On April 16th, the Colorado Supreme Court approved the text of two state-wide ballot initiatives – 3 and 45 – that create “an obligation to protect the public’s interests in water” and prevent any use that would cause “irreparable harm” to water. The two initiatives, drafted by Richard Hamilton and Phil Doe, were released to the public for collecting signatures.
Initiative # 3 – ADOPT THE COLORADO PUBLIC TRUST DOCTRINE
The Title Board designated the Titles for Initiative 3 in accordance with section 1-40-106(1), C.R.S. (2011), during a public meeting on December 21, 2011. The title reads as follows:
An amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the public’s rights in the water of natural streams, and, in connection therewith, making public ownership of such water legally superior to water rights, contracts, and property law; granting unrestricted public access along and use of natural streams and their stream banks up to the naturally wetted high water mark; prohibiting the state from transferring its water rights; allowing the state government to manage others’ water rights, while requiring state government to act as steward of and to protect, enforce, and implement public ownership of water; and allowing any Colorado citizen to sue to enforce the amendment.
Initiative # 45 – Amend ARTICLE XVI, Section 6, of the Colorado Constitution – Diverting water – limitation
The Title Board designated the Titles for Initiative 45 in accordance with section 1-40-106(1), C.R.S. (2011), during a public meeting on January 4, 2012. The title as designated and fixed by the Title Board reads as follows:
An amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning public control of water, and, in connection therewith, allowing appropriative water rights to be limited or curtailed by prohibiting any use of water that would irreparably harm the public ownership interest in water; expanding the right to appropriate water for beneficial use to all water within Colorado, including nontributary groundwater and not limited to unappropriated water, subject to the public ownership interest; requiring water users to return water unimpaired after use to the public so as to protect the natural environment and the use and enjoyment of water by the public; requiring state government to act as steward of and to protect, enforce, and implement the public ownership interest; and allowing any Colorado citizen to sue to enforce the amendment.
Access the full of both initiatives here:
To make the November ballot, each initiative must garner 86,000 valid signatures of Colorado voters by August 6th. To reach that goal, we need at least 100,000 signatures, which will require the help of every supportive activist. If you would like to help, please Sign up on this web site, and make a donation to the campaign. If you have questions, contact email@example.com for more information.