Home » Articles » Volume 36 » Issue 4 » “Adequate Progress,” or Rivers Left Behind? Developments in Colorado and Wyoming Instream Flow Laws Since 2000

 
 

“Adequate Progress,” or Rivers Left Behind? Developments in Colorado and Wyoming Instream Flow Laws Since 2000

 

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Colorado and Wyoming have much in common in regard to water supply and water use, and both states have followed the western states’ traditional approach in their instream flow laws. This traditional approach, however, has serious practical shortcomings in restoring and protecting instream flows. This Article asks whether Colorado and Wyoming have made “adequate progress” since 2000 in addressing these shortcomings in their instream flow laws. For one of these states, the answer is clear: Wyoming has made no progress on its instream flow laws in recent years. Colorado, by contrast, has clearly made progress in strengthening its laws—especially as to recreational in-channel water rights for local governments—but it is hard to call much of this progress “adequate” in practice. The Article concludes by suggesting two areas where both states could improve their programs for restoring flows in depleted streams. 

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