Water Rights and Annual Assessment

The Grand Valley Irrigation Company serves a variety of land-types, including farms, farmettes, subdivisions, residences, and municipal properties. There are 48,000 shares of capitol stock held by over 3,000 shareholders.

Each share of water gives the owner the right to approximately 4.6 gallons per minute. This is not a storage right, meaning that the water right does not accumulate and store up when it is not being used. It is a direct flow right, meaning that 4.6 gallons per minute can be drawn at any particular time to be put to beneficial use. A guide to measuring water can be downloaded below:

GVIC levies an assessment, or bill, annually on all shareholders. The first share owned by every account is designated as an A share. Each account has only a single A share. Any additional shares owned by a shareholder are categorized as B shares. There is no difference between an A or B share with regard to the water right that is granted. Both types of shares entitle the shareholder to 4.6 gallons per minute. Rather, an A share is assessed, or billed, annually at a higher rate than a B share.

For the 2024 irrigation season, an A share is assessed at $332.66 and a B share is assessed at $15.91.

As an example, if a shareholder owned 5 shares the annual assessment would be calculated as follows:

$332.66 + ($15.91 x 4) = $396.30

The annual water assessment is sent out in early January and payment is due in full by April 1 in order to avoid an interest charge.

Each year when a shareholder pays the assessment, GVIC asks that the shareholder confirm his or her turn out order. A turn out order is to tell the Company what specific headgate (e.g., ML440 or HL540) the shares are to be turned out of for that season. See the Water Turn Outs page for more information.

grand valley irrigation water canal

Buying and Selling Water

GVIC water rights are not attached to the land, and can be bought, sold, and moved elsewhere within the GVIC system. Ownership of shares is shown on a document called a stock certificate.

Purchasing shares is a transaction that takes place between two parties at an agreed upon price. GVIC processes the paperwork required to complete the transaction. The process of moving ownership of shares from one party to another is known as a stock transfer. In order for a stock transfer to be completed, the following conditions must be satisfied:

  1. The annual assessment for that year must be paid in full (even if only a portion of the owned shares are being sold).
  2. The stock certificate must be physically present in our office with the stock assignment paragraph completed on the reverse side.
  3. A transfer fee of $30.00 must be paid for each new stock certificate.

Every named seller on a stock certificate must sign in order to complete the transfer.

In case the owner of record of any certificate of shares claims the same to have been stolen, destroyed or otherwise lost and demands a new certificate, such new certificate shall be issued only after satisfactory proof has been made to the Board that the owner is the owner of record of such shares and that the original certificate has in fact been stolen, destroyed or otherwise lost; and before issuing a new certificate the Directors shall demand a bond [Lost Instrument Bond], with good and sufficient surety, from the claimant of the shares, indemnifying the Corporation against liability from the holders of the original certificate, in an amount double to the actual value of the shares as determined by the average sale price at the most recent auction of shares. The lost, stolen or destroyed certificate shall be canceled and a new certificate issued in lieu thereof and no transfer of the lost, stolen or destroyed shares shall thereafter be valid or allowed upon the books of the Corporation. (Article VI-3)

In the event that a seller cannot be physically present in the GVIC office for the stock transfer, a document called a stock assignment (separate from the stock certificate) can be completed and either mailed or emailed to the office. The stock assignment template can be downloaded below.

In the event that a shareholder is deceased, certain other documentation may be required to complete a stock transfer.

If multiple owners are listed on the certificate and ownership is in joint tenancy, ownership may be passed from the deceased owner to the surviving owner with no additional paperwork. If ownership is tenants in common, then documentation must be produced naming the party that falls heir to the shares. This documentation (i.e., a will, trust, etc.) must explicitly name the water shares, the certificate number, and the party to whom they are bequeathed. A death certificate is also required. The same documentation must be produced by any heirs or beneficiaries not named on a stock certificate.

Renting Water

Someone can obtain a right to water not only through ownership, but also through renting. Renting water shares grants the same right to water use as owning water does. Any share owner can rent shares to another individual for a price agreed upon between those two parties. Upon coming to an agreement, the owner then gives the name, address, and headgate number of the renter to GVIC so that the renter’s right to water is recorded in the Company’s computer system. Water must be re-rented every irrigation season.

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