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J_WRARC_2023A 10/31/2023 09:02:50 AM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
JOINT COMMITTEE COMMITTEE ON WATER RESOURCES AND AGRICULTURE REVIEW COMMITTEE
Date 10/31/2023
Attendance
Bridges *
Catlin X
Hinrichsen X
Lynch *
Martinez X
McLachlan X
Pelton B. *
Pelton R. X
McCormick X
Roberts X
Time 09:02:50 AM to 03:20:14 PM
Place SCR 357
This Meeting was called to order by Roberts
This Report was prepared by Alexa Kelly
Hearing Items Action Taken
Non-functional Turf Committee Discussion Only
Update on Federal Farm Bill Committee Discussion Only
Public Rights on Rivers Committee Discussion Only
Stream Restoration Committee Discussion Only
Federal Funding of Colorado Water Committee Discussion Only
Update from Colorado River Drought Task Force Committee Discussion Only
Airborne Snow Observatories, INC Committee Discussion Only
Public Testimony Committee Discussion Only
Vote on Draft Bills Committee Discussion Only

09:02:51 AM

All committee materials and presentations can be found here: https://leg.colorado.gov/content/jwrarc2023ascheduleandmeetingmaterials



Non-functional Turf - Committee Discussion Only


09:04:26 AM  
Greg Fisher, Denver
Water, introduced himself and his presentation. He spoke about the efforts
of municipalities to invest in replacing turf grass and limiting grass
in new developments.
09:05:16 AM  
Andy Hill, Denver
Water, introduced himself and gave a description of non-functional turf,
which is primarily ornamental. He told the committee that non-functional
turf is often found in medians and along sidewalks. He spoke about the
value of green spaces and does not want these spaces to be lost. He discussed
the bill draft that was requested by the committee and testified that it
is well balanced.
09:15:43 AM  
Lindsay Rogers, Western
Resource Advocates, introduced herself and her presentation. She spoke
about the need to reduce municipal outdoor water demand through the limitation
of non-functional turf and the recent policy developments and funding efforts
that have focused on this issue. She told the committee about the current
Turf Replacement Program status, which is expected to fund up to 50 entities'
projects. She discussed potential future policy opportunities.  
09:22:13 AM  
Heather Stauffer,
Colorado Municipal League, introduced herself and her presentation. She
spoke about efforts by municipalities to remove and reduce the use of turf
in Colorado and provided a list of places where turf removal is taking
place. She told the committee about partnerships between municipalities
and nonprofits to offer water conservation and lawn replacement services.
She discussed the future work that can be done to support ongoing efforts.
   
09:29:31 AM  
Marshall Brown, Aurora
Water, introduced himself. He told the committee about Aurora's developer
incentives, but he explained that the development community continued to
install non-functional turf. He told them that this is why Aurora banned
installation of non-functional turf in new developments. He discussed the
need for some local control over non-functional turf.  
09:35:18 AM  
The panel responded
to questions from the committee regarding the benefits of some green space
in communities, the time it would take to recoup the costs for replacing
turf grass, concerns with artificial turf, how other states are approaching
non-functional turf, and limiting turf in residential areas.    



Update on Federal Farm Bill - Committee Discussion Only


09:46:13 AM  
Ashley House, Colorado
Farm Bureau, introduced herself. She spoke about items in the Farm Bill
and the priorities of her organization for the next Farm Bill. She told
the committee about how the 2018 Farm Bill came to pass and how the current
Farm Bill is not moving at the same pace. She discussed the possibility
of extending the previous Farm Bill, which would cause uncertainty. She
continued to discuss the impacts of the Farm Bill on Colorado.  
09:58:12 AM  
Ms. House responded
to questions from the committee regarding what could happen if there is
no Farm Bill passed and about keeping small Farm Service Agency offices
from closing. She commended the current work of Senator Bennet's office
on the bill.  
10:05:40 AM  
Rosy Brummette, Policy
Advisor, Office of Senator Michael Bennet, introduced herself and her presentation.
She gave an overview of the Farm Bill, including the timeline for passing
a new Farm Bill. She told the committee about the spending in the Farm
Bill, which includes nutrition, commodities, crop insurance, and conservation.
She specifically highlighted the bills that Senator Bennet is running focused
on conservation, rural development, and forestry.
10:22:12 AM  
Ms. Brummette responded to questions from the committee regarding rural development and housing, mental health resources for those in the agricultural industry, and Farm Service Agency office funding.



