Water on the Land
With generous funding through Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado Water Trust launched and completed our newly-invigorated Technical Assistance Program, affectionately called TAP 2.0. In 2010 and 2011, CWT travelled the state to present ten Water on the Land workshops. We completed water rights assessments for eight Colorado land trust organizations. And we crafted model language to protect water in land conservation easements. We continue to keep in close communication with our partners in the land trust community. Stay tuned for us to launch TAP 3.0, a program we’ll call Water on the Land. We hope that Water on the Land better reflects the purpose of providing technical assistance to the land trust community—to conserve water rights together with conserved land.
Over time, the Colorado Water Trust has prepared technical resources to assist the conservation community with efforts that involve water.
Model Conservation Easement Language. CWT has adopted model language to include in conservation easements where water is essential to the preservation of the conservation values protected by an easement.
Tax Opinion. CWT's legal committee has determined that the donation of a conservation easement that encumberrs a water right may meet the requirement of the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury regulations for a charitable contribution.
Checklists. CWT has prepared a number of checklists to assist in water rights issues in land conservation.
Water Rights Due Diligence Checklist. This checklist addresses the water rights ownership issues that a conservation organization should investigate prior to closing. Please note, however, that this checklist pertains only to ownership issues.
Checklist for Conservation Easement Deed Drafting. This checklist provides for an array of circumstances where continued use of the water rights is necessary to preserve the conservation values.
Closing and Post-closing Considerations Checklist. This checklist addresses recordation and notice, and makes a recommendation regarding water rights stewardship for conservation organization endowments.
Stewardship Checklist. Stewardship is a critical aspect of maintaining the integrity of land encumbered by a conservation easement. This checklist addresses what the conservation organization should review if water rights are essential to preserving the conservation values.
Tax Benefits, State and Federal. These checklists address certain requirements if a conservation easement donor desires tax benefits from the granting of a conservation easement.
Federal Income Tax Checklist
State Income Tax Checklist