From Steamboat Today (Tom Ross):
The [Yampa/White River roundtable] recommended funding a $220,800 water storage feasibility study in the Yellow Jacket District south of Craig, and the Colorado Water Conservation Board approved it in January. The study is under way, and project consultant Mike Apple gate is among six speakers slated for the forum. Applegate said Wednesday the Yellow Jacket Board, which oversees a district primarily in Rio Blanco County, but including small portions of Moffat and Garfield counties, is a long way from building a water storage facility…
The board of the Yellow Jacket Water Conservation District made it plain in a September 2008 filing in Water Court that it seeks to ensure adequate water supplies for agriculture, but it’s also determined to create adequate supply for a growing oil shale industry in the region. Applegate said the goal of protecting agricultural water is sincere. “If you don’t figure out in advance how to supply water for (energy development), the result can be a ‘buy and dry agriculture’” approach to securing water for energy, he said. In their 2008 filing, the Yellow Jacket Board members anticipated building Thornburgh Reservoir and filling it with conditional water rights from nearby creeks via pipelines. West Milk Creek Canal, for example, is estimated to be able to supply 90 cubic feet per second of water. Axial Creek Canal could be counted on to supply as much as 315 cfs during its peak, the court filing anticipated. Applegate said the system of creeks and canals feeding an offline reservoir (built in a ravine without live water of its own), is just one possibility that will be looked at in the feasibility study.
More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.