Arkansas Valley Conduit: Will Reclamation place too high a financial burden on the project?

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservation District is watching the current proceedings with interest, and the implications of the [Southern Delivery System] outcome for the district were frequently mentioned during two days of negotiations last week.

“Do you remain comfortable charging less for out-of-district users than for those of us in the district?” David Robbins, an attorney for Colorado Springs, asked Mike Collins, area manager for Reclamation at one point. Robbins referred to a 2007 storage contract with Aurora that amounts to $46 per acre-foot in 2011 vs. proposals that have ranged from $50-100 per acre-foot for SDS.

Collins replied, after a barrage of questions and a day of banter, that Reclamation from now on would use a “negotiated market” method of determining contract prices in the Arkansas Valley. That is a change from past contracts based on cost of service that Collins discounted as “snapshots in time.”[…]

The rate Colorado Springs eventually reaches in SDS — right now, it’s expected to come down between $25 and $40 — will also provide revenues to repay the costs of the conduit under a 2009 law. Even the low end fits into the projections made by federal staff on the repayment strategy, Broderick said. “I’m not seeing this as having much impact on the funding of the conduit,” he said.

More Arkansas Valley Conduit coverage here and here.

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