Colorado Water Stewardship Project Mar Updates

Public Trust Ballot Initiative Introduced

A proposed Public Trust Doctrine Ballot Initiative is progressing through the state’s review process. The proponents made changes to their initial version and re-submitted the amendment on February 25. It is set for a Review and Comment Hearing March 11 at 1:30pm. 

The current version of proposed Initiative 83 would amend the Colorado Constitution by adding a new section to Article XVI (the provisions of the constitution that govern mining and water rights). This amendment would, among other issues, establish an “inalienable right” of the people of Colorado to clean air, clean water (including groundwater), and the preservation of the environment and natural resources (called “Public Trust Resources”), as common property of all people including future generations.

For additional summary of proposed Initiative 83 click HERE or visit

CWSP and the Colorado Water Congress are monitoring all initiatives that could affect water resources. To view the full initiatives tracking document click HERE.

Organizations Pass Resolutions Opposing a Public Trust Doctrine

The CWSP mandate is to educate Colorado Water Congress (CWC) members and the state’s water stakeholders in regards to the harmful impact of a Public Trust Doctrine to the state’s water resources. One of the most effective methods to develop unity and present a consistent message is to have CWC member organizations pass a resolution opposing any Public Trust ballot initiatives.
CWC Board President John McClow urged members to pass resolutions at upcoming board meetings: “We want to be able to demonstrate to all who inquire that the water community is united in its opposition to this damaging initiative.”
Resolutions of opposition to a Public Trust amendment are now coming in from CWC member organizations, with 16 resolutions collected to date.
The Northern Water Conservation District Board drafted and passed a resolution on February 14, 2014 in support of the CWSP and in opposition to a Public Trust Doctrine. They joined other water organizations from the far Western Slope (Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District), to the central mountains (Eagle River Water and Sanitation District), to the Eastern Plains (Bijou Irrigation District and Company) in posting their resolutions on the CWSP website. 

Submit a Resolution HERE.

Advisory Committee Tracks Initiatives

At a February CWSP Advisory Committee meeting, the group of statewide local government associations and water providers expressed concern regarding an array of ballot issues that could harm local government operations. These include proposed Initiative 83 (Public Trust Resources) and proposed Initiative 89 (Local Government Regulation of the Environment) which declares that Colorado’s environment is “the common property of all Coloradans”. Both proposed initiatives are summarized HERE.

CWSP Advisory Committee members including the Special District Association, Colorado Counties Inc. and the Farm Bureau agreed to monitor these initiatives and eight others which are of concern.

Mar. 25 Webinar Outlines Ballot Initiatives

A webinar describing proposed Initiatives 83 and 89, in addition to others that could have a damaging effect on local government- especially water management and investments- will be held on Tuesday, March 25 at 12pm. Attorney Stephen Leonhardt will share information on the status of the initiatives and next steps. Describing CWC’s and CWSP’s strategy will be Doug Kemper and Floyd Ciruli.

Reserve your spot in the webinar HERE.

Issue III

March 2014

Project Information

Colorado Water Congress
1580 Logan St., Ste 700
Denver, CO 80203

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Mar. 25, 2014
Overview of 2014 Proposed Public Trust Ballot Initiatives
with Steve Leonhardt, Floyd Ciruli, and Doug Kemper
Steve Leonhardt presents the Nov. CWSP educational Webinar.

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