Lower Ark and Pueblo Board of Water Works work out plan to move water through Lake Minnequa

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

the water board and Lower

Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District stepped in to provide a way to move water through the lake. The Lower Ark will allow its water to flow through the Minnequa Canal into the system that includes the St. Charles reservoirs and Lake Minnequa, owned by Evraz. The water board will make up evaporative losses of water stored in Lake Minnequa. The water board will apply for two junior exchange rights and a junior storage right under the resolution approved Tuesday. Water Resources Administrator Alan Ward explained the need for the application to the board Tuesday.

The first exchange would allow water stored at Lake Pueblo to be exchanged upstream to the Minnequa Canal headgate at Florence, which gives the water board more flexibility in choosing the type of water used to fulfill its obligation. The water board has a carriage agreement with Evraz to move the water through the canal, and loses about one-sixth of the water as it flows the 45-mile length of the ditch.

The second exchange would be from the Lake Minnequa outfall into the Arkansas River, located at the Interstate 25 bridge over the river, to Lake Pueblo. This would let the water board recapture some of the water it provides for Lake Minnequa. “We couldn’t use it all the time, because it would be junior to the RICD (Pueblo’s recreational in-channel diversion) and the flow management program,” Ward said. “When the flow conditions are right, we want to have more flexibility to recapture that water.”

A 1,200 acre-foot storage right, junior to any others on the river, would allow the water board to store floodwaters in Lake Minnequa under rare circumstances.

This was a good year to store water.

In other PBOWW news: The board detailed its plan to finance the Bessemer Ditch buy, according to Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The board will issue $22 million in bonds by Oct. 22 to round out its package of $60 million to purchase and convert 5,230 shares of the Bessemer Ditch, roughly one-fourth of the total. There are 65 contracts to close, so some of those will be completed before the date of the bond issue, Executive Director Alan Hamel said…

The bonds are one of three legs the water board is using to finance the Bessemer purchases. The board is planning to gain $30.48 million from the sale of the Columbine Ditch to Aurora and Climax Mine, with City Council approval of the contract expected on Oct. 27. The board will fill out financing from its water development fund, which was built up with lease contracts to Aurora and Xcel Energy in recent years, and some smaller long-term leases approved this year.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here, here, here and here.

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