posted on May, 11 2009 @ 03:17 PM
Sorry folks, but this is not some 21st-century eco-policy gone mad, nor is it a power grab by the state. Water rights in the west are traded
separately from the land, just like oil and other mineral rights, and is done to ensure private property rights. This is all very clear when you buy
property in Colorado. It's a selling point for a lot of rural and ag land - are water rights included with the land or not.
It sounds crazy, but water rights and laws/case law around them have been building for 150 years or so, for good reason. Many wars/battles have been
fought over water, more than over oil or gold, for sure, at least here in Colorado.
All these arguments you're giving about owning what falls from the sky - apply them to a river flowing across your land. Just because it enters and
exits your land, do you have the right to dam it up and use it for your own purposes? Keep it from those downstream? That's what people did in the
1800's, dammed up rivers and diverted into reservoirs, and starved the farmers downstream. Water rights and ownership laws evolved around these
cases. Seniority of rights is very important in such cases, to prevent someone new from buying upstream and starving someone downstream who was there
Now think about an oil well. Oil rights can be sold separate from the land - why not water from a well? If you bought a house and had to pay for the
oil (potentially) in the ground, the house would be very expensive. Same goes for the water.
And once water ownership has been separated from the land ownership, what difference does it make where the water originates from? Rain, well, or
Anyone in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, or California who disagrees with me, please, ask your state government to push to disband existing water rights and
allow anyone to control any water that crosses their land in the entire country. Colorado would dam up the Colorado and Green Rivers tomorrow, and
you'd all be dying of thirst with brown lawns, and your farmers would go out of business. Believe me, you don't want to change how water rights work
in this country - everyone downstream from Colorado is currently benefiting great from these same laws that you say are crazy.