La Plata Archuleta Water District proposes to partner with Bayfield to build a joint water treatment facility

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From The Durango Herald (Patrick Young):

Dick Lunceford, president of the water district, told the town board that a joint venture could benefit both entities. “Bayfield needs a new treatment plant at some point here fairly soon, and of course, us having passed our mill levy, we’re going to be moving forward to deliver water to our customers,” Lunceford said Tuesday. Both the town and the district will be getting their water from Vallecito Reservoir via the Pine River. Rather than having two separate facilities drawing water from the same source, Lunceford proposed the district and town share construction and operating expenses based upon water sales to each entity. The board agreed to enter into talks with the district, though trustees expressed some skepticism.

Trustee Dan Ford voiced cautious support, but he had concerns about the financial liability a joint operation could place on the town should the district fail to pay its share.

More water treatment coverage here and here.

Weld County: The Colorado Ground Water Commission denies permit for Renaissance Group in Hay Gulch

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From The Fort Morgan Times (Dan Barker):

…Yokam Land Holdings LLC, also called the Renaissance Group, started looking for investors to develop the water in Hay Gulch, a groundwater source west of Wiggins in Weld County that supplies 60 percent of MCQWD’s water, said Mark Kokes, ex-ecutive director for Quality Water. Trying to replace that supply might have cost $70 million as the district looked for new water and possibly had to build a water treatment plant, he said. Fortunately for Quality Water users, the groundwater commissioners decided unanimously that all of the groundwater in Hay Gulch was already appropriated, Kokes said. “The gulch is officially closed to further large-capacity wells to be drilled,” Kokes said…

While the decision was made a couple of months ago, there was still a period for the Renais-sance Group to file an objection, but it did not, he said. With the objection period over, the decision is final.

Quality Water might have had to build a water treatment plant to replace the water it would lose, since much of the water available is not as good as the Hay Gulch supply, Kokes said. That is one reason MCQWD is protective of its resources, he said. Another reason is that Quality Water’s supply helps keep Morgan County alive economically, Kokes said. Not only does the district supply many homes with its 3,000 taps, but it also supports a great deal of the agribusiness which employs local residents and stimulates the economy, he said.

More groundwater coverage here and here.

Boulder: Water utility division is asking for a rate hike

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From the Colorado Daily (Heath Urie):

…utility officials are once again pushing their case for a 3 percent increase in water rates and a 3 percent increase in wastewater fees for 2011. “Even though we recognize it’s a tough financial environment right now, our costs do go up,” said Ned Williams, director of public works for utilities…

As proposed, the rate increases would add about $18 a year, or $1.50 a month, to most residential water bills. Commercial customers would also see a 3 percent increase…

According to a memo from the utility division to the council, projects that would have to be put on hold if a rate increase isn’t granted include a $785,000 plan to reline the city’s Chautaqua water storage tank, which is leaking about 28,800 gallons a day. A $460,000 project to rehabilitate the Green Lake Dam might also have to be pushed back by several years. The dam provides water to the Betasso Water Treatment Facility. A $550,000 project to rehabilitate sewers and manholes likely would not be funded without a rate increase, according to the memo. Officials wrote that holding off on that project would “likely increase the risk of additional sewer overflow events that create both public health and environmental damages.”

More infrastructure coverage here.

Southern Delivery System: Lake Pueblo storage and conveyance contract negotions between Colorado Springs Utilities and Reclamtion to resume on August 24

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The Bureau of Reclamation Thursday announced the next session of negotiations with Colorado Springs will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 24 at the Pueblo Shrine Club, 1501 West McCulloch Blvd., Pueblo West. Colorado Springs is negotiating contracts with Reclamation for SDS for storage and conveyance of water on behalf of its partners, Fountain, Security and Pueblo West. Colorado Springs also wants a contract for a paper trade exchange of water between Lake Pueblo and Twin Lakes. As part of the deal, Fountain and Colorado Springs would exchange space in the existing Fountain Valley pipeline…

Colorado Springs is seeking 20,000 acre-feet of storage in Lake Pueblo in 2011, and would increase it to 28,000 acre-feet over the next 10 years. Pueblo West wants 10,000 acre-feet; Security, 2,500 acre-feet; and Fountain, 1,500 acre-feet. Colorado Springs also wants an annual contract for a paper trade of up to 10,000 acre-feet annually, which would trade water it stores in Lake Pueblo for Fryingpan-Arkansas Project water in Twin Lakes. Colorado Springs can pump water from Twin Lakes through the Otero Pumping Station, part of the Homestake Project it shares with Aurora.

In a related matter Thursday, Colorado Springs Project Director John Fredell and Project Manager Keith Riley presented an update on dredging costs for Fountain Creek to the Pueblo County commissioners as part of the compliance process for the county’s 1041 permit for SDS. Costs ranged from $500,000 to $1.3 million.

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.