Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers

Well, I promised a book review and I always deliver.  The book "Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers" was written by P. Andrew Jones and Tom Cech.  Mr. Jones is an attorney for the law firm of Lind, Lawrence and Ottenhoff, LLC and Mr. Cech is the Executive Director for the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District.  Both have long and storied careers in water - both ground and surface.  Since I'm still reading the book, I'll take the review chapter by chapter, so stay tuned.

Chapter 1:  Colorado Climate, Geology and Hydrology.  This chapter is very well written at a moderate level of detail - telling the reader far more than they likely already know, but not bogging them down trying to tell everything the authors know.  It covers the geology and climate in such a way that the hydrology - both ground and surface water - all of a sudden makes perfect sense.  They sort of start at the top with the central mountain region and trace everything downstream (East and West) precisely as a melting snowflake would see things.  I didn't know that Colorado had more 14'ers (14,000 ft+ peaks) than all other states combined - 53 of them.  The maps and figures provided are very well done and very on-point.  I especially liked the maps showing each of the 5 major river basins draining the state - the South Platte, Arkansas, Colorado, Rio Grande and White/Yampa.  The sidebars are also very interesting, but there being 13 of them, they tended to interfere with my reading continuity - maybe that's just me, though.  Finally, there is no shortage of numbers thrown at you - from precipitation to elevations to distances to discharges - whew!  I'm glad this is casual reading for me and there'll be no test given.  All-in-all a very enjoyable and fact filled first chapter!  More to come.

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