What are water rights?
How are shares or water rights transferred?
What is a Prescriptive Easement?
An easement allows the ditch company use of the land. In our case it is to transport irrigation water, although the ditch company does not own the property. There are several types of easements. A prescriptive easement is one that is established by continued historical use and not necessarily expressed in a property deed. "Prescriptive Ditch Easements" allow for the "dominant use" to transport water. All utilities companies have some form of property easements.
Colorado law has upheld easements or rights-of-way for ditch companies that have established a historical and continual use. KGIC has continually operated ditches in the Kawanee Gardens neighborhood since 1928.
What does having an easement mean?
Yes, this proof of ownership in the company and your water right. Store this certificate in a safe place. If you have lost or damaged your stock certificate contact the company Secretary/Treasurer to inquire about a replacement. The company may require supporting documents and need to research records to affirm ownership of the stock. A replacement fee will be required.
in many cases if a property with an existing KGIC water right is sold, a certificate makes it much easier to transfer the water right to the new property owner.
The easement allows KGIC personnel access to the ditch in order to clean, maintain, monitor and repair the ditch system. Most of the original lateral earthen ditches were a minimum of 12-inches in width and depth for water flow. Company volunteers often have to dig out or cut banks of the open ditch to maintain that minimum. Easement Access is considered a "reasonable" distance for someone to perform maintenance on the ditch. A reasonable distance maybe 5 feet to 10 feet, or more, on each side of the ditch, perpendicular to the direction of flow. This may include above and below the ditch. Colorado law stipulates that access cannot be blocked, e.g with fences or other encroachments. KGIC personnel will make every effort to work with property owners, especially with regard to fences and gates, while making sure company representatives can access the ditch for routine and emergency inspections.
Individual property owners who have purchased a share in KGIC are entitled to use the water. Each share amounts to pro rata portion of the available water flowing through the main headgate. KGIC has devised a schedule of when shareholders may take their water based upon how many shares they own. A shareholder gets a percentage of the water flowing at any particular time. As the amount of water fluctuates the total amount received may raise or lower, although the percentage is the same. Shareholders pay an assessment each year for the delivery of water, not the actual water itself.
Kawanee Gardens Mutual Irrigation Company
KGIC shares are private property and are bought and sold in transactions between private parties. Transfers are only allowed within the same lateral. KGIC only becomes involved in transactions if they do not abide by the Company's Charter or the Operating Policies & Procedures. The shares must be in good standing with assessments paid to date. The property served must be within the boundaries of the KGIC ditch system and delivery must be within the same Lateral, or have access to the same Lateral of the share being sold. Transfers are within the same lateral as to avoid impact on historical flows and scheduling. KGIC charges a $10 per share transfer fee for record keeping and issuing a new certificate. For more information contact the company secretary/treasurer.
Click on the link below for more information about Colorado Water, Ditch and Irrigation Companies
Generally, storing water is considered impoundment and water stored longer than 72 hours requires a "storage decree" from the state. While the company remains neutral on storing water for short periods of time, no in-stream ponds are permitted. In-stream ponds are created by widening the lateral to allow water to pool. These structures are a serious impediment to the flow of water, create more opportunity for seepage and evaporation. An in-stream pond may not comply with the company's easement.
KGIC does not allow ponds that essentially create an 'in-stream' pond adjacent to the lateral. These are situations created by diverting water from the lateral to a pond with an overflow from the pond, returning excess water back the lateral downstream. These type of diversions are essentially altering the natural flow of the lateral. Any effluent, whether from a pond or another source, that enters the ditch system may likely create a problem for downstream users. The company will remove any man-made sources of effluent that enters the lateral system.