Letter: Water rights issue needs serious update
I admit I am new to Colorado and learning all about water rights. We recently ran the gambit of adding a secondary dwelling to our property and having to fill out all the forms and approvals for additional water use.
My son, a fishing biologist, visited this past week, and we drove into the Sarvis Wilderness Area for a visit. While there, we checked water temp to see how bad it was getting and, with a small gauge, found temps hovering near 70 degrees. This is getting to be borderline for fish survival and concerning since we were a few miles from the dam.
What I am leading up to is why a private golf course near me is allowed to pump water from the Yampa River for irrigation on a scheduled basis when the river is already so low. This is not a public course or one in a development. If you see someone playing on it, you are almost surprised.
My wife’s family are farmers, and they cut hay for a living, so if someone is irrigating for a livelihood, I completely understand. I wonder if the water rights issue needs a serious update in our changing times and why receiving water rights just because you bought the property is still relevant. All this was done in an age of ranching and farming long before we became a tourist destination.
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