RIO GRANDE, SAN JUAN, GUNNISON, MAINSTEM OF THE COLORADO, AND YAMPA/WHITE RIVER BASINS WITHIN COLORADO. WHERE SUCH PLANNING GROUPS ARE ESTABLISHED, THEY SHALL IDENTIFY THE FOLLOWING:
(a) EXISTING AND HISTORICAL WATER SUPPLY CONDITIONS, WITH PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON FUTURE WATER AVAILABILITY AND HISTORICAL DROUGHT PATTERNS;
(b) EXISTING AND REASONABLY FORESEEABLE WATER NEEDS FOR CONSUMPTIVE BENEFICIAL USES;
(c) DEMONSTRATED ENVIRONMENTAL AND OTHER NONCONSUMPTIVE WATER NEEDS;
(d) ADMINISTRATION AND COMPLIANCE WITH INTERSTATE WATER COMPACTS AND UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT DECREES REGARDING COLORADO=S INTERSTATE WATER OBLIGATIONS;
(e) INTRABASIN RIVER ADMINISTRATION;
(f) ALTERNATIVES, INCLUDING PROCESSES OR FACILITIES REQUIRED TO ADDRESS THE IDENTIFIED WATER NEEDS; AND
(g) ANY IMPEDIMENTS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROCESSES OR FACILITIES NECESSARY TO MEET THE IDENTIFIED WATER NEEDS, INCLUDING ECONOMIC, TECHNICAL, OR REGULATORY IMPEDIMENTS AND ALTERNATIVES TO OVERCOME THOSE IMPEDIMENTS.
3760203. State engineer and Colorado water conservation board assistance. (1) THE STATE ENGINEER AND THE COLORADO WATER CONSERVATION BOARD SHALL REVIEW AND COMMENT UPON THE WORK OF THE BASIN PLANNING GROUPS, CREATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 3760202, INCLUDING THE ALTERNATIVES IDENTIFIED IN SECTION 3760202 (1) (f), AND SHALL IDENTIFY THE FOLLOWING ISSUES FROM A STATEWIDE PERSPECTIVE:
(a) WATER ADMINISTRATION REQUIREMENTS OF THE BASIN;
(b) THE INTERRELATIONSHIPS, CONFLICTS, AND COMPATIBILITIES AMONG THE VARIOUS BASINS= IDENTIFIED PLANNING NEEDS AND ALTERNATIVES;
(c) WATER PROJECTS NECESSARY TO MEET THE NEEDS OF STATEWIDE INTERESTS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED BY THE BASIN PLANNING GROUPS.
(2) THE COLORADO WATER CONSERVATION BOARD AND THE STATE ENGINEER SHALL REPORT TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THE RESULTS OF THE BASIN STUDIES AND THEIR EVALUATION OF WATER PROJECTS NECESSARY TO MEET STATEWIDE INTERESTS NO LATER THAN MARCH 1, 2000.
(3) ON OR BEFORE MARCH 1, 2001, FOLLOWING REVIEW AND CONSIDERATION OF THE BASIN PLANNING GROUPS' RECOMMENDATIONS AND OTHER INFORMATION DEVELOPED BY OR FOR THE COLORADO WATER CONSERVATION BOARD OR THE STATE ENGINEER, SUCH AS THE INVENTORY OF SMALL RESERVOIR STORAGE LOCATIONS, THE COLORADO WATER CONSERVATION BOARD AND THE STATE ENGINEER SHALL SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY WITH THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING HOW THE STATE CAN ASSIST INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES IN MEETING LOCALLY IDENTIFIED WATER NEEDS THROUGH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF IDENTIFIED ALTERNATIVES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE CONSTRUCTION OF NECESSARY FACILITIES.
3760204. Mitigation requirements. (1) THE COLORADO WATER CONSERVATION BOARD AND THE STATE ENGINEER SHALL IDENTIFY, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE BASIN PLANNING GROUPS, REGULATORY AUTHORITIES, AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES:
(a) THE SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS CAUSED BY THE IMPLEMENTATION OF IDENTIFIED WATER SUPPLY ALTERNATIVES; AND
(b) POTENTIAL MITIGATION OPTIONS DESIGNED TO ADDRESS SUCH IMPACTS IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH MEETING IDENTIFIED WATER SUPPLY NEEDS.
(2) ANY PROJECT, OR PORTION THEREOF, RECEIVING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS PART 2, SHALL MITIGATE ALL REASONABLY ANTICIPATED SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION IS INTENDED TO CREATE DUPLICATIVE IMPACT ASSESSMENTS OR MITIGATION REQUIREMENTS.
