Lower Arkansas Valley: The Caitlin and Fort Lyon canals file applications to add shares to the Colorado Water Protective and Development Association augmentation plans

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Applications by a group of shareholders on the Fort Lyon Canal and by the Catlin Canal Co. were made in January to allow use of water for augmentation plans by the Colorado Water Protective and Development Association. Formed in 1965, CWPDA provides augmentation for about 600 members and 1,336 wells in the Arkansas Valley. It serves municipal, industrial and agricultural users. Under 1996 well rules adopted for the Arkansas Valley, groups that provide augmentation are allowed to use plans administered by the state engineer’s office for up to 10 years. Augmentation supplies provide replacement water for depletions caused by wells that were put into operation after the 1948 Arkansas River Compact…

“CWPDA really didn’t get into the business of using water rights they own as a source of augmentation until later,” said Steve Witte, Division 2 engineer. “After the drought in 2002, more operators began bringing in their own shares.”[…]

Under an appendix to the Kansas v. Colorado case, state engineers from both states agreed to require Colorado water rights owners to file for a change of use, when needed, after the third year a supply was used under an administrative water plan. Part of that decision also was driven by the 2003 Empire Lodge state Supreme Court decision, which curtailed some of the authority previously assumed by the state engineer. This year, Witte notified the CWPDA that change of use applications for water rights used in 2011 augmentation plans had to be filed by Jan. 31, prompting the filings from the Fort Lyon and Catlin canals.

More Arkansas River basin coverage here.

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