2011 Colorado legislation: HB 11-1274 (Water Conservation Board Construction Fund) passes state House and will allocate $12 million for Animas-La Plata Project water for southwestern Colorado

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From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel):

House Bill 1274 spends $14 million for water projects across the state, including $12 million so the state can buy water from the federal government in the reservoir southwest of Durango. The state has the right to buy 10,460 acre-feet of water in Lake Nighthorse. If it refuses to make the purchase, the water would be split between the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian tribes, each owns 33,050 acre-feet already…

The water purchase will cost around $36 million, which the state plans to pay in three yearly installments. The Legislature approved the first payment in 2010. The Colorado Water Conservation Board will decide later this year whether to buy all the water or stop this year. The board has not decided yet how it will use the water, but it could serve as a hedge against lawsuits from downstream states to force the state to supply more water to the Colorado River system.

More Animas-La Plata Projec coverage here and here.

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