Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2010


Published in Great Plains Research 20.1 (Spring 2010): 137.


Copyright 2010 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


Water touches the lives of all of us every day, and so, at least indirectly, do the rules that govern its allocation. Since the days of the Anasazi, and of the northern Mexican communities of irrigated farms, and especially since the 1859 gold rush, Colorado has been a leader in the development of water law in the arid West. For years, interested lay readers have faced an important gap when searching for information about Colorado water law. Justice Greg Hobbs’s Citizen’s Guide to Colorado Water Law, 3rd ed. (2009) is well written and helpful, but by design is brief (33 pages), necessarily omitting much information. On the other hand, Corbridge and Rice’s Vranesh’s Colorado Water Law, rev. ed. (1999), designed as a treatise for legal scholars, is a little too heavy for most interested lay readers. Attorney Andrew Jones and water educator and manager Tom Cech have now filled the gap with a highly readable book that covers the subject well and does a fine job of explaining the human side of the law.