Arkansas Basin Roundtable recap

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The CWCB plans to complete a feasibility study – actually an outline of new studies Arkansas Valley water users think they need – by the end of next year. Working with the engineering firm of Brown and Caldwell, the CWCB will inventory existing studies and interview various water users to find gaps in the data. The process was explained at Wednesday’s meeting of the Arkansas Basin Roundtable. Decision support systems provide a complete picture of water resources and stresses put on them by projects and activities. Such studies were completed for the Colorado River and Rio Grande basins in the mid-1990s and have played a role in developing fish recovery programs, reservoir level maintenance strategies and groundwater use rules. The Colorado River Basin study is playing a part in current evaluations of how much water remains to be developed in Colorado…

The South Platte River basin study began in 2001, and is about two-thirds complete, Moore said. It has not solved problems of meeting future water demands and could not avert a crisis in farm wells that were shut off last year because of over appropriation. “The purpose is to provide better tools for the state and water users to make better decisions,” Moore said…

The H-I model is an assumption of the consumptive use of water by agriculture on the main stem of the Arkansas River east of Pueblo Dam based on theory rather than actual measurements. It affects groundwater rights administration in the Arkansas Valley and is woven into the new surface rules as well.

While the state is spending millions to refine the model, any changes would have to be negotiated with Kansas and would be subject to a dispute resolution process under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case.

More IBCC and basin roundtable coverage here.

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