From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
Developing reservoirs east of Pueblo remains an important component of a 2004 agreement to protect Arkansas River flows through the city. So far, the participants in the six-party intergovernmental agreement have relied on stop-gap measures to recover water, but recently there has been more activity that could lead to long-term changes.
The situation was reviewed last week by the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, which is a minor player in the effort, but shares some of the planning costs.
Colorado Springs, Aurora and the Pueblo Board of Water Works are the major players, and they have each had a role in the recovery of yield program. Fountain and the Southeastern district have smaller parts.
“This is an important regional effort to understand the allocation costs,” said Gary Bostrom, water chief for Colorado Springs Utilities, and a Southeastern board member.
The Pueblo water board took the lead in locating a reservoir site in 2005, trying to lease the Stonewall Springs site near the Pueblo Chemical Depot. When the cost proved too high, it was bought by private developers who proceeded with reservoir plans and a gravel mining operation.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has an agreement to purchase a reservoir being developed by Stonewall Springs LLC, and it could be a candidate for municipal storage, said Bob Hamilton, Southeastern’s engineering director. Cities could participate by contributing water or money.
A nearby reservoir plan by Two Rivers Water and Farming Co. on Southwest Farms appears less likely. Alan Hamel, chairman of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, said Two Rivers’ loan application for the project will be “de-authorized” in November.
Both sets of reservoirs would be filled and emptied by gravity flows on the Excelsior Ditch.
A third plan is being tested by Colorado Springs that involves pumping between gravel pits just east of the Pueblo wastewater treatment plant.
Up until now, Colorado Springs and Aurora have bypassed the most water, recapturing some of it in a reservoir on the Holbrook Canal north of La Junta under an agreement brokered by Aurora.
More insfrastructure coverage here.