Colorado Farm Bureau Applauds Governor Hickenlooper for Signing SB17-036 into Law

Centennial, Colo. – April 18, 2017 – Today, Governor John Hickenlooper signed SB17-036, one of the most significant pieces of water-related legislation in a number of years. This extremely important bill prevents evidence  being changed during the appeal of a water right change case in a designated groundwater basin, thus protecting farmers and ranchers from incurring unnecessary costs when protecting the value of their water right.

“Water is critical to Colorado's future and the viability of the agricultural community,” said Don Shawcroft, President of Colorado Farm Bureau. “The signing of SB17-036 into law will ensure a fair and equitable appeals process for water right owners within designated groundwater basins, while reducing potential costs and maintaining the integrity of the Groundwater Management Act.”

“We applaud the Colorado legislature and Governor Hickenlooper for passing and signing this bill which gives applicants “one bite at the apple,” potentially saving millions of dollars in the creation of additional hydrologic studies, expert testimony and other evidence. The appeals process within Colorado’s designated groundwater basins will now be treated equitably, providing fair and equal access to district court appeals and ensures that the appeals process is treated in a similar manner to all other state appellate processes,” said Shawcroft.

SB17-036 was introduced early in the 2017 Legislative Session and was passed with significant bipartisan support in both Chambers. The Colorado Farm Bureau thanks the bill sponsors, Senators Don Coram and Ray Scott, as well as Representatives Jon Becker and Jeni Arndt. The passing and signing of SB17-036 is a significant win for farmers, ranchers, and other water users in designated groundwater basins.

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