C.R.S. Section 37-90-111
Powers of the ground water commission

  • limitations


In the administration and enforcement of this article and in the effectuation of the policy of this state to conserve its designated groundwater resources and for the protection of vested rights and except to the extent that similar authority is vested in ground water management districts pursuant to section 37-90-130 (2), the ground water commission is empowered:


To supervise and control the exercise and administration of all rights acquired to the use of designated groundwater. In the exercise of this power it may, by summary order, prohibit or limit withdrawal of water from any well during any period that it determines that such withdrawal of water from said well would cause unreasonable injury to prior appropriators; except that nothing in this article shall be construed as entitling any prior designated groundwater appropriator to the maintenance of the historic water level or any other level below which water still can be economically extracted when the total economic pattern of the particular designated groundwater basin is considered; and further except that no such order shall take effect until six months after its entry.


To establish a reasonable groundwater pumping level in an area having a common designated groundwater supply. Water in wells shall not be deemed available to fill the water right therefor if withdrawal therefrom of the amount called for by such right would, contrary to the declared policy of this article, unreasonably affect any prior water right or result in withdrawing the groundwater supply at a rate materially in excess of the reasonably anticipated average rate of future recharge.


To issue permits for the construction of replacement wells. Any permits issued shall set forth the conditions under which a well may be modified by a change of the well itself or the pumping equipment therefor, by the drilling of a replacement well, or otherwise, in order to make it possible for the owner of a well to obtain the water to which such owner may be entitled by virtue of his original appropriation.


In the exercise of any of the powers or duties conferred by this section, to confer and consult with the board of directors of the ground water management district board in the affected area, if any such board exists, before promulgating any orders or regulations which would affect the district in general;


To order the total or partial discontinuance of any diversion within a groundwater basin to the extent the water being diverted is not necessary for application to a beneficial use;


In any area where a ground water management district has not been formed, to prescribe satisfactory and economical measuring methods for the measurement of water levels in and the amount of water withdrawn from wells and to require reports to be made at the end of each pumping season showing the date and water level at the beginning of the pumping season, the date and water level at the end of the pumping season, and showing any period of more than thirty days’ cessation of pumping during such pumping season;


Upon application therefor by any permit holder, to authorize a change in acreage served, volume of appropriation, place, time, or type of use of and by any water right, or of any well location, either conditional or final, granted under the authority of the commission but only upon such terms and conditions as will not cause material injury to the vested rights of other appropriators. No such change that increases the volume of appropriation beyond that authorized by the original decree, conditional permit, registration statement, or other well permit issued prior to basin designation shall be authorized, and no such change shall be approved until after publication of such application as provided in section 37-90-112; except that publication shall not be required to approve a temporary change pursuant to the rules adopted by the commission and except that publication shall not be required for replacement wells that are relocated no further than the maximum distance allowed by district rules and regulations without prior board approval or by commission policy where no district exists or where no district rule has been adopted.


To adopt rules necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.


No supplemental wells or alternate point of diversion wells shall be allowed in any area of any designated groundwater basin in which the proposed well or wells combined would deplete the aquifer in excess of the rate of depletion prescribed by the ground water commission or by the ground water management district rules and regulations.


In the exercise of any of the powers or duties conferred by this section, the commission shall confer and consult with the board of directors of the ground water management district board in the affected areas, if any such board exists, before promulgating any orders or regulations which would affect the district in general, and shall request written recommendations from the board of any existing district within which the conditional or final permit has been issued, before taking final action on any request or application made pursuant to this section.


In any area within a designated groundwater basin which has not been included within the boundaries of a ground water management district, the commission has the authority to exercise any power given by this article to the board of directors of a ground water management district, but, before instituting control measures pursuant to section 37-90-130, the commission shall follow the procedures set out in section 37-90-131.


Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, the commission shall allocate, upon the basis of ownership of the overlying land, any designated groundwater contained in the Dawson, Denver, Arapahoe, or Laramie-Fox Hills aquifers. Permits issued pursuant to this subsection (5) shall allow withdrawals on the basis of an aquifer life of one hundred years.

Source: Section 37-90-111 — Powers of the ground water commission - limitations, https://leg.­colorado.­gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-37.­pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).

Short title
Legislative declaration
Definitions - repeal
Commission - organization - expenses
Small capacity wells
Determination of designated groundwater basins - exception - legislative declaration - repeal
Application for use of groundwater - publication of notice - conditional permit - hearing on objections - well permits
Replacement plans
Aquifer storage-and-recovery plans - publication - objection - hearing - rules
Final permit - evidence of well construction and beneficial use - limitations
Priority - discontinuance orders - grounds
Powers of the state engineer
Powers of the ground water commission - limitations
Well enforcement - injunction - fines
Notice - publication
Other administrative hearings
Judicial review of actions of the ground water commission or the state engineer
Water conservation board - duties
Ground water management districts - formation
Creation of districts - proposal - submission - changes - proposed boundaries
Management districts - petition - signatures required - filing
Management districts - petition - contents - minor defects - amendment
Management district - petition - certification of signatures - hearing - notice - publication
Management districts - hearing - objections - change of boundaries
Election on organization
Filing decree
Management district - directors - qualifications - oath or affirmation - bond - vacancies
Management district - directors - election - term of office
Management district - directors - no compensation - expenses
Management district - officers - election
Management districts - board of directors - enforcement
Management district - board of directors - control measures - hearing - notice - publication - order
Management district - board of directors - taxes - levy - limitation
Management district - claims - warrants - payment
Management district - issuance of bonds - indebtedness - submission to electors
Management district - dissolution - procedure - funds - disposition
Permits to construct wells outside designated basins - fees - permit no groundwater right - evidence - time limitation - well permits - rules
Waste - violations - permits
Existing beneficial uses not recorded - fee
Inclusion of lands
Exclusion of lands
State engineer - action upon permit
Owners of well permits - update for name and contact information
Green check means up to date. Up to date

Current through Fall 2024

§ 37-90-111’s source at colorado​.gov