On behalf of the State of Colorado, the CWCB reviews all applications for recreational in-channel diversions (RICDs), which limit water rights to the minimum stream flow necessary for a reasonable recreational experience in and on the water. The size and magnitude of flows protected by many of the RICD water rights to date have the potential to restrict future upstream development potential and may reduce the flexibility that Colorado has to manage its water resources. The RICD legislation
was established in 2001 and amended in 2006 and may be subject to further legislation and court challenges.
The CWCB Board’s review of RICD applications focuses on three areas:
- Will the application promote the maximum beneficial use of water?
- Will the application impair Colorado’s ability to fully develop its compact entitlements?
- Will the application adversely impact CWCB instream flow water rights?
The CWCB Board provides its findings to the water court after deliberation in a public meeting. The water courts must consider the CWCB findings. The water courts must also consider whether:
- The water right sought is the minimum necessary for a reasonable recreational experience;
- The RICD is accessible; and
- The RICD is an appropriate stream reach.