New reservoirs east of Pueblo?

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Here’s a look at new proposed water storage east of Pueblo, from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

John Sliman, owner of Southwest Farms, and Bob Beltramo, who operates the Blue Grass gravel pits just going in on the property, want to develop 13,000 acre-feet of storage on the property, located near 39th Lane and U.S. 50…

The proposed reservoirs are in the same area as Stonewall Springs, a project by Colorado Springs developers Mark and Jim Morley that would also provide storage. Both projects are similar in concept because they could be gravity-fed from the Excelsior Ditch and would involve storage of water from rights owned by third parties, rather than direct purchase of water rights. The Arkansas Valley Groundwater Users Association, a well-augmentation group, owns about 54 percent of the ditch, while the Morleys have 46 percent.

The area has long been eyed by the partners in the Recovery of Yield program set up under the 2004 intergovernmental agreement among Pueblo, the Pueblo Board of Water Works, Colorado Springs, Fountain, Aurora and the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The group needs storage downstream of Pueblo Reservoir to capture flows that are released from Pueblo Dam to maintain flows in the Arkansas River through Pueblo. Currently water is recaptured at Lake Meredith, largely owned by Colorado Springs and Aurora, and Holbrook Lake in Otero County. In 2005, the ROY partners considered buying the Stonewall Springs site near the Pueblo Chemical Depot from Dick Evans, but pulled out of the deal after an appraisal showed the asking price was too high. The Morleys bought it soon afterward. Others who would be interested in water storage in the area include the Arkansas Valley Super Ditch and some electric power generation start-up companies, Sliman and Beltramo said. They have had preliminary discussions with some of those who might be interested in using the site.

The Blue Grass sites – two 180-acre gravel licenses just south of U.S. 50 near 39th Lane – could begin their transformation into water storage reservoirs immediately if needed, Sliman said. “We have the ability to fast-track the project and for cell sizing,” Sliman said. Eventually, there is the possibility of developing up to 20,000 acre-feet of storage on the site, and Sliman thinks there would be enough demand to move forward with both the Blue Grass and Stonewall proposals.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

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