PCW Powerpoint Presentation

Protect Colorado Water
Ballot Initiatives 3 & 45
What are Initiatives 3 & 45?
Together, these initiatives create:
“an obligation to protect the public’s interests in
water” and prevent any use that would cause
“irreparable harm” to water.
Why do we need initiatives 3 & 45?
Water is the lifeblood of Colorado and one of
our state’s most precious resources.
With demand for water increasing and
availability decreasing, we need to take steps
necessary to preserve and protect our water.
Why do we need initiatives 3 & 45?
• The South Platte River is the most polluted
river in Colorado.
• Over 700,000 pounds of toxic chemicals are
dumped into Colorado’s river a year with 1/3
ending up in the South Platte.
• Nearly 70% of Colorado’s rivers may not be
protected under the Clean Water Act.
“Report: South Platte most polluted in Colorado”, The Denver Post, March 22, 2012
What does it mean for you?
Initiatives 3 & 45 reasserts public ownership of ALL Colorado’s
water by creating the Colorado Public Trust Doctrine. The
State of Colorado will serve as the steward of the trust to
protect and enforce your interest.
Initiative 45 ensures that our water is protected from
unreasonable and unnecessary pollution and that our
water is not permanently destroyed.
Sec. 5 of Article XVI of the Colorado State Constitution states: “The water of every natural stream, not heretofore appropriated, within the state of Colorado, is hereby
declared to be the property of the public, and the same is dedicated to the use of the people of the state, subject to appropriation as hereinafter provided.”
What does it mean for you?
Initiative 3 creates the Trust and public ownership
of Colorado’s water, as set forth in our
Constitution, will be reaffirmed and
Together, Initiatives 3 & 45 will protect Colorado’s
water. If water is so polluted as to restrict or
make it unusable downstream, the State, as the
steward of the public’s interest, must take steps
to correct this misuse in the name of the
common good.
Who benefits?
Sportsman and Recreation
Hunting and fishing is over a billion-dollar industry
in the State of Colorado. The preservation and
protection of wildlife is one of the goals of these
initiatives. In 15 states that have applied the
Public Trust Doctrine, wildlife is discussed as a
reason for adoption.
The Economic Impact of Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife Watching in Colorado, BBC Research and Consulting, Denver,
CO, Sept. 26, 2008.
From Ancient Rome…To the Ruby River, Why the Public Trust Doctrine Matters to You, Chris Smith, Wildlife
Management Institute, April 20, 2012.
Who benefits?
In Colorado, over 33,000 jobs rely on access and
availability of our state’s outdoor treasures.
Many other industries rely on clean water and
recreation to be successful. Allowing access and
ensuring water is clean will help our state’s
business to thrive as well as attract new, jobcreating industry to our state.
Economic Impact of Outdoors Huge in Colorado, Dave Buchanan, GJ Sentential, December 3, 2011.
Who benefits?
The Environment
Initiatives 3 & 45 will impact the environment in
a positive manner. From ensuring water is
clean to allowing access to waterways, these
initiatives return our water to a more natural
What if I have a waterway on my
The Trust DOES NOT open your land to the
public. You still have the right to enforce the
law against trespassers on your property. The
water on your land can only be accessed
through public right of ways.
What if I have a well or groundwater
on my property?
All water, whether surface or groundwater, will be
covered under Initiative 45, meaning that a water right
must be obtained for uses, except that the current right
to use groundwater for domestic purposes without
acquiring a water right will continue, though a permit
for such use will remain in force. Use of any and all
water that results in the destruction or pollution
of water will be subject to sanctions. Pollution and
destruction would be considered impairment of public
waters causing harm to both the public and
environment. Short term private gains will not be
sacrificed to long-term public wellbeing.
Colorado is not alone
41 states recognize the Trust as a valid legal
21 states extend the Trust to all water.
15 states discuss the Trust as it relates to
Conclusion and next steps
In Colorado, we need to join our western neighbors
in passing Initiatives 3 & 45. We need to take
back ownership of our water so as a state, we can
ensure its survival for generations to come.
The first step to ensure that Colorado’s water is
protected is ensuring these initiatives are on the
ballot. To join hundreds of your fellow
Coloradans visit www.protectcoloradowater.org

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