Colorado water courts

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The Colorado water courts are specialized state courts of the U.S. state of Colorado. There are seven water courts, one in each of Colorado's seven major river basins: South Platte, Arkansas, Rio Grande, Gunnison, Colorado, White, and San Juan. The water courts are divisions of the district courts in that basin.

Water judges are district court judges appointed by the Colorado Supreme Court. The water courts have exclusive subject-matter jurisdiction in the determination of water rights, the use and administration of water, and all other water matters within the jurisdiction of the water divisions.

The water courts were established by the Water Right Determination and Administration Act of 1969, a state law which created seven water divisions based upon the drainage patterns of Colorado's rivers. Each water division is staffed with a division engineer, appointed by the state engineer; a water judge, appointed by the Supreme Court; a water referee, appointed by the water judge; and a water clerk, assigned by the district court.

The seven water courts are:

See also[edit]


Colorado Judicial Branch. (n.d.). Retrieved from