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Changes of water rights

Changing water rights is key to obtaining a reliable supply of water in some circumstances. People who acquire valuable senior water rights often do so to change their use from agricultural to municipal or other purposes. A new use of a water right must be authorized by a special proceeding in water court, or before administrative agencies, where it must be shown that the change will not injure other water users.

Generally this requires in-depth engineering and legal analyses of the historical use of the water right, including a determination of the portion of diverted water that was historically consumed and the timing, location and amount of return flows to the stream system. Change proceedings require the development of water court-approved terms to ensure that historical return flows are maintained after the change to prevent injury to other water rights.  

Curtis, Justus, & Zahedi, LLC represents both applicants for changes of water rights and water users desiring to protect their rights from injury that could be caused by such changes. Curtis, Justus, & Zahedi, LLC prepares and pursues the necessary water court actions on behalf of its clients and works with water engineers throughout the process. Our firm successfully adjudicated the two largest change of use cases in Colorado.