Keep Up To Date On New Developments

Water Blog

A blog that focuses on legal developments affecting the water community in Colorado and other western states.  We also post news about water rights, water quality, and natural resources.  If you have a suggestion for a post, please contact us.


Welcome to the new White & Jankowski, LLP website

Posted February 19, 2013

Welcome to White & Jankowski’s new website!  We are excited to launch our blog and show you our new site design.  The blog will focus on legal developments affecting the water community in Colorado and other western states.  It will also include news about water, natural resources and our firm. 

To learn more about our firm visit some of the different areas of our website listed above. To read more news and updates about our firm and water law visit the Water Blog.

Grand County secures grant funding for whitewater park on Colorado River

Posted February 8, 2013

On January 29, 2013 the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) approved Grand County’s application to fund a portion of the County’s planned Gore Canyon Whitewater Park at Pumphouse on the Colorado River in the amount of $500,000.  Grand County has already invested matching funds and will also make additional investments to the project.  The Whitewater Park will include in-channel structures that will provide “park and play” recreational opportunities and attract boaters and spectators to promote tourism, new jobs and boost the local economy.  The County is in the process of adjudicating a recreational in channel diversion water right (RICD) for the Whitewater Park.  A water right for the Whitewater Park—which will be the first RICD water right on the Colorado mainstem—is an important component of implementing the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement.  An RICD water right provides protection to water in a flowing stream to be used for non-motorized boating recreation, and is essential to both protecting the County’s investment in the Whitewater Park and preserving its priority under Colorado law.  The County has worked closely with the CWCB and local water users to ensure that concerns regarding the Whitewater Park and its water rights are addressed, and has been successful in this collaborative approach to securing broad support for the project.  The CWCB’s grant of funding of this rural, recreational project demonstrates the CWCB’s commitment to supporting non-consumptive beneficial use projects in Colorado.

New Colorado Supreme Court decision re: corrections to water decree

Posted January 22, 2013

The Colorado Supreme Court opinion in Town of Minturn v. Tucker involved the issue of whether the trial court could correct substantive errors in a decree regarding consumptive use factors, and whether correction of those errors was an improper modification of a stipulation entered into with opposers of Minturn’s application.  Minturn had stipulated (agreed without a trial) to a decree that contained certain consumptive use factors used to limit diversions of Minturn’s water rights to new uses.  After entry of the decree, Minturn realized that some of the factors were incorrect, and petitioned the water court to correct the errors.  Only one opposer to Minturn’s application, Tucker, objected to the proposed correction, arguing that the change violated its stipulation with Minturn because it modified the stipulated terms.  The water court corrected the decree and Tucker appealed.

 The Colorado Supreme Court upheld the water court’s decision and concluded that a “no less restrictive” clause in a stipulation did not prohibit the water court from entering a decree with terms and conditions differing from those in the stipulation.  The Colorado Supreme Court held that the intent of the stipulation was to prevent injury by using consumptive use factors predicated on Minturn’s actual usage, so the correction of the factors to correspond to that actual usage was consistent with the stipulation.  Under this opinion, water courts may consider the intent of the parties in determining whether a decree is contrary to a stipulation and will not automatically find a violation if the decree differs from the stipulation.  Read the full court opinion here.