Morgan County Quality Water District source water protection plan

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From the Fort Morgan Times: “Because area residents, farming operations and entire subdivisions rely on the Morgan County Quality Water District for their primary source of water, a team of stakeholders met for the first time Tuesday to assemble a source water protection plan for the district.”


“It’s critical that we maintain the kind of water supply and the quality that we currently have,” said MCQWD General Manager Mark Kokes. Spearheading the planning project is Colleen Williams of the Colorado Rural Water Association, who completed the process for the city of Brush just three months ago. Williams works to create source water protection plans in three communities each year, she said.”[…]

The district currently serves customers from three aquifers, Kokes said. The district is also taking delivery of Colorado-Big Thompson water through its San Arroyo Project, he said, and it plans to participate in the Northern Integrated Supply Project. The source water plan will help the district protect all sources of water, Williams said, including any ground water, aquifers, watersheds and well heads…

The first step to preserving source water is to form a planning team, Williams said, which was accomplished at the first meeting. The team included area residents and representatives from local businesses, agencies, government departments and other interested entities.

The second step is to determine a source water protection area, Williams said. The state has completed an assessment of the area, she said, but this was likely formed using outdated or incorrect data.

For step three, Williams said, the team should take an inventory of potential contamination sources of water. Contamination may come from landfills, storage tanks, gas stations, septic tanks or spills of oil, chemicals or biodiesel, she said.

The fourth step is to develop a management plan, Williams said. The plan will outline regulatory or non-regulatory approaches to meet short-term and long-term goals, she said.

For the fifth step, she said, the team should plan for emergencies. This contingency plan should establish a chain of command and identify any alternative water supplies, she said.

The sixth and final step requires the formation of a steering committee, which will commit to implementing the source water protection plan. The final plan will not simply be handed to the water district, she said, but will be carried out by a team of stakeholders.

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