Press Release on Bill Signing- HB 23-1220

On Saturday, June 3rd, Governor Jared Polis came to Yuma County to sign Representative Richard Holtorf’s signature bill of the 2023 legislative session. Representative Holtorf was the architect and prime sponsor of House Bill 23-1220, the Republican River Water Study bill. It will allow the Colorado State University’s Water Institute to study the economic impact in the tri-state area of the Republican River, which includes Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. This will allow the Republican River Water Conservation Board and the state of Colorado to plan for future fiscal outlays required to complete the large irrigated acre retirement plan over the next six years.

The three-state agreement of the Republican River compact mandates for reduction of the consumptive use of water by requiring the retirement of 25,000 irrigated acres by 2029 to meet a key interstate compact agreement set forth and signed by these three states.

This key piece of legislation was highlighted at the Governor’s bill signing in Yuma County on the Blach farm on the Republican River basin. It was attended by members of the Republican River Water Conservation District, including the President and the Executive Director. Also present were Yuma County Commissioners and Dave Blach, a irrigated corn farmer who lives and farms in the Republican River Basin.

This bill will now become law and the information will be used to further determine what critical economic requirements will be needed, to meet interstate compact compliance. This will ensure the longevity of farming in the Republican River Basin and the conservation district to meet full compact compliance in the three state region.

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