Pueblo Board of Water Works: Bessemer Ditch sellers sorting out leases and purchase contracts

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The Pueblo Board of Water Works has offered to lease back the water it is purchasing on the Bessemer Ditch for 20 years to all sellers. However, until the contracts are closed, probably in October, the water board has no way of knowing how many irrigators will take them up on it. “The early indications are that the overwhelming majority are going to lease back,” said Alan Ward, water resources administrator. “We won’t know until we close the contracts. It’s offered to every seller.” Sellers do not have to accept the 20-year deal, which provides water to those who sold for the cost of ditch assessments. Shareholders already are required to pay the assessments for the operation and upkeep of the ditch…

Excess water that is not leased back to shareholders would first be offered to other users on the Bessemer Ditch, then to others with a need in Pueblo County, according to an agreement the water board signed with the St. Charles Mesa Water District. The district owns about 2,000 shares and has put the same limits on itself. The water board also has committed to revegetating any land that is dried up in the sale. Recent water court cases in the Arkansas River basin, such as the Tri-State acquisition of nearly one-half of the Amity Canal, have placed responsibility for revegetation with the buyer of the water rights as well.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

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