2011 Colorado legislation: The State Engineer’s office decides against backing bill that was designed to allow the State Engineer to approve groundwater sub-district management plans as substitute water supply plans in the San Luis Valley

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Matt Hildner):

The measure, which was never introduced at the Capitol, would have allowed groundwater users to apply for a substitute water supply plan, thereby avoiding shutdowns while they await court approval of groundwater subdistricts. A statement issued by the engineer’s office said moving forward with the measure would create undue controversy and possibly result in amendments that hindered the proposal and complicated rule-making efforts for Rio Grande basin well users…

…letting go of the temporary plans could leave some of the valley’s 6,000 groundwater wells vulnerable to being shut down. Wolfe has said the engineer’s new rules, which would require shutting down wells that do not have replacement water, are expected to be in place by 2012. The subdistricts would tax its members to help buy replacement water to make the senior surface users whole, but the first subdistrict remains under review by the Colorado Supreme Court. Other potential subdistricts are awaiting that ruling before they attempt to gain approval from the valley’s local water court. The engineer’s office hopes the issue can be resolved by an advisory committee Wolfe selected two years ago to assist in drafting groundwater rules in regulations

More San Luis Valley groundwater coverage here and here.

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