Public Rights on Rivers - Committee Discussion Only


10:32:08 AM  
Mark Squillace, Professor
of Law, University of Colorado Law School, introduced himself and his presentation.
He told the committee about the difference between navigable and non-navigable
streams and legal standards in the state, and he made recommendations for
allowing the public to have greater access to waterways.
10:44:05 AM  
Richard Strauss introduced
himself. He urged the committee to read his ebook with specific focus on
certain terms of interest surrounding navigability law of rivers. He told
the committee that questions remain regarding the public rights on streams
under existing law.
10:49:36 AM  

Lori Potter, Kaplan, Kirsch, and Rockwell, introduced herself and discussed her role in the recent Colorado v. Hill case and in similar cases during her career. She told the committee about a case where one of her clients sued to have safe access across a river. She spoke about her role representing American Whitewater in public use and river access cases. She told the committee about the ongoing challenges that individuals face when hoping to travel down a river that goes through private property.  

10:58:09 AM  
The panelists answered
questions from the committee about restrictions around floating on rivers
through private property, the interpretation of constitutional language
related to the right to float in other states versus Colorado, the final
determination in the Colorado v. Hill case, and private property rights.
 
11:06:47 AM  
Chane Polo, Colorado Water Congress, introduced herself and her organization. She spoke about her organization's Colorado Water Stewardship Project. She discussed how the public trust doctrine and the prior appropriation doctrine in Colorado are in conflict.
11:11:53 AM  
Steve Leonhardt, Colorado Water Congress, introduced himself and his role in the Colorado v. Hill case. He told the committee about his interpretation of the public trust doctrine and how it's been used and interpreted in other states. He discussed how Colorado has rejected the public trust doctrine in the Colorado v. Hill case and in prior cases in Colorado. He spoke about the difference between the right to float versus the right to appropriate.
11:18:51 AM  
Garin Vorthmann,
Colorado Farm Bureau, introduced herself and her role in these discussions.
She told the committee about her organization's interest, which is focused
on private property rights, specifically agricultural property. She discussed
liability concerns associated with public rights on rivers.
11:23:33 AM  
The panelists responded to questions from the committee regarding what is navigable, how floating on a river may or may not affect appropriation, the ownership of water in a stream, and the intersection of the right to float and private property rights.



Stream Restoration - Committee Discussion Only


11:34:00 AM  
Abby Burke, Audubon
Society, introduced herself. She told the committee about the impacts of
Senate Bill 23-270, which focused on stream restoration. She discussed
the Colorado Healthy Headwaters Working Group and its efforts to educate
people about stream restoration projects. She told the committee about
the the ordinary high water mark of a stream and how stream restoration
can help put streams back to their natural water mark and flow.
11:47:53 AM  
Kelly Romero-Heaney,
Department of Natural Resources, introduced herself and thanked the committee
for their work on SB23-270. She spoke about possible policy gaps that remain
and how to address them in the future.  
11:52:53 AM  
The panelists answered questions from the committee regarding possible new financing from the federal government.



Federal Funding of Colorado Water - Committee Discussion Only


11:55:08 AM  
Nate Pearson, Department
of Natural Resources, introduced himself and gave an overview of his presentation.
He told the committee about major water investments from the federal government,
including the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction
Act, and other previously existing programs. He discussed the varying types
of funding administration at the federal level. He told the committee about
drought mitigation funding that currently exists.  

