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Colorado's history of water conflicts

August 27, 2010

Colorado has a long history of challenges to water rights -- since 1861 the state has been relying on the Colorado Supreme Court to hand down decisions in water cases and on all three branches of state government to adopt and implement water law. On Monday, Aug. 30, the CSU Water Center will host an expert who'll speak about Colorado's colorful history of water conflicts and how they've been handled.

Colorado's water distribution is based on the Prior Appropriation Doctrine of first-in-time, first-in-right.

Monday, Aug. 30
4 p.m.
Natural Resources Building
Room 109

Water law long standing 

According to Justice Greg Hobbs with the Colorado Supreme Court, the Colorado General Assembly first adopted statutes related to water law in 1861. That was the same year that President Lincoln appointed the Colorado Territory's first governor!

Colorado has a long history of water conflicts and has the unique distinction of being the first state to provide for the distribution of water by public officials. 

How we've handled water conflicts

CSU's Water Center is hosting Justice Hobbs on Monday, Aug. 30 at 4 p.m. in the Natural Resources Building, Room 109, who will give a lecture titled, "An overview of water law and how we have historically handled water conflicts in Colorado and the West." 

The talk is part of the Grad 592 Interdisciplinary Water Resources Fall 2010 seminar series, for which the theme is, "Water Conflict and Cooperation."

About Justice Greg Hobbs 

Justice Greg Hobbs took office as a member of the Colorado Supreme Court on May 1, 1996. He practiced water, environmental, land use and transportation law for 25 years prior to appointment by Governor Roy Romer.

He is a co-convener of the western water judges educational project, Dividing the Waters; Vice President of the Colorado Foundation for Water Education; and the author of In Praise of Fair Colorado, The Practice of Poetry, History, and Judging (Bradford Publishing Co. 2004).

Justice Hobbs received his law degree from University of California, Berkeley (1971); B.A., History, University of Notre Dame (1966). He taught sixth grade in New York City and served in the Peace Corps with his wife, Bobbie, in South America, 1967-68 before going to law school.

He is a member of the advisory boards of the Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado School of Law, the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, University of California, Berkeley School of law, and the Water Resources Archives, Morgan Library, Colorado State University.

Event sponsorship: the CSU Water Center.

Contact: Reagan Waskom
Phone: (970) 491-6308