In 1942, Colorado entered into an interstate compact (compact) with Nebraska and Kansas regarding the allocation of water from the Republican river basin (basin). Colorado ratified the compact in 1943. In 2016, Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas signed a resolution (resolution) regarding a dispute about Colorado's compliance with the compact, through which resolution and its amendment Colorado agreed to retire 25,000 acres of irrigated acreage in the basin by 2029.
The act requires the Colorado water center (center) in the Colorado state university to study the anticipated economic effects of the forced elimination of groundwater withdrawals within and surrounding the Colorado portion of the Republican river basin that could occur if Colorado fails to comply with the resolution. The center is required to prepare a progress report and, on or before January 1, 2026, a final report of the center's findings and conclusions from the study and to post both reports on the center's website. The center must present the progress and final reports to certain legislative committees.
For the 2023-24 state fiscal year, the act appropriates $146,286 from the general fund to the department of higher education for allocation to the Colorado water center.
APPROVED by Governor June 3, 2023
EFFECTIVE June 3, 2023
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)