Posted by: Bob Payne | September 16, 2011

Colorado, tribe consider appeal of water ruling

Lawyers for Colorado and the Southern Ute Indian tribe were considering their next steps after a judge threw out rules regarding water pumped from below ground during coal-bed methane drilling on the tribe’s reservation. The judge last week upheld rules by the state engineer that allowed some oil and gas wells in the state to be exempt from getting water well permits for their operations, but he also said the rules shouldn’t apply within the Southern Ute reservation because it is unclear who has jurisdiction over water.



  1. If the Souther Ute tribe owns the mineral rights on the land, doesn’t it also follow that they own the water rights? Any competent land rights investigator would be able to determine whether that’s true or not. I guess what’s important is finding what’s at the heart of this suit. Are the tribal members suing to be compensated ofr the groundwater use, or what?

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