Back to Glossary of Terms

Definition for

Priority System

The priority system was established when Colorado was still a territory to solve disputes over ownership and use of water. The system prioritizes use of water based upon who used water first. Those who put water to beneficial use first retain the senior right to continue using that water before newer users. When there is not enough water to satisfy all of the water users, the junior, or most recent user, must curtail or forego use until senior rights are fulfilled.

Not what you're looking for?

Check out other glossary terms or Send us a Message and we're happy to answer your questions!