Southern Delivery System: Pueblo West Metropolitan District raising ruckus over Corps permit

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (James Amos):

Pueblo West board members voted Tuesday night to send a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opposing a wetlands permit needed for a large water pipeline to Colorado Springs. Pueblo West was set to participate in the pipeline but balked when Pueblo County demanded that it [participate in the Arkansas Flow Program].

More coverage from KOAA.com (David Ortiviz):

Pueblo West says it may take drastic measures, if the county wins a dispute over water. They’re at odds over a stipulation in the Southern Delivery System pipeline, that would cost Pueblo West water. Pueblo West has about 32,000 residents. But if the town is required to return some of its water to Pueblo, leaders say the community may not be able to get any bigger. “We really have a desire to get along with our neighbors but its important people understand that we don’t have water to be able to do this,” said Steve Harrison, Director of Utilities for Pueblo West Metro District.

More coverage from KKTV.com (Jason Aubry):

According to a Bureau of Reclamation study and recommended plan, the first 800 feet of pipeline would be used by Pueblo West to get their share of the water. Pueblo West officials say, it also recommends they should not have to take part in a Pueblo County program to put water back into the Arkansas River for a downtown water park. However, the county is insisting they do participate in the program. “We don’t understand why Pueblo County has imposed this unnecessary burden on us, because we don’t have water to be able to supply for other uses, other than ours. We should be able to have the right to say we can’t participate. And i believe we’ve proven that through some of the science,” says Stephen Harrison, Director of Utilities for the Pueablo West Metropolitan District. Pueblo West also argues their share of the water comes from west of the great divide, and they should not be required to put water into the Arkansas River because their water rights were never part of the rivers original flows.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

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