Wet Mountain Valley: First look at Custer County augmentation plan

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune:

Last week, Terry Scanga and others with the UAWCD met with the county commissioners and other interested persons to give an update on that proposed plan. Some 60 persons, comprised mostly of Valley residents, gathered in the community room at Cliff Lanes bowling center on Thursday, May 28, to hear what UAWCD officials had to say. Scanga, who serves as manager for UAWCD, told the group the augmentation plan would likely be filed in water court by June 30. Estimated time frame for state approval is three to five years. When asked how the timeframe for filing was established, Scanga said new regulations regarding the filing of cases in water court go into effect July 1.

A water augmentation plan is described as a way for junior appropriators to obtain a legal source of water for beneficial use. Common uses are for households, irrigation, municipal, recreation and watering livestock…

UAWCD engineer Ivan Walters gave a brief outline of the proposed plan.

—Texas Creek and Grape Creek drainages would be used to bring a water augmentation in plan to Custer County by way of water exchanges.

—The plan also provides for the building of reservoirs in Custer County to store water. In the works is the building of two reservoirs along Texas Creek and three in the Grape Creek area. Possible sites only have been established, said UAWCD officials, and they will be built only as they are needed.

—The UAWCD currently has 1,000-acre-feet of water storage in Pueblo Reservoir and 60-acre-feet of water storage in Lake

—The UAWCD has also acquired local water rights for the augmentation plan. UAWCD has purchased 70 acre-feet of water from Hermit Basin Lodge. UAWCD is also negotiating with the RMW district to lease water RMW owns on the Johnson Place Ranch south of Westcliffe. Also in the works, said Walters, is the leasing of water from the H2O Ranch. The H2O ranch is owned by the cities of Fountain and Widefield near Colorado Springs, which purchased the ranch for its water rights last year.

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