Surface Water – Groundwater Conflicts: A Case Study Of Conjunctive Administration of Water in the Upper Rio Grande Basin

This series is presented free of charge.

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Days & Times

Fourth Session: Thurs., Sep 15, 10 am – 12 pm Pacific

Course Location

Online

Course Fees

This series is presented free of charge.

$0

Online

September 15, 2022

This four-part webinar is offered at no cost, and is open to judges, attorneys and others who are interested. You can attend some of the sessions or all of the sessions, but you only need to register one time.

Until recently, most states in the western United States ignored the impact of groundwater pumping on surface water supplies. Colorado did not. After an unsuccessful attempt at groundwater regulation for protection of surface rights in the Arkansas River basin in 1965, in 1969 the Colorado legislature enacted legislation that, among other things, authorized the State Engineer to administer surface water and tributary groundwater as one interdependent resource. Shortly thereafter, the State Engineer embarked on what turned out to be a long, conflict-ridden journey to conjunctively administer surface water and groundwater in the Rio Grande Basin in Colorado. The story of Colorado’s struggle to administer groundwater and surface water as a single resource in the Upper Rio Grande contains many lessons for judges who preside over water disputes. To make those lessons explicit, Dividing the Waters will present a four-part case study of the history of conjunctive administration in the Upper Rio Grande.

Tuition

This series is presented free of charge. $0

What will I learn?

During this course, you will learn to:

  • Explain the interactions between surface water and groundwater in a hydrologically complex system
  • Be able to Identify the scientific, factual and legal issues that arise when administering surface water and groundwater as a single resource
  • Be better prepared to weigh the evidence when deciding whether a junior groundwater right must be curtailed to protect a senior surface water right
  • Recognize how decision support systems and groundwater models facilitate conjunctive management of surface water, and groundwater
  • Have observed a demonstration of the Rio Grande Decision Support System
  • Discuss the relationship between groundwater models, groundwater management rules, and groundwater management plans
  • Be better prepared to evaluate the validity and reliability of competing groundwater models.
Fourth Session: Thurs., Sep 15, 10 am – 12 pm Pacific

First Session:  Recording available here. Aired Thursday, June 16, 2022, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm Pacific time.
Water Development in the Upper Rio Grande Basin; Interstate Conflicts and the Rio Grande Compact; State Supreme Court’s Rejection of 1975 Proposed Groundwater Rules; Litigation over Attempted Export of Groundwater from the Basin; Legislation Directing the Development of a Decision Support System and authorizing groundwater management directed toward insuring sustainability

Second Session: Recording available here. Thursday, July 14, 2022, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm Pacific time.
Design, Development and Implementation of a Colorado Rio Grande Decision Support System (“RGDSS) and its Groundwater Model; Demonstration of System

Third Session: Thursday, August 18 2022, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm Pacific time.
Adoption of 2006 and 2015 Groundwater Rules and Groundwater Management Plans based on RGDSS and its Groundwater Model; Litigation over Objections to Rules and first Groundwater Management Plan.

Fourth Session:  Thursday, September 15, 2022, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm Pacific time.
Faculty Roundtable Discussion of Lessons Learned


This course qualifies for The National Judicial College Certificate in Judicial Development program Administrative Law Adjudication Skills, Dispute Resolution Skills, General Jurisdiction Trial Skills, Special Court Trial Skills, and Tribal Judicial Skills disciplines.

Register Now.

Until recently, most states in the western United States ignored the impact of groundwater pumping on surface water supplies. Colorado did not. After an unsuccessful attempt at groundwater regulation for protection of surface rights in the Arkansas River basin in 1965, in 1969 the Colorado legislature enacted legislation that, among other things, authorized the State Engineer to administer surface water and tributary groundwater as one interdependent resource. Shortly thereafter, the State Engineer embarked on what turned out to be a long, conflict-ridden journey to conjunctively administer surface water and groundwater in the Rio Grande Basin in Colorado. The story of Colorado’s struggle to administer groundwater and surface water as a single resource in the Upper Rio Grande contains many lessons for judges who preside over water disputes. To make those lessons explicit, Dividing the Waters will present a four-part case study of the history of conjunctive administration in the Upper Rio Grande.

Register
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