Much of Colorado is a semi-arid climate, which can cause unique water issues throughout the state. Take caution when purchasing land, ranch or horse property in Colorado due to these issues.
Most of the domestic water on rural Colorado land is obtained through a well. There are different types of well permits, and for people who have livestock or want a Colorado farm or ranch, you need to make sure that there is an existing well on the property, especially if you’re looking at smaller parcels of land (under 35 acres). This well needs to support the watering of livestock and/or irrigation of the property. If there is not a well on the property, you can contact the Colorado Division of Water Resources to see if the well permit allows the watering of livestock and/or irrigation. In the State of Colorado, water can be bought and sold separately from the land purchase.
There are two separate water source classifications including “Designated Ground Water Basin” and those that are not. According to the Colorado Water and Irrigation Statues, “Designated Ground Water is ground water which in its natural course is not available to and required for the fulfillment of decreed surface rights, or ground water in areas not adjacent to a continuously flowing natural stream wherein ground water withdrawals have constituted the principal water usage for at least 15 years preceding the date of the first hearing on the proposed designation of the basin, and which in both cases is within the geographic boundaries of a designated ground water basin.” The Designated Ground Water Basins are located along the Front Range and in eastern Colorado.
The following is posted on the Colorado Water Research Institute’s website: “While there is currently no mechanism for getting water information to all new residents, task force members suggest working with established organizations such as Welcome Wagon, chambers of commerce, and realty associations. Water utilities could also send information packets to new customers, whether they just moved to the state or are relocating within the state. Related to the challenge of getting people interested is the challenge of determining what people want or need to know. Many water issues are so complex that thousands of pages have been written about them. Distilling this glut of information into a reasonably sized “package” of information for the general public is a formidable challenge. There may be conflicting opinions about which information is important to convey (e.g., among different interest groups) or over how the information should be presented. Even if the experts agree upon what the public needs to know about the issues, this may not be the same as what the public wants to know. Reconciling the two ideas may be difficult.”
For more information on this extremely complex issue, you can visit the Colorado Division of Water Resources website.
At the Properties of Colorado, we have the expertise and knowledge to help you navigate the complex water issues specific to Colorado land, ranch and horse property. Water is such a complex issue for Colorado land use, but a MUST when it comes to purchasing land in these areas. We work with one of the best water attorneys in the area along with a geologist who specializes strictly in Colorado water, so these are two additional resources that I can offer you when looking for your ideal property.
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