The multiple demands for water in Colorado’s arid climate have produced a body of law governing water rights that is simple in concept but extremely complex in its application. In Colorado, the water of every natural stream is the property of the public, and is dedicated to the use of the people. All persons have a right to appropriate the waters of the state and put them to beneficial use, subject to the rights of those who have previously appropriated such water. The water right created by appropriation must be adjudicated in court in order to establish its priority. A water right may be sold or have its use changed. That change, however, requires the owner to go back to court to assure that such change does not work to the detriment of other water rights owners.
Law of the Rockies' comprehensive water law practice is one of the firm’s main focuses. The attorneys have represented a diverse set of clients (including ranchers, individual landowners, ditch and reservoir companies, real estate developers, homeowners’ associations, industrial and commercial operations, water conservancy districts, and water and sanitation districts) in all types of transactions and litigation involving water rights. The firm's representation includes the acquisition and sale of water rights, the leasing of water rights, due diligence investigations, water rights opinions, water rights supply planning, and resolving disputed ownership issues.
In addition, Law of the Rockies has extensive experience in all types of water court proceedings necessary to protect, preserve, and utilize water rights, including the establishment of new water rights, the demonstration of due diligence for conditional water rights, the making of conditional water rights absolute, the change of decreed water rights, and the development of augmentation plans and substitute supply plans.