2010 Arkansas River Basin Water Forum recap

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

[Jay Winner, general manager of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District] defended the [Arkansas Valley Super Ditch] concept as the best way to keep water rights in the hands of farmers while allowing cities to meet future needs. Aurora is the only community outside the Arkansas River basin that has discussed lease possibilities with Super Ditch, he said. “It’s important to retain water rights in the Arkansas basin. The lease-fallowing program (Super Ditch) is only stop-gap, but it keeps water rights from being sold,” Winner said. “In 20 years, we don’t know what the world is going to look like. We’re trying to keep water in the valley. That goal has not changed.”

Winner also said moving the water to El Paso County water districts outside Colorado Springs could be accomplished in the short term by using the [Southern Delivery System] pipeline. Colorado Springs Utilities is wrapping up studies started last year to look at that possibility, said John Fredell, SDS project director.

In fact, a committee looking at changing Colorado Springs’ policy of not providing water outside city limits is finalizing its work today for possible action later this month by City Council, sitting as the utilities board. SDS also would serve Fountain, Security and Pueblo West. Colorado Springs already has carriage contracts with other communities, but opening SDS to more water providers could be a way for the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority to accept deliveries from Super Ditch after SDS is completed in 2016. “They would have to go through their own NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process,” Fredell said…

Meanwhile, the High Line Canal is looking at the possibility of another pipeline heading north from Boone, said Dan Henrichs, High Line superintendent…A preliminary study of a pipeline in that general area last year by the Pikes Peak water group showed it too would cost more than $1 billion.

More Arkansas Basin coverage here.

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