Monday, May 4, 2015
Reed Benson (New Mexico) has posted Protecting River Flows for Fun and Profit: Colorado's Unique Water Rights for Whitewater Parks (Ecology Law Quarterly) on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
Since 2001, Colorado has recognized a special type of water right for whitewater parks, which are designed and constructed within a river channel to provide play features for kayakers and other boaters. These water rights, called recreational in-channel diversions or RICDs, are unique to Colorado, even though whitewater parks exist in several western states. This article addresses some of the underlying reasons why RICDs got established in Colorado, and traces the controversy surrounding their recognition by that state’s courts and legislature. Over the last decade, however, the controversy has largely died away, and whitewater park rights have now become an accepted part of Colorado water law. This article reviews these developments, examines the policy choices made by the legislature in enacting two different statutes on RICDs, and offers concluding observations regarding Colorado’s experience with whitewater park water rights.