From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
El Paso County water providers are banding together to study how their systems could work together more efficiently in the future. A $242,000 study would include Colorado Springs Utilities and the Southern Delivery System as possible delivery sources of water for other communities, as well as ways to integrate the assets of other water systems. The Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority is seeking a grant of $75,000 from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, while kicking $88,500 in cash and $78,500 in in-kind contributions. Colorado Springs and El Paso County are included in the in-kind contributions.
Those groups have been aggressively pursuing water development for more than 30 years to meet rapid growth. Some past projects have been undertaken collectively.
The Arkansas Basin Roundtable approved the state grant this week, because it would help fill the greatest part of the municipal gap identified in the Statewide Water Supply Initiative. “I think this addresses the gap in a way that goes beyond individual projects such as SDS,” said Betty Konarski, who represents El Paso County on the roundtable.
Roundtable member Jeris Danielson, a former state engineer, asked if the study would include new sources of supply as well.
Sean Chambers, manager of the Cherokee Metropolitan District, said the main purpose of the study would be to look at how current supplies could be better managed for the mutual benefit of other communities.
The gap in El Paso County is projected to be 22,000 acre-feet annually — enough water for about 60,000 homes — by 2050. Of that, 13,000 acre-feet will be to replace nonrenewable groundwater and 9,000 acre-feet will be needed for growth.
The gap is the vast majority of the shortfall identified by SWSI.
More Arkansas River Basin coverage here.