Water Rights

Steamboat Lawyers Group, PLLC wants to help protect and improve the quality of our state's natural environment while ensuring intelligent use and development of our natural resources, focusing particularly on water rights.

Colorado was founded on a method of allocation based on the principle of "first in time, first in right." Today, Colorado and some other western states maintain this system, known as the Prior Appropriation Doctrine, which ultimately has created a complex scheme allocating the use of water to meet the demands of Colorado's water users. Water rights are administered according to a priority system based on the date the water right was decreed. Basic water law requires that the water be put to beneficial use and that other water right holders suffer no injury as a result of the new appropriation in order to obtain and maintain a water right. Water courts ultimately determine the quantity, priority, place of use, and type of beneficial use of the water right, all of which have defined Colorado water law. The State Engineer and local representatives then oversee the administration of appropriated water rights, confirming that water rights are used according to the terms of their respective decrees.

Steamboat Lawyers Group PLLC provides legal assistance in the field of water resources, water law, water planning and water development. We help individuals throughout Colorado, and specifically Moffat, Routt, Grand, Eagle, and other surrounding counties, create, achieve and execute a plan to protect their water rights in the streams, reservoirs, and ditches across Colorado.

We assist with several of the following focus areas in water law:
  • Application and adjudications for new water rights or changes of water rights
  • Applications and adjudications for conditional water rights and augmentation plans
  • Opposition to potentially injurious applications filed by other water users
  • Water rights for recreation and instream flow
  • Purchase and sale or transfer/assignment of water rights in real estate transactions
  • Litigation involving water rights issues

We look forward to assisting you with all of your Water Rights needs.