Twin Lakes Reservoir and Canal Co., et al., settle out of Basalt whitewater park water court case

Twin Lakes collection system
Twin Lakes collection system

From The Aspen Times (Scott Condon):

A trial was scheduled to begin Thursday in state water court in Glenwood Springs. “That trial now will not happen,” Ely said.

Pitkin County has worked for about 10 years to establish the ability to use water rights for recreational purposes connected to the special project. The county wants to establish a kayak park on the Roaring Fork River just downstream from Fishermen’s Park, which is a stone’s throw from the Upper Basalt Bypass Bridge on Highway 82.

The county faced opposition from what Ely said he considers “the usual suspects” on water-rights issues. One of the parties opposing the county’s plan was the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Canal Co., which diverts from the headwaters of the Roaring Fork River.

Ely said various parties involved on both sides of the court battle stipulated a settlement rather than proceed with the trial and an uncertain outcome. It was a model of give-and-take, he said.

“Everybody left the table being hungry,” Ely said.

The agreement allows Pitkin County to call for water for the kayak park between April 15 and Labor Day. Differing water levels would be called at different times. The most water would be tapped for the park during spring runoff. The amount would be lower before and after prime runoff…

“It’s been about 10 years since this dialog first started,” Ely said during a ceremony Thursday at Fishermen’s Park attended by about 25 people, including Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper…

Hickenlooper congratulated Pitkin County and Basalt for their river work. He noted that investments made in river features by towns such as Buena Vista and Salida have paid big dividends.

More water law coverage here.

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