From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
The board approved its share of a $282,000 effort to look at a variety of water quality concerns stemming from water supply and land use decisions throughout the entire basin.
The work began last year with a review of past studies in an attempt to identify areas that need further investigation by the U.S. Geological Survey. It grew out of concerns from the Regional Resource Planning Group, which was formed in 2003 under the Southeastern’s agreement with Aurora. The studies also could help shape a decision support system being developed for the Arkansas River basin by the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
Under the funding agreement, USGS will contribute $122,000, and local partners $160,000. Aurora and the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, through an agreement reached last year, will jointly contribute $75,000. The Pueblo Board of Water Works, Southeastern and Colorado Springs will each chip in $25,000. The Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District will add $10,000…
The Southeastern board also approved a $42,000 program to assess how water releases in the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project affect recreation, agricultural and municipal activities in the Upper Arkansas River. The program will be funded through a $33,600 CWCB grant approved by the Arkansas Basin Roundtable earlier in May, and $8,400 in local contributions.
The study will be conducted by Paul Flack, of Resource Based International, who was formerly a hydrologist for Colorado State Parks.
It will look at optimal water releases that could be made within the constraints of water rights law during wet, average and dry years in an attempt to reduce tensions over how releases have been made in the past.
More Arkansas Basin coverage here.