Colorado Lawmakers Eye Blockchain Tech for Water Rights Management


Lawmakers in Colorado want the state to study the potential of blockchain technology in water rights management.

Legislators in Colorado want the U.S. state to study the potential of blockchain technology in water rights management. Republican senator Jack Tate, along with representatives Jeni James Arndt (Democratic) and Marc Catlin (Republican), submitted Senate bill 184 on Tuesday, proposing that the Colorado Water Institute must be given authority to study how blockchain technology can enhance its operations.

The institute, an affiliate of Colorado State University, should be granted authority to study different use cases of blockchain tech, including water rights database management, the facility of water “banks” or markets, and general administration, according to the bill.

The research study would be performed only after the institute has actually received sufficient money, and would be allowed to solicit and accept donations from private or public organizations for the function. The findings must later be reported to the general assembly, the lawmakers said.

Colorado Water Rights on the Blockchain

Connecting the blockchain with water management

The Colorado Water Institute has the mission to “connect all of Colorado’s higher education expertise to the research and education needs of Colorado water managers and users.”

The Colorado Water Institute has the objective to “connect all of Colorado’s higher education expertise to the research and education needs of Colorado water managers and users.” according to the Open Energy Info (OpenEI) site, which was established by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Eyeing a comparable use case for tech, IBM last month teamed up with two companies– the Freshwater Trust and SweetSense, to track California’s Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta in “real-time” and handle groundwater usage with blockchain and IoT.

water rights on the blockchain

So What Are Water Rights?

Water rights are a type of interest that may attach to real estate ownership and pertain to the rights to use adjacent bodies of water. … Landowners typically have the right to use the water as long as such use does not harm upstream or downstream neighbors.

Water right in water law refers to the right of a user to use water from a water source, for example, a river, stream, pond or source of groundwater. In areas with plentiful water and few users, such systems are generally not complicated or contentious. In other areas, especially where irrigation is practiced in very arid areas, such systems are often the source of conflict, both legal and physical. Some systems treat surface water and groundwater in the same manner, while others use different principles for each.

Riparian rights might not allow the water to be pumped or otherwise removed from the flowing river or stream. Depending on local laws, the water might not be used to irrigate land or for commercial needs. … Water rights are appurtenant, meaning they run with the land and not to the owner.

Understanding ‘Water Rights’ first requires consideration of the context and origin of the ‘right’ being discussed, or asserted. Traditionally, water rights refer to the utilization of water as an element supporting basic human needs like drinking or irrigation. Water Rights could also include the physical occupancy of waterways for purposes of travel, commerce, and even recreational pursuits. The legal principles and doctrines that form the basis of each type of water rights are not interchangeable and vary according to local and national laws. Therefore, variations among countries, and within national subdivisions, exist in discussing and acknowledging these rights.

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