In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was void and without form, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the WATER. Genesis 1:1-2
THIS SITE IS TO INFORM WATER RIGHT OWNERS ON THE WESTERN SLOPE OF COLORADO ABOUT ACTIONS AND PROPAGANDA THAT ARE BRING PROMOTED TO USURP COLORADO'S PRIOR APPROPRIATION LAWS. IN CERTAIN ITEMS IT IS SPECIFIC TO THE GRAND VALLEY WATER USERS ASSOCIATION.
Governor Hickenlooper endorses stealing more water from Western Colorado and so does Senator Cory Gardner.
This link no longer works but the title says it all. See what Cory Gardner says about the project under News on the navigation bar.
The WEST SLOPES SENIOR WATER RIGHTS are unaffected by a compact call.
Colorado River Compact - Article VII
Present Perfected rights to the beneficial use of the waters of the Colorado River System are unimpaired by this compact.
Any water rights decreed before 1922 are not affected by a compact call!
Participation in a WATER BANK is WATER MARKETING and speculating on water is against the State Constitution.
First in time is first in right! Allowing senior water rights to be moved from the historical diversion and changing the historical beneficial use, which is AGRICULTURAL, is against Colorado's Prior Appropriation Laws
How does a Western Colorado Conserved Consumptive Use Pilot Program (CCUPP) turn into a Demand Management (Water Marketing Bank) water grab? By piggybacking on the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan. The Bureau of Reclamation in cahoots with the Upper Colorado River Commission, Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Colorado River District, whose motto is to serve and protect the waters of Western Colorado, and The Grand Valley Water Users Association have taken another illegal step towards a WATER MARKETING BANK for Western Colorado's pre-compact agricultural water rights.
The Upper Basin Conserved Consumptive Use Pilot Project was illegally funded and implemented through the Lower Basin Pilot Project. The purpose of the funds for the Upper Basin were to go to "the initial units of the Colorado River Storage Project reservoirs" (Federal Register Dec.16, 2014, 128 STAT. 2312 Sec. 206). The initial unit reservoirs are Glen Canyon (Lake Powell), Flaming Gorge, Curecanti (Aspinall), and Navajo. These reservoirs are the buckets to supply water for the Upper Colorado River Basin in case of a Compact call. The 1922 Colorado River Compact clearly states in Article VIII that pre-compact agriculture water rights are not subject to a Compact call.
Why all the deception? Water is power and wealth! Controlling the market on the Colorado River which supplies water to 40 million people and millions of highly productive agricultural acres across seven states would be lucrative.
Colorado is entitled to 51% of the Upper Basin water, Upper Colorado River Compact, 1948 and has not fully put that allotment to beneficial use. Eastern Colorado receives water from the West Slope through 27 trans-mountain diversions and those water rights are post-compact water rights. If the need arose for a compact call the trans-mountain diversions going to Eastern Colorado would be cut off to fill the needs of the Lower Basin states. The West Slope agricultural pre -compact rights are protected by the Colorado Compact as it now stands. Denver would lose a lot of water.
Federal legislation was introduced last week to gut the Colorado Compact and allow for Denver, California and other private rich citizens to have a WATER BANK in Lake Powell at their disposal. Any water stored that far downstream is lost to Colorado agriculture!
The following is from the Bureau of Reclamation's
"Study results indicated the maximum potential consumptive use reduction from fallowing of all irrigated lands with pre-Compact water rights is about 940,800 AFY.'
"Current post-Compact consumptive use in Colorado is on the order of 1.2 million AFY (350,000 AFY of municipal and industrial use). The water bank could, therefore, not fully compensate for all potential Colorado River curtailments but could ensure a significant portion of critical post-Compact uses. A 25 to 50 percent participation rate would be required to meet significant east and west slope uses, likely entailing deficit irrigation or fallowing on 130,000 to 260,000 acres on the west slope. "
Eastern Colorado wants to use our, West Slope, pre-compact water rights to cover their post-compact water rights which they take from the headwaters of the Colorado River on the West Slope.
No dry and buy needed. Just down and dirty water dealings!
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Incorporated in 1907 under the Colorado Water Law of 1905
First in time, first in right. Decreed beneficial use - agricultural.
Article VIII - Present perfected rights to the beneficial use of the waters of the Colorado River System are unimpaired by this compact,
The Green Mountain Reservoir must be operated in such a manner as to most nearly effect the following primary purpose:
1. To preserve the vested and future rights in Western Colorado irrigation. This is in perpetuity.
Green Mountain Reservoir, storage for the Grand Valley Project, has rights that superseded those of the Eastern Colorado municipalities domestic preference. COURT CASE - US vs Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and City and County of Denver, 1979.
