Judge approves new rules under Arkansas River Compact

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The Water Judge for the Division 2 Water Court in Pueblo, Dennis Maes, has approved new rules that will allow the state to enforce and comply with the Arkansas River Compact, conserving more water while still meeting downstream commitments.

Colorado has nine interstate water compacts and two federal water decrees.

Improvements can now be made, such as replacing flood and furrow irrigation with sprinklers and drip-irrigation systems.

Following a three-year effort by the state engineer’s office and the attorney general to address the concerns of water users, all 22 opposing parties withdrew their opposition. Ranchers and farmers were originally opposed to the draft rules, when they were first released in 2007.

Maes’ order was issued after opposition was withdrawn.