I wasn't looking for any hassles when I hiked upstream from the Colorado River Trailhead to see the birth canal of the most litigated waterway in the world.
The Colorado River (formerly known as the Grand River until 1921), begins its long journey to the courthouses (mostly the Supreme Court) near La Poudre Pass in RMNP. The river rarely ever makes it to the delta it once formed in Baja California. Every drop is appropriated between the Upper Basin States (Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah) and the Lower Basin states (Arizona, Nevada and California). What little remains, sometimes goes to Mexico.
The river has hardly had its umbilical cord severed before half of its cargo gets diverted east along the Grand Ditch. I guess I can't complain seeing the ditch provides some of the water I drank in Fort Collins, Colorado. It's also a major component of IPA microbrewery beer! There's rumors out there, some people use it for showering, agriculture and even laundry. But that's just a rumor.
The problem is (despite a big water year like 2015 in Colorado) there's still not enough to quench the thirst of the 40 million people who live both in and outside of its watershed. Who knows where this will end? Probably in the Supreme Court again.
Use water wisely please.