The Grand Valley Water Users Association (GVWUA) Manager, Mark Harris, and the Board of Directors set up a program in 2016-17 to test the MARKETING of the Associations water through an ILLEGAL FALLOWING of land project. Ten farmers, including current members of the Board of Directors, (a conflict of interest according to Colorado law) were hand picked to fallow farm ground for compensation. The farmers/Board of Directors paid themselves up to $623/acre. Administration/Harris, received $128,977 and GVWUA infrastructure received $145,095. The water not used, Harris said, would be allowed to flow down stream to "help fill Lake Powell".
Why is this illegal?
The GVWUA Articles of Incorporation state:
1. T he water is appurtenant, tied to, the land and cannot be separated from that land. Article IV Section 6.
2. The water cannot be transferred without a transfer of the land, Article V Section 10.
3. Any transfer or attempted transfer of the shares of the Association unless a simultaneously transfer of the land to which it is appurtenant shall be of no force or effect for any purpose and shall confer no rights of any kind on the person to whom such transfer may have been attempted to be made, Article V Section 11.
4. Article IV Section 5, gives the legal description of the area where the water is to be put to beneficial use, Indian Wash (29 Road) to Mack, CO.
5. Board members or their families receiving compensation for fallowing their land is a violation of Colorado's nonprofit law.
C.R.S. 7-128-501 (1)
A conflicting interest transaction means: A contract, transaction or other financial relationship between a nonprofit corporation and a director or family member of a director of a nonprofit corporation.
6. Colorado State law requires water apportioned in the state to be used within in Colorado. It is unlawful to knowingly allow the water apportioned in this state to flow past the state line. Using GVWUA water to "help fill Lake Powell" is illegal, C.R.S. 37-81-101.
7. As a interested shareholder I have tried to attend Board of Directors meetings for the last two years. Mark Harris refuses to allow me to attend. In January of 2019 I asked for a written answer to why shareholders are not allowed to be present during board meetings, I received a letter from the legal counsel Kirsten Kurath. Many Colorado statutes were included but Ms. Kurath left out C.R.S. 37-41-114 - Irrigation Laws of 1905 which states "All meetings of the board must be public...". Our Association was organized in 1907 so we were organized under the 1905 Irrigation Law.
8. Federal law supports water apportioned in the State of Colorado to be used in Colorado. The Colorado Compact, 1922, and The Upper Colorado River Basin Compact, 1948, are the legal documents that allow Colorado to keep and manage its rightful share of Colorado River water (51%) in perpetuity. Colorado has not yet fully developed its allotment of Colorado River water. Using our senior GVWUA water shares to "fill Lake Powell" is a breach of Federal law.
9. Mark Harris has repeatedly put forward the fear tactic that the GVWUA water rights are inferior and we need a" place at the table" for security. Not so. The GVWUA water rights are 2nd only to the water rights associated with the Shoshone Power Plant in Glenwood Canyon.
In The Colorado Compact, Article VIII reads "Present perfected rights to the beneficial use of waters of the Colorado River System are unimpaired by this compact." Precompact water, water adjudicated prior to 1922 is not subject to a Compact Call, ie drought The Shares of The Grand Valley Water Users Association are precompact and that's what makes them very valuable.
The Articles of Incorporation of the GVWUA, the water laws of the State of Colorado and Federal law has been breached by the manager, Mark Harris, Legal Counsel Kirsten Kurath and the Board of Directors.
What are we paying Mark Harris and the Board of Directors of the Grand Valley Water Users Association's to do?
Take care of the canals and laterals, NOT to set up an ILLEGAL WATER MARKETING program that puts OUR SENIOR WATER RIGHTS AT RISK!
Where there isn't transparency you can be sure illegal activities abound.
My goal is to keep our water!
The state boards that control our water, Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Colorado River District, know about the illegal fallowing project and are aiding with grants and rulings.
After all when you write the rules it's not illegal, right
In the grant application
WaterSMART: Water Marketing Strategy Grants for Funding Year 2017
applied for in the name of The Grand Valley Water Users Association it states:
"Mark Harris, General Manager – GVWUA, has been working on water marketing since he began working as General Manager of GVWUA."
Why market water? Big Bucks! Water is control of the people! Water is the new oil!
The 1922 Colorado River Compact protects our water from California, Nevada and Arizona. It divides the Upper Colorado Basin from the Lower Colorado Basin. In 97 years there has not been a Compact Call. During that time there have been substantial droughts.
Colorado 's Prior Appropriation water laws make it costly and difficult to transfer water shares.
The Grand Valley Water Users Association Articles of Incorporation protect our water shares from BUY and DRY or LEASE and DRY. No transferring of our water to another area without transferring the land. Our water rights beneficial use is agricultural not municipal.
Everything that protects our water is under attack.
The new way to bypass the prior appropriation laws are through DEMAND MANAGEMENT. Demand management is being bundled with the DROUGHT CONTINGENCY PLAN.
Demand Management allows the Statel Government to tell you, the farmer, when you can use your water!
