Aurora plans to sell 1,500 acre-feet worth $9.5 million for oil and gas exploration and production

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The former town of Fletcher is in the news again — this time for a deal with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. Here’s a report from Sara Castellanos writing for the Aurora Sentinel. From the article:

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will purchase $9.5 million worth of “used” water from Aurora for its oil and gas drilling operations across the state, pending Aurora City Council approval July 9. The Houston-based company would pay Aurora Water over five years to use 1,500 acre feet of “effluent” water per year, according to city officials…

Members of the city council’s Management and Finance Committee will meet Wednesday to decide how the city should use the $9.5 million generated from the sale of the water. One idea, according to city documents ahead of the meeting, is to use revenue to partially pay off debt from Prairie Waters, a $650 million project that was completed in 2010 to ensure the city’s residents had enough water during droughts. The city borrowed more than $540 million and raised water rates to pay for the project.

It’s no surprise that The Pueblo Chieftain and water reporter Chris Woodka are assessing the potential effects of the deal, given Aurora’s popularity in the Arkansas River basin. Here’s an excerpt:

Aurora Water wants council to approve a five-year lease of 1,500 acre-feet for $1.8 million annually to Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in an effort to reduce utility rates. Water would be sewer return flows into the South Platte River…

The water is surplus to return flows Aurora is now able to reuse through its Prairie Waters Project, said spokesman Greg Baker.

More Aurora coverage here and here.

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