Frequently Asked Question


  • Where Can I Find Information About My Well?


The Division of Water Resources has

improved the online search for well permits

and provides more information.


Reminder: It's the law, HB 08-1014,

that you submit a Change of Well Ownership

when you sell your property.


If you purchased your property prior to

this bill passing, check your

information and please submit a

Change of Ownership (Form GWS-11) (Instructions)



Oil and Gas Drilling



Water Projects








General Water News




See other news and publications here




Protect Our Wells (POW)

is a Colorado non-profit, citizen-based organization formed to advocate the interests of residents with private wells in the Denver Basin Aquifers. On January 10, 2011, the internal Revenue Service approved our application for tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Service code 501(c)(3). The Letter of Determination further confirms that contributions to Protect Our Wells are tax-deductible. This should position us much better to gain funding for projects like the monitoring proposal. (more about our organization)





This was the 3rd in our series of oil and gas meetings. Edward McCord, attorney, shared exellent information to help you negotiate that oil and gas lease. Protect Our Wells, concerned about the impact to groundwater in the Denver Basin Aquifers, will be developing a generic addendum and checklist for mineral rights owners in this area to use during negotiations.


Please take a few minutes to read the following articles about the meeting:




Here are a couple additional easy reads:





As of August 30th, 594 leases had been filed in El Paso County. Click on the image to go to an interactive map at the Denver Post.







County Oil and Gas Regulations Watered Down


We should all applaud the excellent work done by the county staff, led by Craig Dossey, development services project manager, to develop a set of oil and gas regulations that were unanimously approved by the Planning Commission on January 4, 2012.


Unfortunately, after warnings from the Attorney General and a lengthy nine hour hearing, the El Paso County Board of County Commissions, by a vote of 3-2, approved a slimmed-down version. According to George Monsson, assistant county attorney, "We can't ban fracking. We can't regulate the materials in the fracking fluids, We can't limit how water is used. Those are all state functions."







On April 22, 2009, Govenor Ritter signed SB09-080 which became effective July 1, 2009 and allows rainwater to be gathered from roofs under the following conditions:


  • The property on which the collection takes place is residential property, and
  • The landowner uses a well, or is legally entitled to a well, for the water supply, and
  • The well is permitted for domestic uses according to Section 37-92-602, C.R.S.(generally this means the permit number will be five or six digits with no "-F" suffix at the end), and
  • There is no water supply available in the area from a municipaliity or water district, and
  • The rainwater is collected only from the roof, and
  • The water is used only for those uses that are allowed by, and identified on, the well permit.


The application process from the Colorado Division of Water Resources can be found here or to find it on their site click here.



Useful information:


  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) regarding Rainwater Harvesting (click here)





News articles:


  • It's Now Legal To Catch a Raindrop in Colorado - "Two new laws in Colorado will allow many people to collect rainwater legally. The laws are the latest crack in the rainwater edifice, as other states, driven by population growth, drought, or declining groundwater in their aquifers, have already opened the skies or begun actively encouraging people to collect." New York Times, June 29, 2009 (Click here for full story)


  • Colorado Bill Legalizes Rainwater Harvesting - "Colorado just came closer to making rainwater harvesting a legal option for more its residents"., July 3, 2009 (Click here for full story)







Southern Denver Basin Bedrock Aquifer Monitoring Plan


One of the major findings from the 2003 Colorado Statewide Water Supply Iniative (SWSI) identified that an "increased reliance on nonrenewable, nontributary groundwater for permanent water supply brings serious reliability and sustainability concerns to some areas, particularly along the Front Range." There is little information available on the available water within the bedrock aquifers or the degree at which it is being depleted in rural areas. Protect Our Wells, with the assistance of Julia Murphy, Hydrogeologist, Groundwater Investigations, developed a Monitoring Plan for the Southern Denver Basin.


In 2006, the Colorado legislature established the Water Supply Reserve Account managed by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB). This account was to provide funds for grants and loans to complete water activities to include water supply and environmental projects and/or studies.


To be considered by CWCB, the proposal first needed approval from one of the Basin Roundtables. El Paso County falls within the boundaries of the Arkansas Basin Roundtable (ABRT). POW presented the proposal to the ABRT on May 14, 2008, requesting $25K each from the ABRT and the Metro Roundtable, with the CWCB making up the difference of $175K.


Despite justification from Dick Wolfe, State Engineer,


"The proposed dedicated monitoring wells and additional 25 existing wells to be

selected for monitoring will provide additional geologic

and water level information needed to better define

and understand ground water conditions in this area."

Dick Wolfe, State Engineer, Director


The ABRT rejected to fund $25K and would not refer the project to the CWCB.


POW continues to seek funding sources for this project. In January 2011, the IRS approved our Tax Exempt Status under the IRS 501 (c) (3) code which will make donations to POW tax deductible. We will be applying for grants and solicitng donations.


Click here for project details.


See our August 2007 Newsletter for more information about the Arkansas Basin Roundtable.










Oil & Gas - What To Do When Things Go Wrong


When: Late August

Where: TBD


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HB 11-1172 (Rep. Wilson) "Concerning Protection of Water Quality, and in Connection Therewith, Requiring the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Department of Public Health and Environment to Review the Federal Environmental Protection Agency's Study Regarding Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids..... "


Requires reporting to Legislature of water complaints related to drilling.


Status: February 7, 2011 - Committee Agriculture, Livestock, Natural Resources voted to postpone indefinately.

HB11-1223 (Rep. Scott / Sen. King) "Concerning the Composition of the colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and, in Connection Therewith, Reducing the Size of the Commission, Increasing the Proportion of Industry Representation........ "


Alters the makeup of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

  • Restores influence that the energy industry lost after regulations effective 2009
  • Stipulates that two new Commission members MUST come from the oil and gas industry
  • Representatives from the Division of Natural Resources and Department of Public Health become non-voting members


Status: April 4, 2011 - Committee Agriculture, Livestock, Natural Resources voted to pass to House Appropriations Committee .


The purpose of the Groundwater Quality Study was to evaluate existing water quality and potential groundwater contamination. A public meeting to disclose the results of Phase 1 has been scheduled.


When: Monday, April 25, 2011

Time: 6:00-8:00 PM

Where: Falcon High School

10255 Lambert Rd, Peyton, CO

Cafeteria / Commons

(Get Directions)


See flyer and press release