Oh yes, they say it will be voluntary, compensated and temporary. The majority of the money will go to the middle man who markets OUR water. It's only voluntary and temporary until the cities who have built homes and businesses using the temporary water for permanent taps comes in with EMINENT DOMAIN and takes OUR water.
The water rights of the Grand Valley Water Users Association are among the oldest in the State of Colorado. Colorado water law is based on prior appropriation, first in time is first in right.
Our senior water rights are GOLD.
The people who came to the Grand Valley in the late 1800's saw the great potential in this valley for agriculture. Through hard work, with shovels and horse drawn equipment the farmers and ranchers, dug the canals and laterals to carry the life giving water to their crops, orchards and livestock. Through cooperation they, the farmers and ranchers, setup the Grand Valley Water Users Association that allows us to enjoy the agricultural life that has been going on in this valley for 110 years.
Agriculture is a calling to those who do it. Most of the farm/ranch businesses in our valley are owned and operated by families. The ability to have an agrarian business and lifestyle should not be killed by illegal activities that benefit a few, including the Board of Directors and
Mark Harris (manager of GVWUA).
Mark Harris and the current Board of Directors who are interested in MARKETING our senior water rights need to be stopped. It is against our Articles of Incorporation, Colorado law and Federal law.
580,000 acre feet of water is diverted from the four West Slope Basins that feed the Colorado River through 27 Transmountain Diversions annually to Denver, Boulder and beyond. They have 60% of the headwaters of the Colorado River and want more.
West Slope agriculture using 80% of the water from the Colorado River is a lie. The Eastern municipalities are already taking 60% of the headwaters of the Colorado River through 27 diversions.
100 % Colorado River headwaters
-60% Transmountain Diversions to Eastern Colorado
= 40% left for Western Slope Agriculture AND COLORADO RIVER COMPACT COMPLIANCE!
If you take more from the Colorado River headwaters send it east through a pipe to fill Gross Reservoir and Chimney Hollow Reservoir, how do you meet the Colorado River Compact Compliance?
ANSWER: You Don't! It's not about Compact Compliance.
It's about control of OUR WATER.
The Managers and Board of Directors of the Grand Valley Project, Grand Valley Water Users, Orchard Mesa Irrigation District, Palisade Irrigation District and Mesa County Irrigation District, are working through closed board meetings. Not allowing information on these issues to be passed on to the shareholders or public.
The local media including TV and newspapers are aiding the illegal activity by not telling the full story or giving misinformation, lying in both cases.
Through social media and talking to our neighbors we can get the TRUTH OUT!
People who live in the Grand Valley and are participating in the diversion and marketing of Western Colorado's water rights.
Mark Harris, Manager of GVWUA
Luke Gingerich, J U B Engineering
Mark Hermandstad, Esq, Kirstin Kurath, Esq, Janie VanWinkle, Colorado Cattleman's Association Representative
Max Schmidt, Manager Orchard Mesa Irr. Dist.
Mel Rettig, Bruce Talbot
They know and are involved. Shame on you
Former Governor Hickenlooper,
Eric Kuhn- Former Director Colorado River District
Andy Mueller- Director Colorado River District
Colorado Water Conservation Board
Colorado Attorney General Office,
Mike King- Dept of Natural Resources,
Kevin Rein - Colorado State Engineer,
Bureau of Reclamation,
James Eklund- Colorado Representative, Upper Colorado River Commission, Grand Junction office of the NRCS
US Senator Cory Gardner, Colorado
The fox guarding the hen house!
President Joseph C Bernal, Arthur Donoho,
Victor Thopmson, Carol Traynor, D Kim Albertson, Andrew Arpke, Melvin Crider, Marty Basinger,
Troy Latham, John Potter, Troy Waters
The Board members participated in and received payment for the fallowing project also known as Conserved Consumptive Use Pilot Project (CCUPP). According to Colorado State Law (CRS 7-128-501 - "conflicting interest transaction" means: a contract, transaction or other financial relationship between a nonprofit corporation and a director of the nonprofit corporation) THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS ARE ENGAGED IN CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACCORDING TO COLORADO LAW.
The problem is not limited to GVWUA.
Other water associations/districts in the Grand Valley not allowing shareholders to be involved in decisions or attend board of directors meetings as required by state law CRS 37-41-114 - All meetings of the board must be public).
The elected/ appointed officials at the State level and the government workers at the Federal level are again looking out for their own interests and/or political agendas, not following the rule of law or redefining law to fit their agenda.
The associations, districts, government, elected or appointed positions, who are there to lookout for the interests of the water shareholders and citizens of Colorado, are in fact doing the opposite. Assessments collected from the water shareholders are being used to pay the wages of the managers who are working to market our water rights!
Grand Valley Water Users Association - without the knowledge or consent of the shareholders!
Orchard Mesa Irrigation District
Palisade Irrigation District
The Southwest Water Conservation District
Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association
Ute Water Conservancy