Senator Udall intends to sponsor legislation next year authorizing Aurora to use Fryingpan-Arkansas facilities to move water out of the Arkansas Basin

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The information was included in a report by attorneys for Aurora and the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District filed late Friday in the Denver U.S. District Court. The report says Udall has agreed to circulate draft legislation along the lines of past attempts to change federal law to allow Aurora to use Fry-Ark storage and exchange contracts to move water from farms dried up in Lake, Crowley and Otero counties into its South Platte collection system. “Senator Udall indicated that he intends to circulate draft legislation in the next Congress so that the congressional delegation can reach consensus on language that will implement the settlement agreement,” wrote attorneys Stuart Somach, for Aurora, and Peter Nichols, for the Lower Ark, in the joint filing.

The legislation is expected to be much the same as language included in earlier versions of the Preferred Storage Options Plan, a provision of a 2003 agreement with the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, and in the 2004 intergovernmental agreement among Pueblo, the Pueblo water board, Colorado Springs, Fountain, the Southeastern district and Aurora…

The report indicates that if Congress has not enacted legislation by May 13, 2011 — the two-year anniversary of the settlement agreement [In 2009, the Lower Ark and Aurora reached a settlement that included additional concessions by Aurora and placed a stay on the case for two years. Among the provisions was new federal legislation that cleared Aurora to use the Fry-Ark project.] — Aurora and the Lower Ark will provide an amended settlement agreement recommending administrative closure of the case that preserves the right to reopen the case. Periodic status reports also would be included.

More Fryingpan-Arkansas Project coverage here and here.

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