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BFB823F020634F418725877B005330C0 Hearing Summary


Date Oct 27, 2021      
Location SCR 357

Presentation on Alternative Transfer Methods - Committee Discussion Only

09:08:42 AM  
Brett Bovee, Regional Director, WestWater Research, LLC, introduced the presentation (Attachment A).
09:17:38 AM  
Sarah Parmar, Director
of Conservation, Colorado Open Lands, introduced her presentation (Attachment
B). She spoke about conservation easements and how they are related to
alternative transfer methods (ATMs).  She spoke about how conservation
easements can be utilized to address Colorado's water challenges.
09:22:19 AM  

The committee asked about how conservation easements work with existing water rights.

09:27:02 AM  

Ms. Parmar discussed and example of what an existing conservation easement looks like. The committee asked about how the leasing of water rights and how water rights may decrease in some cases.

09:29:38 AM  

Ms. Parmar spoke about limiting groundwater pumping as a way to conserve water through conservation easements.

09:37:15 AM  

The committee asked about the flexibility of conservation easements and what the costs of that flexibility may be. Ms. Parmar told the committee about what appraisers will look at in terms of the value of the land and how a change in use would impact that value.

09:42:28 AM  

The committee asked about negotiating ATMs with nearby municipalities and ensuring that the value of water is maintained for those that own the existing water rights. Ms. Parmar discussed the different aspects of how to capture the present value of water and the future value of water for potential ATMs.

09:46:54 AM  
Committee members
asked about what type of research has been done about the risks of issuing
new taps on leased water.  Ms. Parmar told the committee that there
is no specific research that they have done related to this.  The
committee continued to ask about looking into how municipalities handle
water compared to agricultural communities.  Senator Simpson made
comments about water challenges in the San Luis Valley and how water leasing
is utilized in this area.  
09:54:55 AM  
The committee asked
about the difference between selling the water versus leasing the water.
 Ms. Parmar said there is some control that is left with the irrigator
when it is a lease agreement.  The committee asked about the different
types of buyers that may come in to purchase water rights and the effects
of selling to different buyers.  Ms. Parmar talked about how investors
can influence markets depending on where the investors are from.  
10:03:50 AM  

The committee continued to make comments and ask questions about buying and selling water rights.

10:06:23 AM  

Amber Pacheco, Program Manager, Rio Grande Water Conservation District, discussed the use of an ATM to have a more permanent solution to meet the water needs in the region. She talked about the potential creation of a water market through an ATM.

10:14:22 AM  
Senator Simpson spoke
about ATMs, past legislation related to the topic, and how water is shared
among agricultural and municipal uses through ATMs.
10:15:16 AM  

The committee asked about the effects of ATMs on existing water users. Ms. Pacheco spoke about how ATMs have to balance having enough water without causing injury to water users.

10:21:23 AM  
Ms. Pacheco discussed
the different ways a water agreement works to calculate any injury that
may have occurred to the water owner.

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