Flaming Gorge pipeline update: Pikes Peak Water Authority to sponsor $190,000 study of the two alternatives on the table

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority will sponsor a $190,000 grant request to the Colorado Water Conservation Board to form a task force that water leaders from around the state decided was needed at a meeting in Silverthorne [ed. June 29]. The task force would be made up of members of the state’s nine basin roundtables, along with environmental and recreation interests. It also could include some of the state’s top water officials, and could have 20 to 23 members. The plan, however, still requires buy-in from the roundtables, which were formed by the Legislature in 2005 to sort out state water issues. The needs assessment committee of the Arkansas Basin Roundtable met Thursday and agreed to move the Flaming Gorge task force proposal to the full roundtable at its Aug. 10 meeting. All of the money would come from the water supply reserve account, a program funded by mineral severance taxes. The Arkansas Basin Roundtable would use $10,000 from its basin fund, along with $30,000 from the Metro roundtable. The rest of the grant would come through a statewide account.

“As a state, we need to move forward and identify new projects that bring water into the state,” said Alan Hamel, who represents the Arkansas River basin on the CWCB.

He also is a member of the roundtable’s needs assessment committee. “In order to protect agriculture, we’ve got to be able to move state projects forward,” he said…

The Pikes Peak group, which is managed by Gary Barber, chairman of the Arkansas Basin Roundtable, has an interest in new supply. Like the area served by the South Metro Water Supply Authority, the Pikes Peak region is largely dependent on the Denver Basin Aquifers, a groundwater formation that is being depleted…

The facilitators chosen for the project are Michael Hughes of the Keystone Center and Heather Bergman of Peak Facilitation. Bergman, while working for Keystone, facilitated the Fountain Creek Vision Task Force, which led to the formation of the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District by the Legislature in 2009…

“The task force will ask if (Flaming Gorge) is doable and determine how it fits in with the state water supply,” [Jim Broderick, another member of the needs assessment committee] said.

More Flaming Gorge Task Force coverage here.

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