12:06:04 PM  
Anna Mauss, Colorado
Water Conservation Board, discussed stakeholder engagement and federal
technical assistance grants for Colorado water projects. She gave examples
of the types of projects that are currently funded in the state.  
12:08:17 PM  
Mr. Pearson continued to speak about the state-maintained database of federal funding opportunities that can be accessed by the public. He told the committee about recent legislation that has allowed the state to draw down additional federal funds for water projects.
12:11:57 PM  
The panelists responded
to questions from the committee regarding what constitutes "western
states" in funding allocation, the amount of funds Colorado could
be eligible for, and where constituents can go for more information.  



12:14:18 PM
The committee took a break for lunch.



Update from Colorado River Drought Task Force - Committee Discussion Only


01:00:43 PM  
Eagle County Commissioner
Kathy Chandler-Henry, Task Force Chair, introduced herself and gave background
on the creation of the task force. She spoke about the member makeup of
the task force and the discussions the task force has been having, including
talks around demand management.
01:10:00 PM  
Dr. Kelsea Macllroy,
The Langdon Group, Task Force Facilitator, introduced herself. She relayed
gratitude to the committee members for the inclusion of tribal members
on the task force. She spoke about the logistics of the task force, including
the number of meetings it has had, how it collects public comments, and
how members decide what to discuss.
01:17:38 PM  

Commissioner Chandler-Henry spoke about the recommendations that the task force is hoping to make and where the public can engage with the task force online (https://crdroughttaskforce.com/Default).

01:20:34 PM  
The panelists responded
to questions from the committee about industrial water rights, discussions
around demand management, aging infrastructure, developing programs to
protect Colorado's water, and ongoing negotiations.  



Airborne Snow Observatories, INC - Committee Discussion Only


01:34:37 PM  
Dr. Jeff Deems, Colorado
Airborne Snow Observatories (ASO), Inc, introduced himself and his presentation.
He told the committee about the current system for monitoring snowpack
and how it relies on consistency rather than adjusting for the changing
environment. He spoke about how ASO maps snowpack to predict runoff and
snowmelt and displayed examples of the types of data and maps that ASO
can provide. He discussed the benefits of gathering this data and how it
is currently being utilized in California, funding that has been provided
by Colorado to enable the program, and future opportunities.  
01:50:15 PM  

Dr. Deems answered questions from the committee regarding how seasonal data can change depending on how many flights ASO can run per year and stakeholder input.



Public Testimony - Committee Discussion Only


01:55:14 PM  
Mrs. Ali Mickelson, representing ASPCA, testified and responded to questions.
Doug Kemper, representing Colorado Water Congress, testified.
Ms. Rachel Heatley, representing The Dumb Friends League, testified and responded to questions.
Mrs. Erin Meschke, representing themself, testified.



Vote on Draft Bills - Committee Discussion Only


02:16:17 PM  
The committee took
a brief recess.
02:16:39 PM  
Jennifer Berman,
Office of Legislative Legal Services, gave an overview of the bill draft
approval process. She told the committee about the new language for safety
clauses.
02:16:40 PM  
Bill draft requests can be found online here: https://leg.colorado.gov/content/jwrarc2023alegislation


02:34:20 PM
Motion Move to refer more than 3 bills to Legislative Council
Moved McCormick
Seconded
Bridges Yes
Catlin Yes
Hinrichsen Yes
Lynch Yes
Martinez Yes
McLachlan Yes
Pelton B. Yes
Pelton R. Yes
McCormick Yes
Roberts Yes
YES: 10   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


02:35:48 PM
Motion Move Amendment 1 (Attachment A) to Bill 1
Moved McCormick
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
02:37:30 PM  
Representative McCormick
made comments on the bill.  


