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5EC514AC29EC355D87258750006373F7 Hearing Summary


Date Sep 14, 2021      
Location SCR 357

Recreational In-Channel Diversion - Committee Discussion Only

12:06:19 PM  

Greg Johnson, Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), introduced and discussed recreational in-channel diversion (RICDs). He described what RICDs are, how Colorado governs them, and the process that CWCB administers regarding RICD applications. He spoke about the Water Court process for evaluating a RICD application and what Water Court considers with the application.

12:11:29 PM  

Mr. Johnson answered questions about water rights and where the water is coming from for RICDs. He spoke about how RICDs are a junior water right and how applications are reviewed to ensure non-injury to existing water rights. He continued to answer questions about establishing the beneficial use requirement for existing RICDs and any RICD applications.

12:16:42 PM  

Mr. Johnson answered a question about junior water right application filings and the appropriation of existing water rights. He elaborated on the criteria that CWCB must take into consideration with any RICD application.

12:20:00 PM  

Erik Skeie, CWCB, answered a question about the RICD application process and the timeline associated with the application process.  He spoke about the findings that CWCB is charged with presenting during a public meeting and its eventual submission of the findings to Water Court.

12:24:14 PM  

Mr. Skeie answered a question about how they work with the Office of the Attorney General.

12:26:22 PM  
Josh Kuhn, Conservation
Colorado, introduced the presentation.  

12:27:25 PM  

Mike Harvey, American Whitewater, spoke about the current river recreation resources and how existing RICDs operate by building structures that create the recreational whitewater. He discussed the economic benefit that RICDs have in their communities. He pointed the committee to a map in the presentation showing where the current RICDs are located. He spoke about the accessibility of river recreation and the evolution of outdoor recreation.

12:37:59 PM  

Mr. Kuhn discussed the economics of river related recreation in Colorado. He answered a question about river related versus water related recreation and what river recreation specifically entails.

12:41:12 PM  
John Cyran, Western
Resource Advocates, answered a question about how the benefits of river
recreation to a community are calculated.  
12:44:28 PM  

Mr. Kuhn continued to discuss how river flow affects the industry and expenditures in Colorado.

12:47:45 PM  
Mr. Cyran spoke about
the communities they work with in the hopes that they can benefit from
river recreation.  He discussed the challenges that communities are
12:49:50 PM  
Mr. Cyran talked
about the different solutions that they are suggesting and how they are
continuing to work with stakeholders to formulate any potential legislation.
12:56:03 PM  
Mr. Cyran answered
a question about consumptive use and water distribution with RICDs.
01:05:07 PM  

Ryan Stitt, Denver Water, spoke about Denver Water's stakeholder role in creating the most recent RICD statute changes in 2006. He discussed the proposed changes to RICD statutes and Denver Water's stance on those changes. He discussed the need for efficient use of water across the state, including in RICDs.

01:11:23 PM  

Mr. Stitt answered a question about changing the amount of water used and the current use of the necessary control structures that RICDs use.

01:13:49 PM  

Mr. Stitt spoke about the entities that can and cannot institute and apply for a RICD water right.

01:16:10 PM  

Zane Kessler, Colorado River District, spoke about the district's support of RICDs and the expansion of them. He spoke about what the current statutes entail and how the Colorado River District supports the local communities they serve by reducing the financial burden of building and maintaining RICDs.

01:23:13 PM  

Mr. Kessler answered a question about the Colorado River District's role in financially assisting communities with RICDs.

The committee recessed.

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