From The Durango Herald (Dale Rodebaugh):
But if Colorado doesn’t exercise its option – pay its share of project construction costs by the time final cost calculations are made – its 10,460 acre-feet of water (5,230 acre-feet of depletion, as it’s known) pass in equal shares to the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. The two tribes already own the majority of the A-LP water. Neither Ute tribe responded immediately to a request Monday to comment on the possible use of extra water. Southwestern Executive Director Bruce Whitehead said at the Silverton meeting that the district could be called on someday to help hands-on water districts or water providers acquire water. Southwestern addresses only broad issues of water supply and demand that affect six counties and parts of three others in the watersheds of the Animas, San Juan, Dolores and San Miguel rivers. “If we can help other districts or water providers, it might be worth looking at the state water,” Whitehead said…
Two recently formed water-interest groups already have told the state they could use some of its water. They are the La Plata-Archuleta Water District, organized to bring drinking water to southeast La Plata County and southwest Archuleta County, and the La Plata West Water Authority, which would do the same for southwest La Plata County. La Plata West already has 700 acre-feet of usable A-LP water through the Animas La Plata Water Conservancy District, an A-LP sponsor, but it hasn’t found funding to pay for it. The conservancy district also acquired 1,900 acre-feet of usable water for the city of Durango. The Ute tribes joined La Plata West in paying for a $6 million water intake structure on Lake Nighthorse to serve the southwest corner of the county. In exchange, the tribe can use the La Plata West treatment plant and trunk lines for its own projects.
More Animas River watershed coverage here.