02:38:00 PM
Motion Move Bill 1 for consideration by Legislative Council as amended
Moved McCormick
Seconded
Bridges Yes
Catlin Yes
Hinrichsen Yes
Lynch Yes
Martinez Yes
McLachlan Yes
Pelton B. Yes
Pelton R. Yes
McCormick Yes
Roberts Yes
YES: 10   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS
02:38:28 PM  
Bill 1 will be sponsored
by Representatives McCormick and Catlin and Senators Roberts and Simpson
and start in the House. Cosponsors include Senators Bridges, Pelton R.,
Pelton B., and Representative McLachlan.


02:41:32 PM
Motion Move to refer Bill 2 for consideration by Legislative Council
Moved Pelton B.
Seconded
Bridges Yes
Catlin Yes
Hinrichsen Yes
Lynch Yes
Martinez Yes
McLachlan Yes
Pelton B. Yes
Pelton R. Yes
McCormick Yes
Roberts Yes
YES: 10   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS
02:41:33 PM  
Bill 2 will be sponsored
by Senators Simpson and Bridges and Representatives Martinez and McCormick
and will start in Senate. Cosponsors include Senators Roberts, Pelton B.,
Pelton R., and Hinrichsen, and Representatives McLachlan and Catlin.
02:43:26 PM  
Senator Roberts and Senator B. Pelton made comments on Bill 5.


02:44:53 PM
Motion Move to refer Bill 5 for consideration by Legislative Council
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges Yes
Catlin Yes
Hinrichsen Yes
Lynch Yes
Martinez Yes
McLachlan Yes
Pelton B. Yes
Pelton R. Yes
McCormick Yes
Roberts Yes
YES: 10   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


02:45:43 PM
Motion Move to add Senator Will as a co-prime sponsor to Bill 5
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
02:45:44 PM  
Bill 5 will be sponsored
by Senators Roberts and Will and Representatives McLachlan and Catlin and
will start in the Senate. Cosponsors include Senators Bridges, Pelton B.,
Pelton R., and Hinrichsen, and Representatives Lynch and Martinez.


02:47:13 PM
Motion Move Amendment 1 (Attachment B) to Bill 6
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
02:47:14 PM  
Senator Roberts made comments on Bill 6. The committee asked questions about the bill.


02:48:38 PM
Motion Move to refer Bill 6 as amended for consideration by Legislative Council
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges Yes
Catlin Yes
Hinrichsen Yes
Lynch No
Martinez Yes
McLachlan Yes
Pelton B. Yes
Pelton R. No
McCormick Yes
Roberts Yes
YES: 8   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS
02:48:39 PM  
Bill 6 will be sponsored
by Senators Roberts and Simpson and Representatives McCormick and McLachlan
and will start in the Senate. Cosponsors include Senators Bridges and Hinrichsen.
 
02:49:53 PM  
Representative McCormick
discussed Amendment 1 (Attachment C) to Bill 7.


02:50:24 PM
Motion Move Amendment 1 to Bill 7
Moved McCormick
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
02:51:13 PM  
Representative McCormick
made comments on the bill.  
02:51:21 PM  
Committee members made comments on the bill.


02:57:19 PM
Motion Move to refer Bill 7, as amended, for consideration by Legislative Council
Moved McCormick
Seconded
Bridges Yes
Catlin Yes
Hinrichsen Yes
Lynch Yes
Martinez Yes
McLachlan Yes
Pelton B. Yes
Pelton R. Yes
McCormick Yes
Roberts Yes
YES: 10   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


02:58:06 PM
Motion Move to add Senator Ginal as a prime sponsor to Bill 7
Moved McCormick
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
02:58:07 PM  
Bill 7 will be sponsored
by Representatives McCormick and Martinez and Senators Ginal and Pelton
B. and will start in the House. Cosponsors include Representative McLachlan
and Senator Pelton R.
02:58:08 PM  
The committee discussed Amendment 1 (Attachment D) and Amendment 2 (Attachment E) to Bill 8.


02:59:05 PM
Motion Move Amendment 1 to Bill 8
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection


02:59:58 PM
Motion Move Amendment 2 to Bill 8
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
02:59:59 PM  
Senator Roberts discussed
Amendment 1and Amendment 2 on Bill 8 and made comments on the bill.


