Laramie: State legislator wants the state to buy 11,000 acres over the aquifer that waters the city


From the Associated Press (Ben Neary) via the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune:

Nonetheless, Wyoming Water Development Commission Director Michael K. Purcell told Gov. Matt Mead in December that development of other land outside the proposed acquisition area could still affect the quality of the city’s well water.

“Basically, the acquisition would only provide a portion of the insurance policy,” Purcell wrote.

In a recent interview, Purcell said residential development itself may not be a concern.

“You wouldn’t want a power plant or a mine, or a refinery up there, but typically just the normal rural development shouldn’t be a problem,” Purcell said. “A lot of water comes through that recharge area.”

Sen. Phil Nicholas, R-Laramie, has pushed state acquisition of the property. He is co-chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee, which last month voted in favor of his recommendation to spend up to $15 million to acquire the land if it becomes available.

Nicholas said opinion among hydrologists and other experts in the Laramie area is split on whether development of the land would likely pollute the aquifer.

More North Platte River basin coverage here.

Leave a Reply