From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
Even before a drop of water flows through Southern Delivery System, other El Paso County communities are making plans to hook up to the pipeline.
Donala Water & Sanitation District, which serves 2,600 people north of Colorado Springs plans to begin an environmental impact statement process with Bureau of Reclamation within the next two weeks in order to obtain a long-term storage contract in Lake Pueblo.
Cherokee Metro District, serving about 18,000 people in a community surrounded by Colorado Springs, wants to hook up to SDS in the future.
Those communities will be held to the same environmental commitments, including federal environmental review and stormwater management, under Pueblo County’s 1041 permit.
Donala purchased a ranch south of Leadville for its water rights in 2009, but will need SDS to deliver about 280 acrefeet annually — about 25 percent of its needs. “We have been talking to the city for years,” said Kip Peterson, manager of the Donala District. Donala already has a temporary contract in place to use Colorado Springs water delivery systems to deliver water from the ranch.
Stormwater controls are problematic, because 95 percent of the land in Donala already has been developed, but the district is looking at how to amend its plan to address stormwater, Peterson said.
Like Donala, Cherokee has a contract to buy water from or have its water delivered by Colorado Springs Utilities. Cherokee has a two-year lease from the Pueblo Board of Water Works. Cherokee gets most of its water from wells, but needs additional sources to round out its supply. “Unlike Donala, we don’t yet own any water we could store in Lake Pueblo,” said Sean Chambers, Cherokee manager.
But Cherokee is interested in using SDS for the long-term. Like Colorado Springs, it has some water and wastewater lines that cross Sand Creek, a tributary of Fountain Creek. Those would be held to the same level of scrutiny as Colorado Springs lines.