Rio Grande Basin roundtable: First groundwater sub-district scores $31, 500

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Note: The post below is a little old. I failed to publish it on July 15.

From the Valley Courier (Ruth Heide):

The goal of the sub-districts of the Rio Grande Water Conservation District is to reduce well pumping in the San Luis Valley in order to protect senior surface rights, stabilize the aquifers and ensure the state meets its water delivery obligations to downstream states through the Rio Grande Compact. The first sub-district encompasses 1,500-1,600 sprinklers and about 3,500 wells. Its management plan is pending legal action, and a trial is scheduled for this September.

The roundtable group had approved an earlier funding request, of about the same amount, for the CREP application process. The funding requests are coming through the Rio Grande Restoration Foundation because it is an eligible nonprofit group. Rio Grande Water Conservation District Manager Steve Vandiver served as spokesman to present the request to the roundtable on Tuesday afternoon…

Vandiver said CREP would make available about $126 million over a 15-year period to irrigators in the first sub-district (north of the river) to reduce the amount of irrigated cropland by up to 40,000 acres. This federal program under the U.S. Department of Agriculture would only require 20 percent local cost share, Vandiver explained. The local match would likely come from sub-district fees paid by landowners within the sub-district’s boundaries…

Participants would receive $15,000-25,000 a year, Vandiver estimated. Over 15 years that would amount to $126 million throughout the sub-district, with about $94 million of that amount coming from U.S.D.A.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

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