Frequently Asked Questions
Only if you have a contract to purchase water from the Ditch Company and have paid the annual assessment. The fact that the water flows through your property does not entitle you to use the water.
During the irrigation season (April 1 – October 31) as administered by the Water Commissioner, typically early May to early September.
As explained in Wheeler v. Northern Colorado Irrigating Co. (17 P.487, 490 (Colo. 1888)) "Carrier ditches are quasi public servants or agents existing largely for the benefit of others, being engaged in business or transporting, for hire, water owned by the public, to the people owning the right to its use".
The generally accepted easement width for open sections is the ditch width plus 20 feet from the top of bank on both sides. Please contact us for any proposed work near the ditch and we would be happy to conduct a site visit.
No fences are allowed within the Ditch as they collect trash, thus clogging the ditch. Fences across, but above, the Ditch are generally prohibited as well as it restricts maintenance operations. However, you may contact the Ditch Company to request a variance to allow for a fence to be constructed across the Ditch.
Placing a structure within the easement requires an agreement from the Ditch Company prior to commencing any work within the easement.
No. The County/City permit does not give you permission to build within the Ditch’s easement. You must acquire an agreement from the Ditch Company prior to commencing work. Failure to do so could result in the removal of your improvement at your cost.
No, the property owner is responsible for the trees on their property. However, the Ditch Company can trim or remove trees and vegetation within it’s easement that is interfering or is likely to interfere with maintenance and operation of the Ditch.
Property owners along the Ditch should control drainage by limiting yard watering on properties that slope toward the Ditch. Never dump yard waste or trash along or in the Ditch, doing so will increase bank erosion. Contact us if you believe there is bank erosion and we will perform a site visit.
Taking water out of the Ditch without permission is a crime. The Ditch Company would encourage you to contact the local police or sheriff department. If you have pictures or video of the incident to share with us, that would be helpful.
The Ditch Company is responsible for maintaining the Ditch banks/ bottom and access to the Ditch, but you must not damage or obstruct the access and flow within Ditch. On occasion, the Ditch Company utilizes large equipment to mow, remove silt and to remove trees within the Ditch’s easement. Please be safe and keep clear from all maintenance equipment.
No. The Ditch Company has a prescriptive easement through private property for operation and maintenance of the Ditch. However, on occasion the Ditch Company will mow the access road to allow for uninterrupted access to the Ditch for Ditch maintenance.
The lateral ditch company or lateral users are responsible for maintaining lateral ditches. If a lateral is not maintained to allow for the safe, free flow of water, the Ditch Company reserves the right to shut down and lock the lateral headgate.
Yes, if your neighbor uses the ditch to deliver water to his/her property, he/she has a right-of-access to enter with the equipment needed to maintain or repair the ditch. Irrigators frequently check ditches upstream to see how they are flowing, clear debris from the ditch, or adjust flows at measuring structures that may be on your land.