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Water Conflict: Enforcement and Dispute Mechanisms in Statewide Water Policy E. Vaughn McWilliams.

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Presentation on theme: "Water Conflict: Enforcement and Dispute Mechanisms in Statewide Water Policy E. Vaughn McWilliams."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water Conflict: Enforcement and Dispute Mechanisms in Statewide Water Policy E. Vaughn McWilliams

2 The Regulated Riparian Model Water Code Published by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1997 Developed by committee, edited by Joseph Dellapenna, Professor of Law at Villanova Intended to be a complete code, with optional sections.

3 Enforcement and Dispute Mechanisms 1.Hearings 2.Dispute Resolution 3.Judicial Review 4.Civil Enforcement 5.Criminal Enforcement

4 My qualifications Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado, Water Rights Unit: Litigated surface water and groundwater disputes. Water Resource Specialist for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Water Conservation Board, working on state water policy issues.

5 Parties to a Water Rights Dispute One or more water users State Regulatory Agency Any other possibly affected party

6 HEARINGS Water User vs. State Agency Any person aggrieved by an order or decision of the State Agency may receive a hearing Public process, and any person with an interest in fact may participate Can include counsel, introduce evidence, etc. State Agency can compel evidence, including subpoena power

7 Dispute Resolution Water user vs. Water user State Agency’s role in resolving a dispute between water users Less costly and time consuming than using the courts Negotiation, mediation, arbitration, all facilitated by the State Agency

8 Judicial Review Courts keeping the State Agency in check A person likely to be affected by a regulation adopted or proposed by the State Agency can bring an action for declaratory judgment in court The State Agency must comply with court orders or judgments

9 Civil Enforcement State Agency inspections and investigations Notice of violation to offender Order to Cease or Restore Other injunctions through the courts, if necessary Civil liability to the State Agency and other injured parties (continued)

10 Civil Enforcement (continued) Civil penalties for violation of the Code Or civil charges Liens for monetary claims Citizen suits (optional)

11 Criminal Enforcement - Crimes Knowing or intentional false statements Noncompliance with orders Each day of a continuing violation is a separate crime Fines of $1,000 - $10,000 per violation Imprisonment of 1 year to 5 years per violation

12 Criminal Enforcement – Revocation of Permits State Agency is authorized to revoke a permit for: Unlawful act under the Code Willful violation of the Code or terms of a permit Whenever necessary to prevent an unreasonable injury to a holder of another water right

13 Temporary Arrest Power (optional) State Agency employee is authorized to arrest any person if it is necessary to prevent imminent escape after a crime is committed under the Code Need probable cause

14 Hypothetical examples Farmer pumping without permit Upstream municipality vs. downstream industrial manufacturer

15 QUESTIONS?


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