White Jankowski Lawyers

Division 1 rules/settlement

April 11, 2013

On March 23, 2013, the Division 1 Water Court approved and entered the State Engineer’s final rules for measurement of tributary ground water diversions by wells in Water Division 1 (comprising the South Platte River basin).  These rules are similar to the State’s first well measurement rules, which were implemented for the Arkansas River basin in 1994 (and amended effective 2006).  In general, tributary wells in the South Platte River basin must be equipped with a certified Totalizing Flow Meter that is certified as accurate every four years.  Certain users may obtain a variance to use an alternate method that calculates water diversions based on the amount of electrical power used by the well.  White & Jankowski was successful in obtaining provisions that provide where decree terms are inconsistent or contrary to the well measurement rules, the terms and conditions approved by the water court will control.  This ensures that the terms approved by the water court will continue to govern the operation of wells, preserving the appropriate balance between water court and State Engineer authority.  First Assistant Attorney General John Cyran listened to the concerns of various water users regarding the rules and was ultimately able to obtain agreement and avoid the need for a trial on the rules.  John will begin work as a Referee in the Division 1 Water Court this summer.  Congratulations John!