Allotment Contracts

Collecting Taxes and Assessments on Contracts

A total of 310,000-acre-foot units are associated with the Colorado-Big Thompson Project and 480-acre-foot units with the Windy Gap Project. Conservancy Districts are authorized to collect taxes and assessments according to four different classes:  

  • Class A provides for a mill levy assessment on all lands within Northern Water’s boundaries. We assess a 1 mill ad valorem tax, as approved by voters June 28, 1938. 
  • Class B allows Northern Water to enter into contracts for water delivery to municipalities. The Class B assessment methodology is in conflict with changes made to the Colorado Constitution since the Conservancy Act was adopted. We now allocate and assess municipal contracts through an alternate provision of the Conservancy District Act, C.R.S. 37-45-131, “Sale of water by contract.” These municipal contracts are now referred to as “Section 131 Contracts.” To reduce paperwork, a municipality’s C-BT acquisitions are first assigned to a Temporary Use Permit. Then on an annual basis, all of the Temporary Use Permits are converted to Section 131 contracts in a single action that is adopted as an ordinance or a resolution by the municipal government. 
  • Class C allows Northern Water to enter into contracts for water delivery to public water corporations. Examples include rural domestic water districts, industrial users, mutual ditch companies and irrigation districts. 
  • Class D allows Northern Water to enter into contracts for water delivery to privately owned land. Typically, these are irrigated farms. 

Northern Water has standard forms for Class B/Section 131, Class C and Class D water allotment contracts. In general, the contracts describe a specific place and type of use for a specified number of acre-foot units. Class D contracts further specify a “Carrier Ditch” – a third-party facility used to convey water to the lands identified in the contract.  

The Water Conservancy Act provides Northern Water with broad latitude to set policy and establish rules for issuing new water allotment contracts. Although Northern Water is committed to a free market system that sets the price of C-BT allotment contracts, Northern Water’s Board of Directors has imposed rules and regulations to prevent hoarding and speculative ownership.

2023 Deadlines to Submit Complete Water Transfer Applications 

To submit a completed water transfer application, please submit an application and complete set of all documents on or before the first business day of the month proceeding the Board of Directors meeting. Whether a transfer is placed on the Board agenda for a particular meeting is dependent on a number of factors, including, without limitation, the number of proposed transfers or whether the transfer raises issues that may require additional time for Board consideration and potential action. There is no guarantee that the Board will consider or act on a particular transfer by a date certain.

2023 Board Meeting DatesApplication Deadline
Jan. 12, 2023Dec. 1, 2022
Feb. 9, 2023Jan. 3, 2023
March 9, 2023Feb. 1, 2023
April 13, 2023March 1, 2023
May 11, 2023April 3, 2023
June 8, 2023May 1, 2023
July 13, 2023June 1, 2023
Aug. 10, 2023July 3, 2023
Sept. 14, 2023Aug. 1, 2023
Oct. 12, 2023Sept. 1, 2023
Nov. 9, 2023Oct. 2, 2023
Dec. 14, 2023Nov. 1, 2023


For more information about specific allotment contracts or transferring contract ownership, please contact Contracts Manager Sherri Rasmussen by email or call 800-369-7246.