From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
A decision earlier this year that sets limits on how much water Aurora can divert through the Busk-Ivanhoe system is being appealed by Western Slope groups.
The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District last week agreed to enter the case as well because it could affect its diversions through the Larkspur Ditch.
Division 2 water judge Larry Schwartz approved a decree that would allow Aurora to divert an average 2,416 acre-feet annually.
Pitkin County, the Colorado River District and Grand Valley Water Users appealed the decision based on the calculation of historic use of the four high-mountain creeks which are part of the Busk-Ivanhoe system.
Aurora shares Busk-Ivanhoe with the Pueblo Board of Water Works on the system that formerly was operated by the High Line Canal through the Carleton Tunnel, which once was a train and automobile route across the Continental Divide. It delivers water into Turquoise Lake near Leadville. The tunnel has collapsed in several spots, but water can still make its way through.
Pueblo Water has a 1993 decree changing its water rights from its 1971 purchase of its half of Busk-Ivanhoe. Aurora purchased the other half in 1986.
Lower Ark water attorney Peter Nichols said the change case on the Larkspur Ditch is stayed in water court because of issues similar to Busk-Ivanhoe case.
“The district has filed an amicus brief in the Busk-Ivanhoe case because the decision contains an issue similar to the change on Larkspur,” Nichols told the board.
The Lower Ark purchased most of the Larkspur Diversion from the Gunnison River from the Catlin Canal Co.
Water court cases are appealed directly to the Colorado Supreme Court.
More Busk-Ivanhoe coverage here.