DENVER BASIN GROUND WATER AND THE LAW
The state did not impose any regulation on this well development until the mid-1950s when permits were first required in order to drill a well. It was not until the late 1960s that a form of allowable appropriation was developed and included in state statutes. This was modified in the 1970s to include provisions for a useful life of the aquifers. During the 1970s and 80s, geologists of the Colorado Division of Water Resources and the US Geological Survey studied the hydrogeology of the basin in great detail. At the same time political and demographic influences were pressuring the legislature for more regulation of the Denver Basin aquifers. As a result of both studies and politics the Division developed Rules and Regulations for the production and use of water from these aquifers. This regulatory framework has served well for over 15 years.
With the new century has come renewed concern over the finite ground water resources of the basin. The artesian head will be gone within the next decade. Rising use and increased pumping costs from as deep as 2000-feet have begun to alarm water districts, governmental, and citizen groups. Additional studies are underway to examine the hydrogeologic character of the Basin. These studies will inevitably be used for the development of new regulations.