Colorado Water Law, "first in time, first in right," is extremely easy to understand: Water dates of appropriation "go with the flow."
Sure. Hydrology is complex. Water "law" is not. If there's no water, there's no water.
Governor Hickenlooper keeps harping, "We need water to keep up with the population growth."
I ask, "Why?"
This is a semi-arid desert. We don't have water.
Yet developers from Denver to Las Vegas, barge in with unreasonable, unattainable demands for water.
We have a some of Delph Carpenter's books on the Colorado River Compact. Nowhere does the compact state that Colorado should be denied delivery because of Las Vegas demands.
Like most compacts, including the Colorado - Nebraska compact, the Colorado River Compact is forgiving respective of variable climatic conditions.
Because Colorado water law is not being enforced, there are some who are being significantly harmed, some who are becoming significantly wealthy, and most who just don't care...
Side point of interest: In our books, I found this letter to Delph Carpenter from President Herbert Hoover.