December 2016: Summaries of Published Opinions, 0217 COBJ, Vol. 46 No. 2 Pg. 119


46 Colo.Law. 119

December 2016: Summaries of Published Opinions

Vol. 46, No. 2 [Page 119]

The Colorado Lawyer

February, 2017

Colorado Supreme Court

The summaries of Colorado Supreme Court published opinions are provided by the Court; the CBA cannot guarantee their accuracy or completeness. Both the summaries and full opinions, as well as the lists of petitions for rehearing and certiorari and the granted original proceedings pursuant to the Colorado Appellate Rules, are available on the CBA website, (click on "For Members" and then "Opinions/Rules/Statutes"), and on the Colorado Judicial Branch website, (click on "Courts/Supreme Court/Case Announcements").

December 5, 2016

2016 CO 75. No. 14SA303. Grand Valley Water Users Ass'n v. Busk-Ivanhoe, Inc. Change of Water Right Application-Historic Consumptive Use Analysis-Transmountain Diversion.

This appeal from the water court in Water Division 2 concerns certain rulings relevant to the historic consumptive use quantification of transmountain water rights that are the subject of a change application The Supreme Court held that the water court erred when it concluded that storage of the water rights on the eastern slope prior to use for their decreed purpose was lawful. The Court concluded that the right to store water in the basin of import prior to use is not an automatic incident of transmountain water rights, but rather, must be reflected, or at least implied, in the decree. Here, the decree is silent with respect to storage of the water on the eastern slope prior to use for supplemental irrigation and, on the facts of this case, the record does not support the water court's finding of an implied right in the decree for such storage. To the extent that unlawful water storage on the eastern slope expanded the decreed rights, such amounts cannot be included in the quantification of those rights.

Because storage of the subject water rights in the basin of import prior to use was unlawful, the water court erred in including the volumes of exported water paid as rental fees for storage on the eastern slope in its historic consumptive use quantification...

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