What Do You Mean the Water on My Property Is Not Mine?

water rights

When you purchase property in Colorado and if you see live water or a pond on your property, that does mean that you own it when you purchase it.  It depends on three factors.

1 – Water rights are sold as separate real estate.  

When you purchase a property in Colorado, either the water rights are specifically listed and called out in your deed, or you may receive them in a separate deed. Another consideration for water rights in Colorado is the mantra, “ Use It or Lose It!” If you have water rights, you need to make sure they have been used over the years and are not abandoned. 

2 – Water rights have a designated use for them or a “Decreed Use.” 

If you have water rights for your property, that does not mean you can use the water for any purpose. The decree that granted the water rights will detail how the water may be used. Water can be used for irrigation, storage, domestic use, livestock, augmentation, or other uses. 

3 – How much can you use? 

The water rights decree will state how much water can be used, but again, it depends on the historical uses for that water right. The previous owner may not have used the full amount, and it could have been reduced over time. 

Only a water rights attorney can issue a title opinion for the water rights to determine what you have and don’t have. Another great professional to use in your water journey is a water engineer who can help you determine the usage and can assist you if you need to go to court to change the use or request additional water for a new water rights decree.

3D Real Estate can put you in touch with professionals who can help you navigate the tricky waters of Colorado water law.  Give 3D Real Estate a call and see how we can help. Cynthia Daughtrey, 303-548-9659 or email at Cynthia@3drealestate.co