Rio Grande Basin Roundtable meeting recap

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Matt Hildner):

…local officials pointed to the rehabilitation of local reservoirs as an important step in getting more water for basin users. The state has imposed storage restrictions on six of them, including Continental, Terrace and Sanchez reservoirs. The latter three each have storage capacities of over 10,000 acre feet.

But getting funding for reservoirs that need repair and are owned by private irrigation companies is a tricky proposition. “Its out of the realm for the ag users,” said Travis Smith, who sits on both the statewide roundtable and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

The most likely source of infrastructure funds would be the federal government…

Greg Johnson, a water resource planning specialist for the conservation board, said the desire to avoid having to deal with the [National Environmental Policy Act] was an important reason for the increase in agricultural transfers on the Front Range over the last two decades. He added that repairing the state’s reservoirs so they can store at full capacity ranks first among already-identified projects that could help the state meet its shortfall. He cited a recent media report that such repairs could result in nearly one million acre-feet of additional water. The board also called for more work to be done on the analysis of the valley’s nonconsumptive needs, such as the water required to maintain fisheries.

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

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