BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1233
SENATE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ENERGY
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Moved HB 09-1233 to the Committee of the Whole, wi||PASS|
02:11 PM -- House Bill 09-1233
Senator Schwartz, sponsor, described the provisions of the reengrossed HB 09-1233 that allows for the creation of acequia mutual ditch corporations in Costilla, Conejos, Huerfano, and Las Animas counties (Attachment B). An acequia is defined, in part, as a ditch that originated prior to Colorado's statehood; treats the diverted water as a community resource; supplies irrigation water to long lots that maximize the number of landowners who have access to water; and has historically relied on labor supplied by the owners of irrigated land served by the acequia. The bill specifies procedural and other requirements necessary to form an acequia mutual ditch corporations. It also provides such corporations with the right of first refusal regarding the sales, lease, or exchange of the water used to irrigate the land by the acequia.
The following persons testified on the bill:
02:18 PM -- Mr. Bill Paddock, Rio Grande Water Users Association, spoke in support of the reengrossed bill and explained that the Rio Grande Water Conservation District also supports HB 09-1233. He described the history of acequias that were created by Spanish settlers after the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo. He explained how acequias and ditch companies operate under the doctrine of prior appropriation that allocates stream water in Colorado based on the seniority of water rights. Mr. Paddock also responded to questions from the committee about how acequias have operated under current law and the effect of the bill on existing ditch companies.
02:31 PM -- Representative Ed Vigil, House Sponsor, described how his family adjudicated their water rights in the San Luis Valley which are the oldest water rights in Colorado. He also contrasted the shared ownership of water rights in Hispanic communities with the ownership of water rights by nonhispanic individuals and communities. Representative Vigil responded to questions about acequias that have expressed interest in organizing as an acequia ditch company.
Senator Schwartz closed her remarks on HB 09-1233.
|TIME: || 02:39:12 PM|
|MOTION:||Moved HB 09-1233 to the Committee of the Whole, without amendment. The motion passed on a vote of 7-0.|
Final YES: 7 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS