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<br />03CV1335-GallegosDecision.PDF <br /> <br />05gw15-16-17-CherokeeResponse.PDF <br /> <br />05gw15-16-17-StaffAppeal.PDF <br /> <br />05gw-15-16-17-StaffReply.PDF <br /> <br />AG Report2006-11-17.docATTORNEY GENERAL’S REPORT <br /> <br />Cases involving the Colorado Ground Water Commission <br />November 17, 2006 <br /> <br />The listing below summarizes all matters in which the Office of the Attorney General currently represents the Colorado Ground Water Commission. <br /> <br />Reinaldo gallegos, et al. Case No. 03CV1335 Designated Basin: Upper Crow Management District: Before: Hon. Roger A. Klein, Weld County District Court ; Colorado Supreme Court Attorney: <br /> Alex Davis <br />Subject: The Gallegos family requested a hearing to determine whether administration and curtailment is required of the wells and junior surface water rights along Crow Creek to satisfy <br /> the Gallegos Family’s senior surface water right. At its August, 2003 meeting the Commission affirmed its Hearing Officer and concluded that the Commission has no jurisdiction over <br /> surface rights, and is not required to administer the basin based on the priority system. <br /> <br />On September 26, 2003 the Gallegos family appealed the Commission’s decision to District Court, and also brought an additional action against the State Engineer in his capacity as the <br /> administrator of surface rights. Assistant Attorney General Alexandra Davis is handling the latter litigation. <br /> <br />In the Commission litigation, we filed a Motion with the Court, asking that the Court notify and join all well permit holders who might be adversely affected if the Court were to call <br /> out permit holders, based on the Gallegos’ decreed surface right. <br /> <br />In a decision which we received on February 11, 2004, the Court agreed with us that junior well permit holders might be adversely affected, and therefore required them to be joined in <br /> the litigation. <br /> <br />Status: The Plaintiffs amended their complaint to include junior well permit holders. They served those parties, who retained attorneys and filed responses to the complaint. The case <br /> against the State Engineer is being held in abeyance, pending a decision in the case against the Commission. The Plaintiffs filed a Motion asking the Court to rule, as a matter of law, <br /> that their surface rights are entitled to protection from pumping in the designated basins. Upon motion by Gallegos the Water Court held his ruling to be a final order. Gallegos’ appealed <br /> the case to the Colorado Supreme Court and we cross-appealed. Oral Argument was held before the Supreme Court on September 12, 2006, and we are awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />cherokee metropolitan District Case No. 98 CW 80 Designated Basin: Upper Black Squirrel Management District: Upper Black Squirrel Before: Dennis Maes, Water Judge ; Colorado Supreme <br /> Court Attorney: Jennifer Mele <br />Subject: Cherokee Metropolitan District filed a Motion in Water Court to interpret the terms of a stipulation that was entered into among the District, the Management District, and the <br /> Commission. The provision of the Stipulation that is at issue here is the following: <br />“Cherokee shall use Cherokee Wells no. 1-8 only for supplying in-basin beneficial uses that discharge any unconsumed water back into the Upper Black Squirrel Designated Basin and for <br /> emergency and backup purposes. Emergency and backup use shall include the inability to get sufficient supply from the Cherokee owned Sweetwater wells.” <br />Cherokee asserted that the State has not properly interpreted the terms of the Stipulation and it has filed a Motion with the Water Court to force compliance with its interpretation <br /> of the Stipulation. Cherokee is saying that they are not able to get sufficient supply from their Sweetwater wells and they can therefore use the 8 wells. They say that this is an emergency <br /> use as defined by the Stipulation. The State Engineer, after conferring with all parties to the Stipulation, including the attorney from this office who represented the Commission, <br /> interpreted the language to allow the 8 wells to only be used temporarily, in an emergency involving the Sweetwater or other wells, rather than as a permanent source of supply. <br /> <br />Status: Ass’t Attorney General Alexandra Davis represented the Commission and the Court heard testimony on December 16 and 19, 2005. On March 16, 2006 the Court ruled in favor of the <br /> Management District and the Commission. The Metropolitan District appealed the decision to the Supreme Court and all briefs have been filed. The case will be argued to the Court on <br /> September 13, 2006. A contempt hearing is also being set in the Water Court on the final order of the Water Court, since the District claims Cherokee is in violation of the Water Court’s <br /> Order, and continues to pump outside of the designated basin. That hearing will probably be set in early December. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />WAYNE E. and frances g. booker Case No. 04-CV-2800 Designated Basin: Upper Black Squirrel Management District: Upper Black Squirrel Before: Hon. David Gilbert, El Paso County District <br /> Court Attorney: Pat Kowaleski <br />Subject: Objections by the District, Cherokee Metropolitan District, and Schubert Ranches to <br />applications to relocate the wells with Permit Nos. R-16265-FP, R-16271-FP, R-16272-FP, 27560-FP, and 27585-FP <br /> <br />Status: The Applicants appealed the Staff’s evaluation of their application and requested a <br />hearing before the Commission to obtain a variance from Commission Rules. The setting of a hearing before the Hearing Officer was postponed until after the variance request hearing. <br /> The Commission denied the variance request at its February 21, 2003 meeting. A hearing in this matter was held on September 9, 2003. On September 17, 2003, the Hearing Officer issued <br /> his Initial Decision and found as follows: (1) The applications are for changes of water right pursuant to section 37-90-111(1)(g), C.R.S. and Commission Rule 7; (2) According to Commission <br /> Rule 7.3.2, there is no water available to move to the new well locations requested by the Applicant; (3) The Applicants’ request to be excluded from the requirement of including years <br /> of non-use in their historic use analysis “for good cause” pursuant to Commission Rule 7.10.1 is denied; and (4) Because there is no water available to move, the applications are denied. <br /> The Applicants filed Exceptions to the Hearing Officer’s Initial Decision, and by order dated June 15, 2004, the Commission upheld the Initial Decision. On July 15, 2004 the Applicants <br /> appealed the Commission’s decision to the El Paso County District Court, and trial was held October 31- November 3 in Colorado Springs. <br /> <br /> <br />appeal of rules adopted by the upper black squirrel creek ground water management district Case No. [Unassigned] Designated Basin: Upper Black Squirrel Creek Management District: <br /> Upper Black Squirrel Creek Before: El Paso County District Court Attorney: Pat Kowaleski <br />Subject: Cherokee, Meridian Ranch, Meridian Service, Paint Brush Hills and Woodmen <br />Hills Metropolitan Districts filed an appeal to the adoption of Rule Nos. 3, 17, 18, and 19 by the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Ground Water Management District. <br /> <br />Status: This is the same matter referred to in the previous item. After the Commission issued its Remand Order, the Applicants, on October 29, 2004, filed an appeal with the District <br /> Court in El Paso County. The Commission filed a Motion to Dismiss the District Court action on the grounds that the Commission has not yet completed its review, and the matter is therefore <br /> not ripe for an appeal to District Court. The District Court has put the matter on hold until the Hearing Officer and the Commission act on the remand to the Hearing Officer. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />WOODMAN HILLS METRO DISTRICT Case No. 03-GW-20 Designated Basin: Upper Black Squirrel Management District: Upper Black Squirrel Before: Jody Grantham, Hearing Officer Attorney: <br /> Ginny Brannon <br />Subject: Woodmen Hills Metro District submitted three applications to appropriate ground water from the alluvial aquifer of the Black Squirrel Creek or its tributaries, through the <br /> use of three surface ponds and for approval of a replacement plan. The Upper Black Squirrel Creek Ground Water Management District objected, contending that approval will result in <br /> an adverse effect on vested rights in the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Designated Basin. On August 12, 2005, the Hearing Officer signed a Motion to Vacate the hearing that was scheduled <br /> to begin on August 15, 2005. Due to new information about the acreage of the surface ponds, the application needed to be republished to include an accurate account of the number of <br /> ponds and other areas that are subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction. Because Woodmen Hills is working out some issues pertaining to the replacement plan with Staff, Woodmen Hills <br /> has yet to submit the applications. There are no new updates. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />paint brush hills metro district Case No. 05-GW-02, 03, 04 Designated Basin: Upper Black Squirrel Management District: Upper Black Squirrel Before: Jody Grantham, Hearing Officer <br /> Attorney: Ginny Brannon <br />Subject: In these consolidated cases, Paint Brush Hills: 1) applied for a replacement plan to allow the withdrawal of designated ground water from the Dawson aquifer (05GW02); and, <br /> 2) submitted two applications for changes of water rights to change permitted beneficial uses (05GW03, 05GW04). The Upper Black Squirrel Creek Ground Water Management District objected <br /> to all three applications, contending that approval will result in an adverse effect on vested rights in the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Designated Basin. Staff later determined that <br /> they need to republish an application for a determination of water right that the Replacement Plan in this case will ultimately serve. Accordingly, the hearing scheduled for July 19, <br /> 2005 was vacated. In addition, because the replacement plan cannot be considered before the Staff approves the change of use applications, the Hearing Officer deconsolidated the cases. <br /> <br /> <br />A hearing was set for June 23, 2006 on the change cases. However, Paint Brush filed a motion with the Hearing Officer on June 16, 2006 to vacate the prehearing conference due to Paint <br /> Brush’s decision to amend the applications on the changes in use and the replacement plan. Accordingly, the Hearing Officer vacated the prehearing conference and a new one has not <br /> yet been set. There are no new updates. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />HARMONY LAND AND CATTLE Case No. 05-GW-08 Designated Basin: Kiowa-Bijou Management District: Kiowa-Bijou Before: Jody Grantham, Hearing Officer Attorney: Ginny Brannon <br />Subject: Harmony Land and Cattle (“Harmony”) filed an objection to the Commission’s findings relating to Harmony’s application for a determination of water right. The Commission contended <br /> that the annual amount of water available for allocation from the Denver aquifer was 4 acre-feet, while Harmony argued that it was 177 acre-feet. Once, however, Staff received information <br /> on historic consumptive use, they recalculated the allocation for the water right and discovered that encroachment was not an issue as they had originally thought. On September 14, <br /> 2006, the Hearing Officer issued an order directing Staff to republish the application. The application was republished and there were no objections. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />pioneer irrigation district Case No. 05-GW-14 Designated Basin: Northern High Plains Attorney: Ginny Brannon Before: Jody Grantham, Hearing Officer <br />Subject: The Pioneer Irrigation District, Colorado Board, and certain owners of the Laird Ditch (“Pioneer”) have filed a Petition for Hearing with the Ground Water Commission. The Petition <br /> seeks, among other things, a hearing to ascertain the accuracy of the current boundaries and descriptions associated with the Northern High Plains Designated Ground Water Basin (“Basin”) <br /> for the purpose of excluding water that is allegedly tributary. In addition to de-designating the ground water, the petition seeks to require wells in the Northern High Plains Designated <br /> Ground Water Basin to curtail pumping or, in some cases, cease pumping all together. Consequently, this Petition potentially injures the owners of over 4,300 wells located in the Basin <br /> and all eight ground water management districts in the Basin. Accordingly, Staff filed a Motion for Joinder of Necessary Parties requesting that the Commission’s Hearing Officer require <br /> Pioneer to serve notice to the potentially affected parties. The Hearing Officer denied the Motion for Joinder. <br /> <br />Pioneer filed a Motion for Summary Judgment requesting a determination that: 1) the Commission is bound by the RRCA Ground Water Model; 2) the designated basin includes ground water <br /> that is tributary to the North Fork, and wells that are extracting tributary ground water are causing depletions to surface flows; 3) the Commission must notice a hearing to alter the <br /> boundaries of the designated basin; and, 4) the administration and adjudication of the tributary water falls within the jurisdiction of the water courts. Because the public notice of <br /> hearing was still out for publication and the deadline for objections had not yet passed, Staff filed a motion to defer their motion until all potential parties had an opportunity to <br /> enter the case. The Hearing Officer granted this motion and Staff met with some of the opposers on November 15, 2005 for the purpose of coordinating a response. <br /> <br />The Objectors then filed a Motion to Dismiss based on the fact that these issues have been heard before and, because it raises a crucial threshold issue of law, any decision by the Hearing <br /> Officer will be appealed to the Commission. To avoid duplication of efforts in two hearings, the Opposers filed a Motion to Re-refer the Motion to Dismiss to the Commission for the <br /> limited purpose of obtaining a decision on the Motion. In addition, the Objectors filed a Motion to Conduct Discovery for the purpose of obtaining information necessary to respond to <br /> the Applicant’s Motion for Summary Judgment. <br /> <br />In addition, Pioneer filed a motion for a determination from the Hearing Officer that they should not be required to reimburse the State Engineer for the costs associated with publishing <br /> the hearing notice. On April 10, 2006, the Hearing Officer ruled that Pioneer is responsible for the payment of the publication costs and, on April 26th, 2006, Pioneer filed an appeal <br /> to the Commission. <br /> <br />The Commission heard oral argument on the Motion to Dismiss at its May 19, 2006 meeting and dismissed the petition. Pioneer has appealed that decision to the district court. A hearing <br /> on the publication costs was held at the Commission’s August 18th meeting and the Commission directed Pioneer to pay the publication costs. This case is now on appeal in District Court <br /> in Yuma County. <br /> <br /> <br />CHEROKEE METROPOLITAN DISTRICT Case No. 05-GW-15, 16, 17 Designated Basin: Upper Black Squirrel Management District: Upper Black Squirrel Before: Jody Grantham, Hearing Officer <br /> Attorney: Ginny Brannon <br />Subject: These cases involve appeals of denials of nine applications for the withdrawal of groundwater from the Upper Black Squirrel Designated Ground Water Basin. The denials are based <br /> on Staff’s determination that, because the landowner consent statements were not signed, there is insufficient evidence to prove consent of the various landowners to allow for the withdrawal <br /> of the waters underlying each landowners’ parcel. On September 8, 2005, Staff filed a motion to consolidate the three cases and a motion to join the property owners as parties. The <br /> Hearing Officer granted the motion to consolidate but denied the motion for joinder based on the determination that a hearing needs to be held first to ascertain whether sufficient <br /> evidence of deemed consent can be provided by Cherokee. <br /> <br />Cherokee filed a motion for determination of threshold issue of law, contending that the leases granted the lessees the right to Denver Basin ground water. Staff responded that the <br /> underlying decrees limited the water right to alluvial water and that the leases could not grant water rights beyond those specified in the underlying decrees. Staff then filed a motion <br /> for determination of question of law contending that, at the time the leases were conveyed, inchoate rights based on land ownership did not exist within the designated basins. The Hearing <br /> Officer ruled in favor of the District, holding that the leases do grant rights to apply for Denver Basin ground water underlying the relevant parcels. The Hearing Officer then proceeded <br /> to vacate the hearing and close the case. Because the issue of landowner consent has not yet been resolved and there are existing water right holders that have determinations or well <br /> permits for the same Denver aquifer water that Cherokee is claiming, Staff then filed a motion for clarification of these issues for the purpose of bringing them before the Commission <br /> on appeal. A hearing on the motion for clarification will be held at the Commission’s next meeting on November 17th, 2006. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />ELLICOT SPRING RESOURCES Case No. 06-GW-06 Designated Basin: Upper Black Squirrel Management District: Upper Black Squirrel Before: Jody Grantham, Hearing Officer Attorney: Ginny <br /> Brannon <br />Subject: Ellicott Springs Resources submitted two applications to change the allowed beneficial uses of two determinations. The Upper Black Squirrel Creek Ground Water Management District <br /> objected contending that, among other things, the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer may be tributary to the alluvial aquifer in the location of the determinations. The parties reached a stipulation <br /> and this case is now closed. <br /> <br /> <br />TRIPLE BAR RANCH Case No. 06-GW-07 Designated Basin: Upper Black Squirrel Management District: Upper Black Squirrel Before: Jody Grantham, Hearing Officer Attorney: Ginny Brannon <br />Subject: Triple Bar Ranch applied for a determination of water right to allow the allocation of designated ground water from the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer underlying a 2,853 acre property. <br /> The Upper Black Squirrel Creek Ground Water Management District objected, contending, among other things, that the application is speculative. A hearing was held on September 6, 2006. <br /> The Hearing Officer found that the application is not speculative and approved the Determination of Water Rights. <br /> <br /> <br />STEPHEN SCHNURR Case No. 06-GW-22 Designated Basin: Black Squirrel Creek Management District: Black Squirrel Creek Before: Jody Grantham, Hearing Officer Attorney: Ginny Brannon <br />Subject: Stephen J. Schnurr Living Trust (“Applicant”) submitted applications for determinations of water rights to allow the withdrawal of designated ground water from the Laramie-Fox <br /> Hills, Arapahoe, and Denver aquifers underlying 139 acres, consisting of two noncontiguous tracts. The Upper Black Squirrel Creek Management District objected contending, among other <br /> things, that the applications are speculative. The applicant and the District achieved a settlement agreement and the hearing, scheduled for October 18, 2006, was vacated. <br /> <br /> <br />FALCON HIGHLANDS METRO DISTRICT Case No. 06-GW-24 Designated Basin: Black Squirrel Creek Management District: Black Squirrel Creek Before: Jody Grantham, Hearing Officer Attorney: <br /> Ginny Brannon <br />Subject: Falcon Highlands Metro District submitted three applications to change the place of use of Determinations of Water Rights and the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Ground Water Management <br /> District objected based, among other things, on their concern that the application would involve the export of water from the Upper Black Squirrel Designated Basin. The Applicant and <br /> the District are currently negotiating and, if those discussions fail to result in a resolution, the Applicant will notify the Hearing Officer of the need for a setting conference by <br /> December 4, 2006. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />6 <br /> <br /> <br />8 <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />Agenda.PDF <br /> <br />AgendaNov06.doc <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />Determine quorum <br /> <br />Review and approval of agenda items <br /> <br />Approval of Minutes for Meeting of August 18, 2006 <br /> <br />Report of the Executive Director by Hal Simpson <br /> <br />Hearing on Staff’s appeal of Hearing Officer’s Final Orders for consolidated Case Nos. 05GW15, 05GW16, and 05GW17, in the matter of denial of the applications for Determinations of Water <br /> Rights (AD-14669 through AD-14671, and AD-14673 through AD-14678) to allow withdrawal of ground water from the Laramie-Fox Hills, Arapahoe, and Denver Aquifers by Cherokee Metropolitan <br /> District in the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Designated Ground Water Basin. <br /> <br />Staff Report by Keith Vander Horst <br /> <br />Report of the Attorney General by Ginny Brannon <br /> <br />District Reports: <br />Marks Butte, Frenchman, Sand Hills and Central Yuma GWMDs by Aaron Nein <br />W-Y GWMD by Jack Dowell <br />Arikaree GWMD by Roger Brenner <br />Plains and East Cheyenne GWMDs by Deb Daniel <br />Southern High Plains GWMD by Max Smith <br />North KiowaBijou GWMD by Robert Loose <br />Upper Black Squirrel GWMD by Tracy Doran <br />Upper Big Sandy GWMD by Dave Taussig <br />Lost Creek GWMD by Thomas Sauter <br />Republican River Water Conservation District by Stan Murphy <br /> <br />Old Business <br /> <br />New Business <br />Selection of Meeting dates for 2007 <br /> <br />Executive Session (12:00 – 1:00) Pioneer Irrigation District, Colorado Board v. Colorado Ground Water Commission, Yuma County District Court, Case No. 06CV31 <br /> <br />Adjournment <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />NOTICE OF GENERAL MEETING OF THE <br />COLORADO GROUND WATER COMMISSION <br />May 19, 2006 <br /> <br />Revised A G E N D A (cont.) <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />NOTICE OF GENERAL MEETING OF THE <br />COLORADO GROUND WATER COMMISSION <br /> <br />10:00 a.m., Friday, November 17, 2006 <br /> <br />1313 Sherman St. Rm. 318 <br />Denver, CO 80203 <br /> <br />A G E N D A (Amended) <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />AG-Report.PDF <br /> <br />EnforecementSummary.docEnforcement Items and Actions <br /> <br />Enforcement actions performed by staff this quarter are summarized below: <br /> <br />Northern High Plains <br />This quarter staff has continued ensure that the State of Colorado meets its obligations pursuant to the Republican River Compact. <br /> <br />Central Yuma GWMD: <br />-Cease and Desist Orders were issued to Bill Cure for illegally expanded acres. Mr. Cure is now in compliance. <br /> <br />-Delmar Scofield used an irrigation well to irrigate illegally expanded acres. A certified letter was sent to Mr. Scofield. He is now in compliance. <br /> <br />Marvin Dickson exceeded his acre-foot allocation for the year. Mr. Dickson has been notified and we will be closely monitoring his well’s use next year. <br /> <br />Sandhills GWMD: <br />-Cease and Desist Orders were issued to Bill cure for illegally expanded acres. Mr. Cure is now in compliance. <br /> <br />-William Doke was to found have illegally expanded acres. He is now in compliance. <br /> <br />Linda Lapp used an irrigation well to irrigate illegally expanded acres. A certified letter has been sent and we are awaiting her response. <br /> <br />Arikaree GWMD: <br />-Bruce Klassen used an irrigation well to irrigate illegally expanded acres. A certified letter has been sent to Mr. Klassen and we are awaiting his response. <br /> <br />-J&J Partnership illegally commingled two irrigation wells. We are currently working with the operators to ensure compliance. <br /> <br />Plains GWMD: <br />-Charles Schulte has reduced his illegally expanded acres and he is now in compliance. <br /> <br />Upper Black Squirrel <br />-It was discovered that Robert Riffe was using his small capacity well for non-small capacity uses. We are currently working with Mr. Riffe to correct the violation. <br /> <br /> <br />HearingOfficerReport.PDF <br /> <br />Minutes-3rd '06.doc <br />MINUTES <br /> <br /> THIRD QUARTERLY MEETING <br /> COLORADO GROUND WATER COMMISSION <br /> AUGUST 18, 2006 <br /> <br /> <br />The Third Quarterly Meeting of the Colorado Ground Water Commission took place on August 18, 2006, at the Double Tree Hotel, 743 Horizon Drive, Grand Junction, Colorado. Chairman Max <br /> Smith called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. Marta Ahrens called the roll and determined that a quorum was present. Commission members present were Grant Bledsoe, Larry Clever, <br /> Dennis Coryell, Corey Huwa, Frank Jaeger, Robert Loose, Earnest Mikita, Doug Shriver, Max Smith, Hal Simpson, Russell George and Ted Kowalski. <br /> <br /> <br />Review and Approval of Agenda Items – Chairman Smith stated that items 5 and 6 of the agenda will be reversed. Commissioner Mikita moved to approve the agenda change; the motion was <br /> seconded by Commissioner Coryell and approved unanimously. <br /> <br /> <br />Approval of Minutes for Meeting of May 19, 2006 - Chairman Smith asked if there were any corrections or additions to the Minutes of the May 19, 2006 meeting. Commissioner Coryell suggested <br /> changing “irrigation districts” to “ground water management districts” in the fifth paragraph of page 2. Commissioner Coryell moved to accept the Minutes with the change; the motion <br /> was seconded by Commissioner Mikita and carried unanimously. <br /> <br /> <br />Report of the Executive Director by Hal Simpson – Mr. Simpson thanked Dick Proctor with the Grand Valley Water Users Association for organizing the tour of the various irrigation projects <br /> in Grand Valley, he thanked Larry Clever for providing water for the tour, and Marta Ahrens for arranging for bus transportation and the barbeque dinner at the park. <br /> <br />Mr. Simpson reported that water supply conditions statewide continue to be dry, and most of the state is under drought conditions with senior calls throughout the river basins in Colorado. <br /> <br /> <br />Regarding Kansas v. Colorado, Mr. Simpson reported that they are meeting with the state of Kansas this month to discuss accounting of releases from John Martin Reservoir and administration <br /> of the Arkansas River Compact. They are continuing to make good progress toward resolving issues that are not related to the litigation but are important to interstate ability to get <br /> along and operate under the provisions of the compact. <br /> <br />Mr. Simpson reported that the Republican River Compact Administration met in Kansas last week. The accounting for 2005 was received and indicates that the situation has slightly improved, <br /> but still had a deficit of about 10,000 acre-feet for 2005, and Colorado is using half of its compact entitlement under average water supply conditions. Mr. David Pope, Kansas Commissioner, <br /> stated at the end of the meeting that Kansas expects Colorado and Nebraska to be in compliance by the end of 2007. Colorado needs to initiate internal discussions on various options <br /> to address compliance. <br />Mr. Simpson reported that the CREP program was approved earlier this year; around 25,000 acres were enrolled initially and enrollment continues into August. The goal is 30,000 acres <br /> and the district put interesting incentives into the program to pay an amount greater than what the Federal government will pay for retiring irrigated lands. At the end of 15 years, <br /> some producers would receive $2,400 per irrigated acre to not to irrigate over that 15-year period and would not bring that land back into irrigation. In addition, the District entered <br /> into the EQIP program and permanently retired approximately an additional 6,000 acres in the basin. <br /> <br /> <br />Hearing on Petitioners’ Exceptions to Hearing Officer’s Order Concerning Publication Costs and Submission of Publication Costs Payment, in the matter of the Senior Water Rights of the <br /> Pioneer Irrigation District, Colorado Board and Laird Ditch located in the Northern High Plains Designated Ground Water Basins (Case No. 05-GW-14) <br /> <br />Chairman Smith called the hearing to order. Mr. Pat Kowaleski, of the Attorney General’s Office, was conflicts counsel. The following persons provided testimony before the Commission: <br /> <br />Mr. Steve Bushong, attorney representing the Pioneer Irrigation District, Colorado Board and Laird Ditch, participated via telephone conference call. He stated that they are proceeding <br /> under the understanding of the agreement to temporarily stay the issue of publication costs on appeal. They are objecting to being billed approximately $3400 in publication costs. <br /> He stated that the Commission does not have the authority to collect these types of publication costs. CRS 37-90-116(1)(f) provides for costs for applications and permits, and does <br /> not authorize publication costs associated with petitions. Mr. Bushong stated that there is a publication fund for all types of petitions or other types of publication costs where <br /> the Commission does not have the statutory authority to request those costs from either the applicant or the petitioner, and he is requested that that fund be used to pay for these <br /> costs. <br /> <br />Ms. Ginny Brannon, of the Attorney General’s Office, stated that CRS 37-90-116(1)(f) states that the State Engineer’s Office or Commission can collect the publication costs under “other <br />