Lamar pipeline: The Cherokee Metro District could become one of the GP Water’s customers


Colorado water law does not allow speculation so when the GP Water starts their change case in water court it will be important to have customers lined up. Municipalities are given wide latitude (Great and Growing Cities Doctrine) in planning because of the length of time it takes to plan, fund and build facilities but speculation findings bit Pagosa Springs and High Plains A&M in recent years.

The Cherokee Metropolitan District has supply woes after they were deemed to be pumping out of priority from the Upper Black Squirrel designated groundwater basin. They’ve been buying supplemental water supplies from Colorado Springs but they’re looking for a permanent supply. It looks like they’re in talks with GP. Here’s a report from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The pipeline, proposed by GP Water of Littleton, is one of two options that survived a review Wednesday by Cherokee’s board, said Sean Chambers, manager of the district. A contract with GP Water would move its proposal from the realm of speculation by identifying an end-user, a condition required under Colorado water law. GP has purchased 40 percent of the Lamar Canal, and plans to market it to Front Range communities, but has not filed an application in Water Court…

Cherokee is also looking at a proposal by the Greenland Basin Pipeline Co., which would provide water from Denver Basin aquifers in Northern El Paso County through a much shorter pipeline that the district would have the option of purchasing…

Currently the district buys about one-third of its water supply — 1,000 acre-feet a year — from Colorado Springs at the rate of $13.60 per 1,000 gallons. (Pueblo water customers pay $2.21 per 1,000 gallons.) The rate is tied to Colorado Springs’ rate increases of 12 percent each year expected through 2016 to pay for Southern Delivery System. That gets compounded, since Cherokee’s rate is 187 percent of the Colorado Springs base rate. The proposals Cherokee is looking at would cut the cost of water to $6-$7.50 per 1,000 gallons, Chambers said…

In June, GP Water also submitted a proposal to Castle Rock, and continues to negotiate with other water providers, [Karl] Nyquist said.

More Lamar pipeline coverage here.

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