Matthew Machado


PHONE: (720) 726-3672
FAX: (303) 776-9100


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Matthew Machado


Matt Machado is an expert on surface water and groundwater rights, ditches, real property and water district law. For over 20 years, Matt has assisted special districts, municipalities, farmers, ranchers, landowners, mutual ditch companies, developers, investors, banks, private ditch and lateral owners, well user groups, and hunting clubs in acquiring, selling, developing and protecting interests in land and water rights throughout Colorado. Matt is an accomplished author and speaker on water rights issues.

Matt strives to achieve desirable outcomes for all of his clients given their goals, needs, and budget.  In addition to his experience and legal skills, Matt employs a high degree of creativity to problems that often leads to a best fit solution.


Water Law
Real Estate
Land Use

Education & Experience

Matt graduated from Tulane University with a B.S. and M.S. in Biology in 1991 and 1994, respectively.

He earned his J.D. in 1999 from the University of Colorado Law School. While in Law School, Matt was an editor of the Colorado Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, clerked for the U.S. Department of Justice, the Nature Conservancy and the American Whitewater Association.

Representative Matters

Matt represents several water districts as either general or special counsel. He has guided many clients through complex, multi-million dollar transactions involving sales and leases of land and water. He serves as general counsel for ditch companies, some with hundreds of millions in assets. He has assisted many clients resolve disputes over access, ditch, reservoir, and seepage easements and boundary disputes. Matt regularly works with clients to obtain decrees, permits, determinations, and other administrative approvals involving water rights and real property. This work includes helping clients obtain Water Court decrees for plans for augmentation for wells, changes of water rights, new water rights for ditches, reservoirs, wells, recharge projects, and water-related habitat projects, as well as a wide range of tributary and nontributary well permitting issues. He represents clients before Colorado’s District Courts, Water Courts, Colorado Supreme Court, Colorado Ground Water Commission, State Engineer, Colorado Water Quality Control Commission, and various other local government boards.

Speaking Engagements

Presentation entitled Water Scarcity and Land Development, at CBA Continuing Education Seminar, Climate Change and Real Estate on March 10, 2023.

Presentation entitled Adjudicating Augmentation Plans, at CBA Continuing Education Seminar, Groundwater 101 on March 10, 2023

Interview by Luke Runyon of KUNC on May 20, 2021 regarding Colorado State Engineer enforcement efforts.

Presentation entitled Understanding Colorado Surface Water and Groundwater Rights (Legal & Engineering Perspectives) at Continuing Education Seminar on January 30, 2019.

Presentation entitled Catlin Bylaws: Protecting a Mutual Ditch Company and Shareholders from Changes of Water Rights at Colorado Water Congress Annual Convention on January 24, 2018.

Presentation regarding Legal Framework for Aquifer Storage and Recovery at Boulder Bar Association February 22, 2018.

Presentation entitled Legal Framework for Aquifer Storage and Recovery at Colorado Bar Association Seminar on April 12, 2018

Presentation entitled A Case Study in the Water Court’s New Approach to Changes of “Pre-213” Nontributary Wells at Colorado Groundwater Association Seminar on April 18, 2018.

Presentation entitled Rules Governing Use of Groundwater and Wells in Colorado, Colorado Water Supply Acquisition, Development and Protection of Agricultural and Commercial Properties at Continuing Education Seminar on November 7, 2013.

Presentation entitled Petition to Colorado Groundwater Commission to Declare a Portion of the Lost Creek Basin Over-Appropriated  at Colorado Groundwater Association on November 11, 2010.

Organizations & Community Involvement

Matt is a member of the Water Law and Environmental Law Sections of the Colorado Bar Association, the Boulder Bar Association, and the Colorado Ground Water Association.

He is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity

For over 10 years, Matt has served as a member and officer of the Louisville Licensing Authority, and formerly served on the board of the Louisville Public Library Foundation.

Raising kids and club volleyball consumes most of Matt’s free time, although he finds time to grow bushels of tomatoes, mountain bike and fish vicariously through friends’ stories over a beer.