La Junta area water providers plan further discussions around forming a regional water authority

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From the La Junta Tribune Democrat (Dave Vickers):

Area water providers will meet Tuesday evening at Otero Junior College to take the discussion of forming a regional water authority to the next level. The meeting will run from 6 to 8 p.m. and be hosted by Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District. Bill Hancock, conservation program manager for LAVWCD, conducted a similar meeting in Lamar recently with water providers in that area. But there are 27 separate water providers in Otero County alone, necessitating a meeting of representatives from those companies on the west end of the Lower Arkansas Valley…

Significant changes have occurred in the Lower Arkansas Valley in the past year that will make a regional authority necessary if water systems are going to be improved. Not only do water users in the valley want improvements in the supply of water, they also know that quality of drinking water must be improved to meet safe standards. These changes have included federal funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit project, a pipeline to improve water quantity and quality in the Lower Arkansas Valley, and the emergence of the Super Ditch consortium, which has been developed to help farmers utilize their water rights to a higher degree without selling outright to thirsty cities along the Front Range.

But the third significant development has been the focus on CO-RADS, or radionuclides in the drinking water supplies. Most of the drinking water in Southeastern Colorado contains radionuclides, a byproduct of naturally occurring uranium deposits in the valley. Health officials now believe long-term exposure to uranium in drinking water might cause toxic effects to the kidney, and can lead to cancer. Tuesday night’s meeting will have experts from the state health department, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, LAVWCD and Otero County who can address the ongoing efforts to deal with CO-RADS and demands of the EPA.

More Arkansas Basin coverage here.

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