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Old 05-01-2007, 10:27 AM
 
Location: South of Denver
291 posts, read 1,884,192 times
Reputation: 148

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Water rights are serious business in Colorado. People fight over them. The old rancher's saying is, "You can mess with my wife, but don't mess with my water!" Water law is its own legal profession in Colorado.
I once dated a girl who mentioned her family's senior water rights on the Farmer's Canal. She admitted it was only at 3am on Tuesday & Thursdays. Why was she telling me this? To imply it might be part of her dowry? It's certainly something you don't hear in Illinois!

BTW, Mom & Dad sold those 3am water rights and retired nicely. Their daughter is getting by on her good looks alone.
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Old 05-01-2007, 02:47 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,099,702 times
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OK, let me take a shot at this: I think that there is more than one "Farmer's Canal" in Colorado, so I can't talk specifics, but this should give you some idea. In this case, the canal company probably owns the water right. If it is an old canal, it probably has a very senior right ("very senior" can vary, but often means an appropriation date before 1900). The canal company then probably sold water shares to various farmers. These are often for a specific amount (often so many acre-feet of water per share). There may also be provisions as to when the farmer may irrigate (like the 3 AM Tues. and Thurs. thing). That probably would be when the "ditch-rider" (usually an employee of the canal company) would open the headgate at the farmer's field. It actually can get a lot more complex than that, but I think you get the general idea.

Outsiders who move in from states where water is considered "riparian"--meaning title to water runs with the land (which is the case of most all of the midwestern and eastern states)--can have an awful time figuring out Colorado (and other western states') water law. In a way, it's very unfortunate that so few Colorado residents (new or otherwise) understand the frailty and complexity of the water situation in this region, for--as historians are fond to note, "the history of the West is written in its water."
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:43 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,086 times
Reputation: 10
As a native of Colorado and a current resident of Salida for the past 20 years, I can understand why you would be considering relocating to either the Salida or Grand Junction area. I was born in Delta County and resided in Hotchkiss as a child and young adult. Delta County and Mesa County are nice areas, but far away from the "big" city in case you want to get out of the "valley" every now and then.

I agree with the input you have received from others about water rights - be careful - it's a big deal.

Florence and Canon City are nice and I have heard are more reasonable than Salida. These towns are not "artsy" in my opinion.

If you are looking for a place to stay when you visit Salida again, check out our Bed and Breakfast.

Good luck on your search!

Last edited by Mike from back east; 05-10-2007 at 07:01 PM.. Reason: Advertising your business, or links to it, not permitted by the TOS. Put that in your Profile.
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Old 05-10-2007, 07:42 PM
 
17 posts, read 98,890 times
Reputation: 18
Default wow

although I understand this - all's I can say is WOW!!!

from Jazzlover:

QUOTE] Water rights are serious business in Colorado. People fight over them. The old rancher's saying is, "You can mess with my wife, but don't mess with my water!" Water law is its own legal profession in Colorado. If you plan to buy property to farm or ranch, ABSOLUTELY know the quality and seniority of the water rights that you are acquiring. You may need to consult a water attorney to determine this. Live in Colorado very long and words like "junior," "senior," "decree," "prior appropriation," "point of diversion," "acre-feet," "c.f.s.," "augmentation plan," "tributary or non-tributary," "water court," and "water judge (or referee)" will find their way into your daily vocabulary. Oh yeah, "headgate," "irrigating boots," "irrigating shovel," "lateral," "marking," and "tailwater.[quote]
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Old 05-11-2007, 01:17 PM
 
Location: South of Denver
291 posts, read 1,884,192 times
Reputation: 148
2 additonal points:
I re-read your original post about getting irritated at the current world view. If you are hinting at a more self-sustaining life, I have found one of the perfect spots. It's called Velarde and that generally includes all of the Rio Grande river valley from Espanola, NM north to where the canyon narrows. It is a nice growing area and there are a handfull of back-to-the-landers. It is the home of "Seeds of Change" who are growing or preserving ancient or lost plants that may soon disappear.

Your neighbors would be mostly 'Native Americans', although the nearest big town, Espanola is more hispanic. There are 2 huge art communities both to the south and north, Santa Fe and Taos. Areas like this in NM are rather 'forgotten', removed from anyone who cares what you're doing. That's why they developed the atom bomb nearby at Los Alamos.

There are properties that have some water rights, and prices vary wildly. If something bad happened on the earth, this area could survive on it's own. Agriculture is relatively big(on a tiny scale), there are lots (relatively) of orchards and vineyards. There's a bunch of alternative energy buffs, and it has tons of history dating back to the 1500's (source= http://www.nmmagazine.com/NMGUIDE/juan.html) (broken link).

I can run off a dozen more attributes of the area (and a few negatives), but it deserves a look next time you're anywhere near. Don't tell anyone about this place...I'm considering it, too.

2nd point: this girl's parent's water rights were on a canal which was fed by Clear Creek (I'm not sure of the name). They sold out to Coors.
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