2014 Colorado legislation: Well users hope to see legislation grease the skids for aquifer recharge

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The state needs to take another look at groundwater storage as a way to improve efficiency in water use. “We need to come back and revisit aquifer storage, and look at a better way to manage groundwater resources,” Dick Brown, representing El Paso County water users, told the water resources review committee of the state Legislature this week.

In 2007, there appeared to be momentum for water storage in the Upper Black Squirrel Creek aquifer east of Colorado Springs. The state had funded technical studies that showed there was ample space in the groundwater basin for water storage.

But the technological and legal hurdles are daunting for local water districts, said Sean Chambers, manager of the Cherokee Metropolitan District, one of 11 water providers in El Paso County looking at groundwater storage as a potential solution for future water needs. “It’s one of the challenges that management districts have,” Chambers said. “Our resources are minimal, so support from a larger government agency is needed to make sure it is managed well.”

Groundwater storage would fit well with water leasing programs or water bank plans that are being eyed in the Arkansas River Basin.

Water attorney Andy Jones said several of his clients in the South Platte River basin also see the need for changes to improve management of resources. He submitted draft legislation to the committee.

Kevin Rein, deputy director for the Division of Water Resources, told the committee legislation is needed to give management districts more latitude in making decisions. “One size does not fit all,” he said.

More 2014 Colorado Legislation coverage here.

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