The volume of water required to cover one (1) acre of land to a depth of one (1) foot.



The legal process of determining the relative right to claim use of an amount of water in a drainage basin by the issuance of a judicial decree establishing priority.


A deposit of sand, mud, etc. formed by the erosional and depositional processes of lowing water.


the establishment of a water right by the diversion and application of water to a beneficial use.


a geologic formation capable of yielding a significant amount of ground water to wells or springs.

Augmentation plan

a detailed program to increase the supply of water available for diversion; required under Colorado water regulations as a means of requiring the release of water to prevent injury of water rights by out-of-priority diversions

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Beneficial Use

The use of water that is appropriate under reasonably efficient practice to accomplish, without waste, the purpose for which the diversion was made.

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A contract between two or  more states, defining the water use rights of each state on an interstate stream

Conjunctive Use

The integration of ground water and surface water supplies to increase the total effective water supply

Consumptive Use

The amount of water consumed during use of the water and no longer available to the stream system.

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A judicial order substantiating a water right; its priority, amount, use and location

diversionthe removal of water from its natural course or location.

drainage basinan area of land which drains to a common point along a stream channel

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Environmental Analysis/Environmental Impact Statement - the projected effect on the social, economic and natural environment from a proposed project.


Wastewater or other liquid flowing out of a reservoir, settling basin or treatment plant.


A subsequent right awarded to a ditch or structure enlarging the amount granted originally.

Environmental Liability

The legal obligation to clean up original environmentally damaged or polluted surroundings


The combined process by which water is transferred from the earth's surface to the atmosphere, by evaporation and plant transpiration.

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An artificial channel or trough for conducting water.

404 Permit

A permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers based on guidelines for water discharge set out by t he Environmental Protection Agency; includes storm water runoff, process wastewater, municipal wastewater, and also applies to the replacement of fill materials in a stream as in dam construction.

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Ground Water

Water below ground surface filling openings in soils and geologic formations

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The science of the properties, distribution and movement of water.

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Inclusion Agreement

An agreement establishing the terms under which an entity is included into a municipality or special district.


Existing or occurring within a state.


Connecting or jointly involving two or more states.


Any group or person actively interfering in the progress of a project for emotional, environmental or other reasons and a key member in negotiating a timely settlement to allow project completion.

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Land Application

Disposal of wastewater and waste solids onto land.


Instrument used for determining the amount of water consumed by natural vegetation or agricultural crops.

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To make less severe; in environmental work, the rehabilitation or replacement of areas to lessen the impact of development projects.


Refers to the computer simulation of a physical situation to determine the response to certain stresses (e.g. diversions, recharge).

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National Pollution Discharge Elimination System - taken from a section of the Federal Clean Water Act; NPDES is the mechanism for applying effluent standards, water quality standards, and monitoring requirements.  EPA is authorized to issue a permit to any applicant whose discharge meets federal requirements.

Nontributary Ground Water

Ground water not hydrologically connected to a surface stream; withdrawal of which will not deplete the flow of a natural stream at an annual rate of greater than one-tenth of one percent of the annual rate of withdrawal over a one hundred year period (Colorado).

Not Nontributary Ground Water 

Although part of the Denver Basin, not-non tributary water requires an augmentation plan”, due to its connection to Colorado’s tributary system.

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Perfection of a Water Right

The process of meeting all of the legal requirements for establishing a legal right to the use of water, once perfected, a conditional water right becomes absolute.

Pre-213 Right

A right to use ground water initiated prior to July 6, 1973, which is subject to the appropriation system, rather than landownership (Colorado), from Senate Bill 213.


Water tolerant plants frequently associated with wetlands, i.e. cottonwood trees, willows and cattails.


The relative seniority by date that the water right is entitled to divert in relation to other water rights deriving their supply from a common source.

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The process, natural or artificial, of adding water to underground storage.

Rapid Infiltration

The process of disposing of treated wastewater through controlled structures into the ground.

Return Flow

That portion of diverted water which is not consumed but returns to the stream system.


Subsequent use of reclaimed (treated) wastewater for potable or non-potable use.

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Senate Bill 5

A 1985 Colorado legislative enactment providing for allocation of nontributary ground water on the basis of ownership of the overlying land

Special District

Quasi-municipal corporation of the State of Colorado empowered to perform and deliver services to the owners of property located within a legally described boundary.

Specific Yield

The ratio of the volume of water draining out of a volume of material to the total volume of material drained; used to calculate the quantity of water recoverable from underground storage.

Surface Water

Water in or from a natural stream.

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The physical connection for water or sewer service to a municipal water or sewer system.


To emit a watery vapor through the leaves of a plant.

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Water Right

A right to use a certain portion of waters.


A water right that has been perfected and placed to beneficial use


a right to perfect a water right, upon diligent completion of the appropriation


A barrier across a river designed to alter the flow characteristics and allow the measurement of volumetric flow rate in small to medium sized streams and discharges.


A land area saturated with saltwater, freshwater, or brackish water, either permanently or seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem the provides purification, flood control, and shoreline 

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A landscaping and gardening method that utilizes native or adaptive plans in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation.

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