The top priorities for the Arkansas Basin roundtable are storage and the protection of agricultural water

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The roundtable met Wednesday to finalize its report to the state on the progress made since 2005 and the things it would like to accomplish in the future — basically fine-tuning ideas from last month’s meeting. Some members of the roundtable argued that agricultural water needs are as important as urban water supplies and should be given more weight in statewide planning efforts. “I would like to see agriculture and M&I (municipal and industrial) on equal footing,” said Reeves Brown, a Beulah rancher and member of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District board…

“Enlargement of Pueblo Reservoir is needed,” said Tom Young, a former board member of the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District. “If we don’t do it, we won’t have storage for any of the other projects.”[…]

The roundtable also wants to look at sustaining or replenishing water tables in designated groundwater basins — which are slowly recharged but not tributary to the larger river system.

Max Smith, a roundtable member from Baca County, pointed to a report from Western Kansas that pumping had drawn down the Ogallala Aquifer down 17 feet in one year. “We are mining it, but not to that extent,” Smith said. “It needs to be addressed.”

More IBCC — Basin roundtables coverage here.

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