Upper Arkansas River Water Conservancy District board meeting recap

wetmountainvalley

From The Mountain Mail (Joe Stone):

The Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District recently finalized acquisition of a new source of water in the Wet Mountain Valley. Attorney Kendall Burgemeister with Wilderson, Lock & Hill LLC reported at the district meeting Thursday that the judge had issued a “final signed decree” in the district’s water court case to change the use of water purchased from Hermit Basin Lodge in Custer County. The district will use the water as a source of replacement water under its augmentation plans, and engineer Ivan Walter said, now that the decree has been signed, his goal is to complete the engineering work so the district can use the water this year…

With the Colorado Legislature in session, consultant Ken Baker reported on several bills under consideration, including Senate Bill 41, which would expand the beneficial uses of water to include storage. Baker said the bill is likely to pass.

Baker also reported on SB 19, sponsored by District 5 Sen. Gail Schwarz, who has described the bill as a way to “encourage farmers and producers to take water efficiency measures or upgrade their irrigation technology.” Baker pointed out that a provision of the bill would allow senior water-rights holder to curtail their water usage without losing credit for beneficial use of the water. This would allow junior rights holders to use water that they could not otherwise use, allowing them to expand their beneficial use of the water, which would affect future water court cases.

More Arkansas River Basin coverage here and here.

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