(3) ANY WORKS OR FACILITIES PLANNED AND DESIGNED FOR THE EXPORTATION OF WATER FROM ANY NATURAL BASIN, AS DESCRIBED IN SECTION 3792201, WHICH IS PROVIDED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IN WHOLE OR IN PART PURSUANT TO SECTION 3760205, SHALL BE DESIGNED, CONSTRUCTED, AND OPERATED IN SUCH A MANNER THAT THE PRESENT APPROPRIATIONS OF WATER AND PROSPECTIVE USES OF WATER FOR BENEFICIAL USES WITHIN THE NATURAL BASIN IN COLORADO FROM WHICH WATER IS EXPORTED WILL NOT BE IMPAIRED NOR INCREASED IN COST AT THE EXPENSE OF THE WATER USERS IN THAT BASIN. THE FACILITIES AND OTHER MEANS FOR ACCOMPLISHMENT OF SUCH PURPOSE SHALL BE INCORPORATED IN AND MADE A PART OF ANY PROJECT PLANNED FOR THE EXPORTATION OF WATER FROM SAID NATURAL BASIN. ADDITIONALLY, ANY ENTITY THAT HAS COMPLIED WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION OR SECTION 3745118 (1) (b) (II), SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION APPLIED TO A THIRD PARTY FOR ANY SUBSEQUENT TRANSFER OUTSIDE OF THE ENTITY=S DISTRICT OR MUNICIPAL BOUNDARIES OF WATER TO WHICH THIS SECTION OR SECTION 3745118 (1) (b) (II), HAS BEEN APPLIED. THIS SUBSECTION (3) SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY WORK OR FACILITY THAT DOES NOT RECEIVE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PURSUANT TO SECTION 3760205.
3760205. Water project assistance fund. (1) THERE IS HEREBY CREATED IN THE STATE TREASURY THE WATER PROJECT ASSISTANCE FUND, WHICH SHALL BE SUBJECT TO ANNUAL APPROPRIATION BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO ASSIST IN THE FINANCING OF DEVELOPMENT COSTS OF WATER PROJECTS IDENTIFIED PURSUANT TO SECTION 3760203. ALL INCOME DERIVED FROM THE DEPOSIT AND INVESTMENT OF MONEYS IN THE FUND SHALL BE CREDITED TO THE FUND. AT THE END OF ANY FISCAL YEAR, ALL UNEXPENDED MONEYS IN THE FUND SHALL REMAIN IN THE FUND AND SHALL NOT BE CREDITED OR TRANSFERRED TO THE GENERAL FUND OR ANY OTHER FUND. NO INVESTMENT EARNINGS OR OTHER MONEYS IN THE WATER PROJECT ASSISTANCE FUND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO ANY MANAGEMENT FEE IMPOSED BY LAW FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GENERAL FUND.
(2) THE COLORADO WATER CONSERVATION BOARD SHALL MAKE ANNUAL RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE USE, IF ANY, OF THE WATER PROJECT ASSISTANCE FUND. USE OF THIS FUND SHALL INCLUDE DEVELOPMENT OF PROJECTS, OR PORTIONS THEREOF, DESIGNED TO MEET NONCONSUMPTIVE USE NEEDS OF STATEWIDE INTEREST, MITIGATION PURSUANT TO SECTION 3760204, AND PROJECTS, OR PORTIONS THEREOF, FOR WHICH NO IMMEDIATE CONSUMPTIVE USE DEMAND EXISTS, BUT THAT ARE NECESSARY TO ENSURE ADEQUATE FUTURE WATER SUPPLIES FOR IDENTIFIED NEEDS.
3760206. Applicability. NOTHING IN THIS PART 2 IS INTENDED, NOR SHALL IT BE CONSTRUED, TO ALTER OR AMEND THE PRIOR APPROPRIATION SYSTEM OF INTRASTATE WATER ALLOCATION AS EMBODIED IN THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION AND STATE STATUTES.
SECTION 2. Appropriation. (1) In addition to any other appropriation, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998, there is hereby appropriated, out of any moneys in the general fund not otherwise appropriated, to the water project assistance fund created in section 3760205, Colorado Revised Statutes, the sum of ____ dollars ($ ), to be used for purposes consistent with the creation of the fund.
(2) In addition to any other appropriation, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998, there is hereby appropriated, to the department of natural resources for allocation to the Colorado water conservation board out of any moneys in the water project assistance fund, the sum of _____ dollars ($ ), or so much thereof as may be necessary, to be allocated as follows:
(a) $______ for the administrative costs of the board; and
(b) $______ for the purposes of and in accordance with the provisions of this act.
SECTION 3. Safety clause.
The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that
this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public
peace, health, and safety.