Carolyn F. Burr specializes in water law and represents clients throughout Colorado in all seven of the state's water divisions. Her clients include large industrial clients, agricultural water users, municipal water providers, individuals who own ground water and surface water rights, and land developers. She helps clients understand options and strategically meet their water rights requirements.

Ms. Burr has significant transactional experience in the water rights arena, ranging from stand-up title review to negotiating and drafting contracts and closing complex land and water rights acquisitions. She also litigates water matters at the trial court and appellate level.

Ms. Burr is knowledgeable about and has worked on all aspects of water court adjudications, including complex augmentation plans, changes of water rights, and exchanges. She has also actively participated in the state legislative process on behalf of clients, including drafting legislation and testifying before legislative committees.

Representative Matters

  • Represents Xcel Energy, Inc., one Colorado's largest water rights holders, on all matters involving water court applications, oppositions and appeals, and advise and participate in negotiating and drafting complex water-related transactions
  • Works closely with a water district to identify, evaluate, acquire and adjudicate water supply for a large development in Douglas County
  • Represents a mutual ditch company in all water court matters, including negotiating leases and purchase agreements
  • Significantly involved in planning, drafting, and testifying in support of successful legislation to create a precipitation harvesting pilot program in Colorado
  • Represents the City of Boulder in water matters on the South Platte River

Publications, Presentations & Accolades

  • Listed as one of Denver's Top Lawyers compiled by 5280 Magazine in the practice area of Water, 2017-2019
  • Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Water Law, 2017-2020
  • Co-Author, Water: The Fuel for Colorado Energy; The University of Denver Water Law Review, Volume 15 | Issue 2 | Spring 2012
  • Co-Presented: The Role of Natural Gas as a "Bridge" Fuel; Natural Resources Law Center's Annual Clyde O. Martz Summer Conference, June 7, 2012
  • Appointed as counsel to Governor's River Access Dispute Resolution Task Force, 2010
  • Appointed by Governor to Colorado Ground Water Commission 2009
  • Board of Directors, Colorado Conservation Trust
  • Member, Colorado Water Congress


Ms. Burr grew up on a cattle ranch in northern Colorado. She still enjoys all things outdoors, especially gardening, skiing and hiking. She closely follows youth soccer and widget basketball teams.

* Per Wyoming Rule of Professional Conduct 7.1 (c), the descriptions of our fields of practice do not state or imply certification, specialization or expertise in any particular area of law, unless the description specifically states that the particular lawyer holds a certification or other expertise recognized by the applicable State Bar or regulatory authority.

Carolyn F. Burr

Practice Areas
  • Water Rights
  • Environmental Law
  • Real Estate and Ranching

  • J.D., University of Michigan 1995
  • B.A., University of Colorado, magna cum laude, 1990

Bar Admissions / Qualifications
  • Colorado, 1995
  • Wyoming*, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Professional & Community Activities
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Wyoming Bar Association
  • Water Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association