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h_agr_2017a_2017-03-20t13:31:25z2 Hearing Summary

Date: 03/20/2017

Location: HCR 0107

Final

BILL SUMMARY for HB17-1219



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK, & NATURAL RESOURCES


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
Refer House Bill 17-1219 to the Committee of the W PASS







02:54 PM -- HB 17-1219



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The committee came back to order. Representatives McLachlan and Arndt, co-prime sponsors, presented House Bill 17-1219, concerning, an extension of the agricultural water leasing pilot program administered by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB). Under current law, the CWCB administers a pilot program to demonstrate the practice of fallowing irrigated agricultural land and temporarily leasing the associated water rights. Fallowing refers to the practice of leaving plowed agricultural land unseeded for one or more growing seasons. The bill makes changes to the program including increasing the number of CWCB authorized projects from 10 to 15; specifying that no more than five pilot projects may be located in any one of the four major river basins; extending the deadline of applications for sponsorship of a project from December 31, 2018 to December 31, 2023; extending completion dates of pilot projects from 2029 to 2034. Representatives Arndt and McLachlan responded to questions from the committee and committee discussion ensued regarding the benefits of lease fallowing and the need for water storage.



The following persons testified on the bill:



03:09 PM --
Jay Winner, Lower Arkansas Water Conservancy District, testified in support of the bill and discussed House Bill 13-1248, which established the pilot program administered by CWCB. Mr. Winner discussed the process of lease fallowing and how it affects water users. Mr. Winner responded to questions regarding the pilot program.



03:17 PM --
Bill Hancock, representing himself, testified in support of the bill.



03:22 PM --
John Schweizer, Jr., Arkansas Valley Super Ditch Company, testified in support of the bill and gave background on the development of the Arkansas Valley Super Ditch and the benefits to water users in the Lower Arkansas Valley, particularly in Crowley County. Mr. Schweizer responded to questions from the committee regarding the benefits of the CWCB pilot program.



03:31 PM --
Phillip Chavez, Diamond A Farms, testified in support of the bill and provided the committee with a background of water use on his farm and how the CWCB pilot project has benefited his area.



03:42 PM --
Don Shawcroft, Colorado Farm Bureau, testified in support of the bill and discussed why the pilot program should be extended. Mr. Shawcroft responded to question from the committee.



03:48 PM --
Dr. John Stulp, Water Policy Advisor for the Governor, testified in support of the bill and explained the need for the pilot project program. He discussed the lease fallow tool and described the benefits to water users. Dr. Stulp responded to questions from the committee regarding the pilot program, specifically the approval process for projects in the program.



04:02 PM --
Dianna Orf, Colorado Water Congress, testified in support of the bill.



04:04 PM --
Aaron Citron, the Nature Conservancy, testified in support of the bill.



04:07 PM --
Leah Martinsson, Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, testified in support of the bill and explained why the pilot project should be extended.



04:11 PM --
Jack Goble, Lower Arkansas Valley Conservancy District, testified in support of the bill.





04:14 PM



The chair closed testimony, and Representatives Arndt and McLachlan made closing remarks on the bill.


BILL: HB17-1219
TIME: 04:14:58 PM
MOVED: Arndt
MOTION: Refer House Bill 17-1219 to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a vote of 9-4.
SECONDED: Danielson
VOTE
Becker J.
No
Buck
Yes
Danielson
Yes
Esgar
Yes
Hansen
Yes
Lebsock
Yes
Lewis
No
McKean
No
Saine
No
Valdez
Yes
Willett
Yes
Mitsch Bush
Yes
Arndt
Yes
Final YES: 9 NO: 4 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS







04:19 PM



The committee adjourned.










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