Grand County files for a Recreational In Channel Diversion right on the Upper Colorado River

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From the Sky-Hi Daily News (Tonya Bina):

Appropriated on Dec. 21, the 2010 water rights, if realized, may give Grand County traction with future water cases affecting the Fraser and Colorado Rivers, according to county officials. A recreational in-channel diversion allows for a call in a certain place and time for the benefit of “boating, rafting, kayaking, tubing, floating, canoeing, paddling, and all other non-motorized recreational uses” as “part of (the county’s) ongoing effort to improve water-based recreational and economic opportunities for its citizens and the general public,” states the water rights application. The “byproduct” would be allowing Grand County to be “in the conversation” when it comes to decisions about future river uses, according to Grand County Commissioner James Newberry…

Objectors to the Division 5 conditional water rights filing in Garfield County’s 9th Judicial District Court, Glenwood Springs, have until the end of February to oppose the application. Town boards and rights holders from Kremmling to Winter Park are considering opposing the filing as a means to join the case to ensure their water interests are protected — in some cases, a position of objection could be viewed as “friendly opposition,” and in others, genuine opposition…

Grand County’s application for conditional rights names a Hot Sulphur Springs Whitewater Park in Pioneer Park near the town, with no rights at flows above 900 cubic feet per second (cfs), and a Gore Canyon Whitewater Park in two locations, one above and one below Pumphouse recreation area west of Kremmling, with no rights at flows above 2,500 cfs. One or more of these sites could be the source of calls for recreation water in the river from the headwaters of the Colorado and in the length of the Fraser River…

The county’s 2010 water right would be junior to existing rights and may only influence future development and diversions on the river, [Grand County Commissioner Gary Bumgarner] said.

More Colorado River basin coverage here.

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