These are all of the Water and Agriculture bills proposed in the 2019 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.

None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, arguments for, and arguments against are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. The long description is hidden by design, you can click on it to expand it if you want to read more detail about the bill.  If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.

Prime sponsors are given after each bill, with Senate sponsors in () and House sponsors in []. They are color-coded by party.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Major, Medium, Minor, and Technical. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!). Technical bills are here to round out the list. They are non-substantive changes.

HB19-1015 Recreation of the Colorado Water Institute [Arndt]

Short Description:

The Colorado Water Institute, founded in 1981, sunsetted in 2017 which means its funding is about to run out. This bill recreates the Institute, run through Colorado State University, as it previously existed.

The Colorado Water Institute, founded in 1981, sunsetted in 2017 which means its funding is about to run out. This bill recreates the Institute, run through Colorado State University, as it previously existed. The Institute is charged with developing, implementing, and coordinating water research programs with other institutions of higher learning and transferring the results to potential users, as well as acting as a state-wide clearinghouse for water resources and data.

Arguments For:

This Institute is a critical tool in our ability to ensure a future where Colorado and the rest of the west has enough water to meet our needs, particularly if droughts become more common. It is a well-established research and development center that due to its history of over 35 years in operation, is well-integrated into the water research and development community.

Arguments Against:

Since the Institute is really a national center, despite focusing more on Colorado than other states, we should force the federal government to fund it fully even if that means there is a chance the Institute would close down.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB19-1015

HB19-1029 Republican River Water Conservation District (Crowder) [Arndt]

From the Water Resources Review Committee

Short Description:

Changes definition of Republican River water conservation district to include areas where groundwater pumping depletes flow of the river.

Long Description: N/A

Arguments For:

This is just common sense, the point of a water conservation district is to include all areas where the water we are trying to conserve (in this case the Republican River) could be affected.

Arguments Against:

Groundwater that may affect the flow of the river should fall outside the purview of a conservation district. Putting inside the district brings in too many people who are simply using water out of the ground, not pulling it out of a river or its tributaries.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB19-1029

HB19-1050 Encourage Use of Xeriscape in Common Areas [Titone]

Short Description:

Prevents common interest communities from banning use of xeriscape or drought-tolerant landscapes in common elements (already prohibited from banning in member-owned property) and extends water conservation requirements currently applicable only to certain public entities that supply water at retail to property management and other special districts that manage parkland and open space.

Long Description: n/a

Arugments For:

Water is a precious resource in Colorado and we must do all that we can to conserve it. Parkland and open space is a prime target for water conservation. Common interest communities will still have the ability to manage themselves when it comes to common areas, so if they don’t want xeriscape they can do something else. This just prevents community regulations from ruling the practice out altogether.

Arguments Against:

Common interest communities should be free to set their own preferences for their community common areas. If that means they don’t want xeriscaping or draught-tolerant plants than that’s what they want. Parklands also should not be restricted in this manner, Coloradans love the outdoors and our beautiful parks. Variety in our parks is wonderful and we should keep the ability for parks to ban xeriscaping and draught-resistant plants if we want a lush, green oasis.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB19-1050

HB19-1071 Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Water Quality Control (Zenzinger) [McKean] TECHNICAL BILL

Short Description:

Eliminates duplicative requirement for state board of health to approve a municipality’s entrance into a joint operating agreement with an industrial enterprise for sewage work.

Long Description: n/a

HB19-1082 Water Rights Easements (Coram) [Catlin, D. Valdez]

Short Description:

Clarifies that water rights easement holders may maintain, repair, and improve their easement.

Long Description: n/a

Arguments For:

Just a common sense clarification in case there was any confusion. If you have a water rights easement then you can maintain, repair, and improve it. That’s the behavior we want.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB19-1082