Water Marketing and ATM's

Water marketing in Colorado is illegal! The Colorado  Constitution has an anti-speculation clause, Article XVI Section 5.  Marketing water is speculating.  Speculation is "the buying or selling of something with the expectation of profiting from price fluctuations". 

Water is appropriated through Colorado's Water Court. Water needs a diversion point and a beneficial use. To change a point of diversion or use, according to Colorado water law, you have to go back to court which is time consuming and expensive when the goal is to change a water right to anywhere the MARKETER can receive the highest compensation from price fluctuations.

Alternative Transfer Method (ATM) is what is being used to bypass Colorado Law.

Water Banking and Conserved Consumptive Use Pilot Project (CCUPP), are both names that have been used by Harris and the Board of Directors, for setting up an illegal Alternative Transfer Method (ATM). 

ATM's undermine the root of Colorado Water Law, Prior Appropriation, by making it easy to transfer water rights!!

Shareholder rights, legality and ethics are of no concern to Harris and the Board of Directors!

The Scammers want control of OUR water!

How do I know Harris wants to market the GVWUA shareholder's water rights?

Harris said so in an application for funding for the ILLEGAL FALLOWING PROJECT - Conserved Consumptive Use Pilot Project (CCUPP). This quote is from page 20.


"Mark Harris, General Manager – GVWUA, has been working on water marketing since he

began working as General Manager of GVWUA."

WaterSMART:Water Marketing Strategy Grants for FY 2017 (FY = Funding Year)

This is an application for funding, applied for in the name of Grand Valley Water Users Association by the 

Manager, Mark Harris. 

Project Name: Beyond Conserved Consumptive Use: Creating Productive Water Market Strategies

 Funding Opportunity Announcement #BORDO17F014 (Bureau of Reclamation)

from water marketing strategy grants application


Harris: All though not fully understood, the Colorado River Compact issues may also affect water use within the GVWUA.

Holly: The Colorado River Compact has been in force since 1922.  It is fully understood. The Compact becomes a problem when you are  breaking the law.

Page 9

 Harris: The Beyond Project (Beyond Conserved Consumptive Use: Creating Productive Water Market Strategies) is one more step in the direction of an Upper Basin water market and a phase of the larger work proposes to develop a water market strategy for the Western Slope area.

Holly: This states their purpose.

 Control of ALL the water on the Western Slope so they can MARKET the WATER!

Page 10

  Harris : The state of Colorado through the State Engineers Office (SEO) administers water within Colorado. GVWUA will discuss with their local division 5 office [Colorado River District, Mainstream, located in Glenwood Springs, CO] potential water shepherding options including those already under way for CCUPP program. The beyond project will also facilitate discussions with the State Engineers Office to better understand options for water shepherding under a water marketing strategy that may be affective across administrative divisions.

Holly: Colorado Revised Statutes 37-81-102

It is the duty of the state engineer to  see that the water is used for the benefit of the citizens of the state. Upon the knowledge of any water being transported by any means to other states or intending to do so shall call this matter to the attention of the attorney general.

 It's illegal folks!

Stakeholder Support & Involvement

 Page  16

Aurora Water 

 Bureau of Reclamation  

Colorado Cattleman's Association - Janie VanWinkle

Colorado River District 

Colorado Water Conservation Board

Denver Water 

Grand Valley Water Users Association

Orchard Mesa Irrigation District

Palisade Irrigation District

The Nature Conservancy

The Southwest Water Conservation District

Tri State Generation and Transmission 

Trout Unlimited

Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association 

Upper Colorado River Commission

Ute Water Conservancy District

Western Resource Advocates

Holly:  To a farmer/rancher water is life! To the stakeholders/supporters, the control of GVWUA water is wealth! The stakeholders listed above in bold are from the Western Slope of Colorado and willing to participate and support illegal activity to undermine the farmers and ranchers and all irrigation users of the GVWUA!

 We have nothing, without water!

Page 17

 Harris :There is an advocate in the agriculture community that can take this idea forward, and the Beyond Project will capitalize on that leadership. GVWUA continues to seek out and include critics of and those with concerns about water banking and water marketing strategy planning.

Holly: As a critic of the project I repeatedly tried to get information and sit in on GVWUA Board of Directors meetings. Harris would not allow me to attend the meetings and he was not forthcoming with information about the project.  This is not water banking they are not 'banking' or storing water. It is a strategy to develop a water market in Western Colorado even though Colorado has an anti-speculation water law.


 Harris: Certain financial and economic analyses have been undertaken by WestWater Research, LLC (Under contract with our project partner The Nature Conservancy) that begin to look at on farm program costs of a western Colorado water market.

Holly: The Nature Conservancy is not in this for the good of the farmers. They are a partner in the largest water marketing project in Australia, The Murray-Darling Basin Authority. It is a 'cap and trade' system.   Cap and trade, is a government-mandated, market-based approach to controlling  water.

The control of the water that effects the western half of the United States equals wealth and power for The Nature Conservancy and those involved.

Page 20


Mark Harris, General Manager-GVWUA, has been working on water marketing since he

began working as General Manager of GVWUA. Mark’s understanding of 

Western Slope agriculture is second to none. Mark has been an advocate and

 a leader for Western Slope

agriculture throughout his career. 

