Long view of Great Sand Dunes National Park dune field

Water Laws and the Zapata

Water – Everyone needs it. Everyone wants it, too.

Flowing water in a Zapata community creek
Sangre de Cristo mountain snow melt flows through a Zapata community creek bed.

Water laws are often the topic of discussion in every one of Colorado’s socioeconomic, regional and local circles. The Zapata is no exception. Our community is directly adjacent to major former and active agricultural areas as well as major and minor state and federally administered public lands, all sprinkled throughout the San Luis Valley. With so many interests depending on finite water resources, each asked to serve the needs of everyone, fluctuating annual supplies dictated by the climate whims of Mother Nature makes prudent use of water an absolute necessity.

To best understand what every stakeholder is up against it is imperative that all concerned parties must have a working understanding of the laws that govern every possible use of water.  To that end, the history of water use in Colorado and other Southwestern US states is where that understanding begins and, often enough, ends.

Essential Reading List:


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