SettingTheTerms

The same power which wastes millions out the

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Unformatted text preview: scale were not possible technologically, a system of prior appropriation in water would make little to no sense; riparians would in fact be the only landholders even capable of using the water. But diversions were possible, and once established, prior appropriation allowed for a massive expansion of mining activity. The 1894 piece by Mr. Irvine described the vast waterworks associated with the Pine Shade mine and mill: To supply the mill with sufficient water from the only available source, the south fork of St. Vrain creek, was no easy problem to solve, for it must either be brought by pipe line and ditch several miles or be forced up through pipes by main strength of some kind. The latter plan has been adopted, the main strength being exercised by a hydraulic ram on the creek some 3,400 feet distant form the mill, which is over 600 feet above the creek. … The water to drive the ram is brought through 10- inch pipe from the ram, 100 rods above, on a grade of 1 and 1/2 inches to the rod, with 80 feet head at the ram. ... A tank of 20,000 gallons capacity is built a short distance above the shaft house to receive the water.40 Nearly every step in the milling process required water, and one such mill site near Magnolia in Boulder County required a full five acres to accomplish its task. It is no wonder, then, why a site with a river running through it, like that pictured in Figure 5, might have been desirable.41 13 Figure 5. Mine, Mill, Smelter, and Coking Plant in Delagua. On the whole, these laws, rulings and their resulting institutions – such as Colorado's system of water courts – liberated the waters of the state from the banks of their streams and allowed anyone with the requisite means to put the waters to a beneficial – i.e. financially profitable – use. Yet as clear as it is that these institutions shaped the use of the resource and the impact of various technologies on the environment, one cannot ignore a central fact: the physical nature of the resource and, more importantly, the intended use of the resource itself shaped both the technologies used to exploit it and the institutions used to manage it. 14 In deciding Coffin, the Colorado Supreme Court, before it spoke of the 1876 State Constitution, or the General Mining Act of 1872, or...
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This note was uploaded on 01/22/2014 for the course WRTG 1150 taught by Professor Jones,bris during the Spring '07 term at Colorado.

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