For over 33 years, Jeff Houpt assisted clients throughout Colorado to acquire, maintain, and protect their rights to use water. Among the services Jeff regularly provided were the following:
- Adjudicate water rights, changes of water rights, plans for augmentation, and exchanges of water rights;
- Design and adjudicate new water supplies for residential, municipal, agricultural, industrial, and other uses;
- Advise ditch companies, municipal water suppliers, water conservancy districts, and other entities concerning water rights, operations, and related matters;
- Identify and oppose water claims of others that might adversely affect his client’s water rights;
- Evaluate water rights as part of real estate acquisitions and transactions;
- Obtain permits to construct and operate wells;
- Craft well-sharing and ditch operating agreements;
- Obtain and protect water facility easements; and
- Effectively resolve water-related disputes.
Augmentation plans have become essential to new water uses in Colorado. Jeff designed and adjudicated hundreds of them, from straightforward plans that allow a property owner to drill a domestic well to complex plans for ski areas, golf courses and new residential and commercial communities. Jeff developed an extensive network of professional contacts within the water community that helps him to identify potential sources of augmentation water and incorporate those sources into an effective augmentation plan.
Jeff regularly shared his knowledge, experience and insights regarding Colorado water law by writing and speaking to other attorneys and professionals involved in water matters. A copy of Jeff’s primer on General Principles of Colorado Water Law is available here.
Jeff attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon, graduating in 1977 with a degree in biology. He and his wife, Trési, moved to Colorado in 1983. Jeff graduated from the University of Denver College of Law in 1988, and practiced water and environmental law in Denver with one of Colorado’s preeminent water law firms, Saunders, Snyder, Ross & Dickson, P.C. In 1994, Jeff and Trési fled the Big City to realize their goal of raising their family in a small mountain town. When not at his desk, you can find Jeff skiing or snowshoeing, hiking, biking, sailing, or enjoying the Colorado scenery by motorcycle.
The team at JVAM is thankful for Jeff’s contributions to the firm, the practice of water law, and the friendship and mentorship provided over the years. We wish Jeff the best of luck as he fully embraces his retirement.
JVAM continues to support a wide and diverse water practice lead by Ryan Jarvis and Erika Gibson. Please reach out to JVAM when you are ready to pursue your next matter.