Palisade: Replacement of water lines now the town’s maintenance priority

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From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Mike Wiggins):

Town Public Works Director Frank Watt estimates roughly half of the 20 miles worth of old, small water lines within the town’s service area need to be replaced within the next 10 years. “We know that we have got substandard water lines or aging water lines in places,” Town Administrator Tim Sarmo said. Watt said many of the lines in town are 50 to 60 years old, too small to accommodate modern fire hydrants and made out of cast iron, which can rust and deteriorate. He said the new lines will be made of plastic, which is more durable, and the 2-inch lines will be replaced with 6-inch lines. Watt said the town will add more valves to the lines so that if there is a break, he can shut off water in smaller areas so that fewer residents would be affected. The town also will rely more heavily on its own funds for line replacements than in the past, and it will do the work in-house rather than contract it out…

For the first time, Watt set aside money in this year’s budget specifically for line replacements. He plans to spend the $150,000 to replace a line as part of the reconstruction of Kluge Avenue as well as a yet-to-be-determined line.

More infrastructure coverage here.

Arkansas Valley Super Ditch Company files exchange case to enable leasing of water to municipalities

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The application would cover exchanges of water from points along a 75-mile reach of the Arkansas River from Pueblo Dam to the Fort Lyon Canal headgate, and would allow shareholders from seven canal companies to move water into Lake Pueblo, where it could be moved into municipal water systems. “We figured it was time to file,” said John Schweizer, Super Ditch president. “We can’t do much until we get this done. There are still a lot of other things to get done as well.”

The exchanges are needed in order to store water so the users can move it into their systems, because there is no other way to move the water upstream from its historic use. The application names Colorado Springs, Aurora and the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority as potential customers. “Adjudication of changes in the type and place of use of the water rights to be used for substitution and exchange is not a purpose of and not requested in this application,” said Peter Nichols, Super Ditch attorney. “The applicants anticipate that they will file one or more applications in the future to change the types and place of use and to quantify the consumptive use.” Right now, the only agreement the Super Ditch board has reached to sell water is with the Pikes Peak group — Fountain, Cherokee, Donala, Monument, Palmer Lake, Triview, Woodmen Hills and Woodmoor water providers in El Paso County. Deliveries of up to 2,000 acre-feet at $500 per acre-foot could begin as soon as 2011 under the agreement…

The application claims 58,000 acre-feet of exchanges — about twice Pueblo’s annual potable water use — but acknowledges there is probably not the capacity in the Arkansas River to take advantage of them all. The exchanges would make use of structures — including at least one reservoir that has not been built — which are not owned by the individual irrigators who would be making the leases. “Applicants will operate the exchanges when there is exchange potential available,” the application stated. “Applicants may operate exchanges continuously for a few hours or days whenever exchange potential is available, which will generally be during spring runoff and following major precipitation events.” There are also release points named in the application such as Lake Meredith or Stonewall Springs on the Excelsior Ditch where water could be released to satisfy the water rights of downstream users…

The 58,000 acre-feet equals the maximum historical diversion of every canal, including the Fort Lyon storage canal, and the “reasonably anticipated demands” of those buying the water, according to the filing. “The claimed exchange rates will allow all shareholders of all Lower (Arkansas) Valley ditches an equal opportunity to voluntarily lease their water,” the application stated.

More Super Ditch coverage here and here.