03:03:09 PM
Motion Move to refer Bill 8, as amended, for consideration by Legislative Council
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges Yes
Catlin No
Hinrichsen Yes
Lynch No
Martinez Yes
McLachlan Yes
Pelton B. No
Pelton R. No
McCormick Yes
Roberts Yes
YES: 6   NO: 4   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL


03:04:26 PM
Motion Move to refer Bill 9 for consideration by Legislative Council
Moved McCormick
Seconded
Bridges Yes
Catlin Yes
Hinrichsen Yes
Lynch Yes
Martinez Yes
McLachlan Yes
Pelton B. Yes
Pelton R. Yes
McCormick Yes
Roberts Yes
YES: 10   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS
03:04:27 PM  
Bill 9 will be sponsored
by Senators Simpson and Bridges and Representatives Lynch and McCormick
and will start in the Senate. Cosponsors include Senators Roberts and Hinrichsen
and Representatives Catlin and Martinez.
03:07:18 PM  
Committee members made comments on the bill.


03:08:43 PM
Motion Move to refer Bill 11 for consideration by Legislative Council
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges Yes
Catlin Yes
Hinrichsen Yes
Lynch No
Martinez Yes
McLachlan Yes
Pelton B. No
Pelton R. No
McCormick Yes
Roberts Yes
YES: 7   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


03:09:21 PM
Motion Move to add Representative Lukens as a House co-prime sponsor
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
03:09:22 PM  
Bill 11 will be sponsored
by Senator Roberts and Representatives Lukens and McLachlan and will start
in the Senate.  Cosponsors include Senator Bridges and Representative
McCormick.
03:10:14 PM  
Senator Roberts discussed
Amendment 2 (Attachment F) to Bill 15, which is a strike-below amendment.


03:10:47 PM
Motion Move Amendment 2 to Bill 15
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
03:11:10 PM  
Senator Roberts made
comments on the bill.
03:12:11 PM  
Committee members gave comments on the bill.


03:15:01 PM
Motion Move to refer Bill 15, as amended, for consideration by Legislative Council
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges Yes
Catlin Yes
Hinrichsen Yes
Lynch No
Martinez Yes
McLachlan Yes
Pelton B. Yes
Pelton R. Yes
McCormick Yes
Roberts Yes
YES: 9   NO: 1   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


03:15:29 PM
Motion Move to add Representative McCluskie as a House prime sponsor
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
03:15:30 PM  
Bill 15 will be sponsored
by Senators Roberts and Pelton B. and Speaker McCluskie and will start
in the Senate. Cosponsors include Senators Bridges and Pelton R., and Representatives
McCormick, Martinez, and McLachlan.
03:16:45 PM  
Minority Leader Lynch
made comments on Amendment 1 (Attachment G) to Bill 16.


03:17:31 PM
Motion Move Amendment 1 to Bill 16
Moved Lynch
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection


03:18:20 PM
Motion Move to refer Bill 16, as amended, for consideration by Legislative Council
Moved Lynch
Seconded
Bridges Yes
Catlin Yes
Hinrichsen Yes
Lynch Yes
Martinez Yes
McLachlan Yes
Pelton B. Yes
Pelton R. Yes
McCormick Yes
Roberts Yes
YES: 10   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


03:18:47 PM
Motion Move to add Representative Duran as a co-prime sponsor to Bill 16
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection


03:19:05 PM
Motion Move to add Senators Ginal and Will as co-prime sponsors to Bill 16
Moved Roberts
Seconded
Bridges
Catlin
Hinrichsen
Lynch
Martinez
McLachlan
Pelton B.
Pelton R.
McCormick
Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
03:19:06 PM  
Bill 16 will be sponsored
by Senators Ginal and Will and Representatives Lynch and Duran and will
start in the House. Cosponsors include Representatives McLachlan and Martinez.


03:20:14 PM   The committee adjourned.






The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details