Mark will be co-managing this project.

Luke D. Gingerich, PE, J-U-B Engineers, Inc. – Luke has been working with 

the GVWUA since 2015 evaluating 

their system and creating the CCUPP.

 Luke has worked in western Colorado as

a water resource engineer since 2009. Luke will be co-managing this project. Luke will be

working under contract with the GVWUA.

Mark A. Hermundstad, Legal Counsel – Mark has over 36 years of legal experience much of

which has been working in water law. Mark is highly regarded by his colleagues and widely

respected in the water community. He has served as legal counsel to the GVWUA and other

Western Slope water users for many years. Mark’s ability to participate in this project brings

significant expertise and credibility to the outreach efforts. Mark will be working under contract

with the GVWUA.

Holly: GVWUA money is paying these scammers to steal our water! Hermundstad and Gingerich are under contract to GVWUA! That helps explain the 3% increase in administrative costs to the Associations shareholders that Mark Harris added in 2018!

Holly: Mark Harris working on water marketing since he became manager! Isn't his job to protect the interests of the shareholders and maintain the ditches and laterals?

Holly: If Hermundstad, a water lawyer, is as smart as the writer of this bio says, why is he working on water marketing, an activity which is illegal in the State of Colorado? Hermundstad has been counsel for GVWUA and doesn't know that the Articles of Incorporation state;  the water is tied to the land and cannot be separated? 

 Illegal activities are part of the agenda! 

Page 24

 Harris: Project Budget Funding Plan  Describe how the non-Federal share of Project costs will be obtained.

 Reclamation will use this information

in making a determination of financial capability.

» Project funding provided by a source other than the applicant shall be supported with letters of

commitment from these additional sources. 

 The amount of funding commitment

Cash: $56,900

$37,500 TNC, $5,000 WBWG, 

and $14,400 GVWUA  

In-kind: $81,000

$51,000 GVWUA and $30,000 Partners

Many stakeholder partners have committed in-kind services of over $64,000. However,

GVWUA is only showing $30,000 in in-kind from these stakeholders. The amounts committed

can be viewed within their Letters of Support.

 The following is a list of the stakeholders and their

in-kind commitments.:

• Aurora Water $1,500

• Colorado Cattlemen’s   Assoc.$5,000

• Colorado River District $10,000

• Colorado Water River Conservation Board $13,500

• Orchard Mesa Irrigation District $10,000

• Palisade Irrigation District $1,000

• The Nature Conservancy $10,000

• Tri-State Generation & Transmission Assoc. $6,000

• Trout Unlimited $1,500

• Upper Colorado River Commission $510

• Western Resource Advocates 5,000

 The date the funds will be available to the applicant

The funds are available now. 


Holly: GVWUA funds of $14,400 cash and $51,000 in-kind funding for this illegal program! The Scammers are using Association money to fund the theft of OUR water! 

The Nature Conservancy (TNC), radical environmental group, gave $37,500 cash and $10,000 in-kind. Harris's partners show where he is coming from.

• Upper Colorado River Commission $510

Page 8

  Harris: The GVWUA 2017 CCUPP has also received over $500,000 from the Upper Colorado River Commission, System Conservation Pilot Program (SCPP) FY 2017

Holly: Yes, they did receive over $500,000 but then list the Upper Colorado River Commission (UCRC) stakeholder partner support as $510 in-kind dollars?

Download of document below

In the Upper Colorado River Commission System, Conservation Pilot Program (SCPP) the last three items on table 3 show the amount of funds recieved by GVWUA for 2017.

3178 acre feet for      $525,000

variable acre feet for  $ 36,930

334 acre feet for        $110,000

TOTAL                      $ 672,150

MINUS                               $ 510

EQUALS                      $671,640

Holly: The WaterSMART funding application stated $510 was given by the Upper Colorado River Commission. The Upper Colorado River Commission report for funds 2017 stated they gave $672,150 to the Colorado pilot program.

Where's the missing $671,640?

Holly: Oh, look here! They are getting paid for acre feet!  The GVWUA Conserved Consumptive Use Pilot Program says the farmers are getting paid by the acre of land not by the acre foot of water. The water in the GVWUA is tied to the land and cannot be separated from the land  but apparently Harris, Gingerich, and Hermundstad disregarded that important element of the Articles of Incorporation of the GVWUA. 

 This is illegal. 

water marketing strategy grants full text

WMSG-015_Grand_Valley_Application_Package_508 (pdf)



The WaterSMART Strategy Grant (FY 2017) application lists the Upper Colorado River Commission as funding the project with $510. The website for the Upper Colorado River Commission lists the amount of funding as $525,000 (FY 2017). 

 Where's the missing money?

Please scroll down to bottom of page 3 and look for Colorado River, third from the bottom. 

 They revised their website after I posted this information! Thankfully I had saved copies of the original.

UCRC 525,000 SCPP_15_18 (pdf)


Upper Colorado River Commission rewrite of $525,000

Missing Government money?  Just  rewrite the report! Scroll to page 15.