How Water Law is Made Today

APA Colorado Chapter


Thursday, October 5, 2017
3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. MDT

CM | 1.50
L | 1.50

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A basic primer on statutes, case law, rulemaking and the Colorado Constitution

1.  This session will introduce or refresh attendees’ memories on how Colorado water law has developed – past, present and future.  Our proposal is that Ellen Roberts, attorney and recently retired state senator and past chairwoman of the legislative Water Resources Review Committee, and Peggy Montaño, senior partner in the Denver water law firm of Trout Raley, will present this session together.

2.  This session will provide an overview that will give attendees a basic understanding of Colorado water law, with a particular emphasis on how land use planning and water policy intersect.

3.  Attendees will learn of resources and tools available to them to advance their own knowledge in this complicated and interesting key policy area, whether they work in the public or private sectors.


Ms. Montaño will review the history and development of Colorado water law, touching on key court decisions and legal doctrines that have shaped Colorado’s approach to water use today.  Ms. Roberts will expand on this history with an explanation of how the 3 branches of government interact on challenges in water policy. Our methodology will be partially a lecture format with PowerPoint slides for informational purposes, but we also want to allow 10-15 minutes of the hour-long presentation for questions from the attendees to define further the most useful information for the planners.

CM Criteria:

Criteria for CM Approval

1. Presentation meets a planning-related objective

2. Presentation is unbiased and non-promotional

3. Presentation communicates a clearly identified educational purpose or objective.

4. Presentation is led by one or more experts on the subject matter discussed

5. Presentation uses learning methodologies and formats that are appropriate to the activity's educational purpose

6. Presentation involves the use of materials that do not include proprietary information


7. Presentation is timed in a manner consistent with the time for which the activity was registered for CM credit

LAW: The session will focus entirely on caselaw and statutes relevant to today’s planner in either the public or private sectors.


Ellen Roberts

Invited Speaker

Ellen Roberts is a lawyer in Durango, focusing in the area of natural resources law. Since leaving the Colorado General Assembly at the end of 2016, Ellen’s re-established her law practice and also recently affiliated as special counsel with the Denver natural resources firm, Trout Raley, expanding on its ... Read More

Peggy Montano

Invited Speaker

Peggy Montano is President and Shareholder of TroutRaley, a natural resources Denver firm with emphasis in water and environmental law and litigation. She is General Counsel representing Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District in general policy and numerous matters before agencies of the Department of Interior including transfer of title to ... Read More

Contact Info

Shelia Booth,