(Jan. 27) – A component of the bipartisan legislative package to help Colorado recover from the floods and wildfires of 2013 cleared its first legislative hurdle today when the Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee voted 11-2 to approve a bill to speed the repair of flood-damaged irrigation ditches.

HB14-1005, sponsored by Reps. Dave Young (D-Greeley) and Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling), allows the owner of an irrigation ditch to move its headgate without having to take the time and expense of going to water court in cases where floodwaters damaged the ditch or changed the stream being diverted, preventing the headgate from operating properly.

“Going to water court can take months and cost thousands of dollars,” Rep. Young said. “This bill is a practical way to help get all of our irrigation ditches back in operation by springtime.”

The bill’s next stop is the House floor.

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