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Central’s Board Considering Bond Proposal
Central Colorado Water Conservancy District, through its Groundwater Management Subdistrict, is reviewing a potential bond question for voters in 2018. Although the proposal is in its earliest stages, Central’s board and management believe it’s important to start discussing the next steps to secure both water storage and water rights for the region.
Central’s 10-year outlook includes the development of additional reliable water supplies, including storage projects, recharge projects and senior water rights. A portion of the GMS water supply has been leased from municipal water supplies; however, as municipalities grow and can use these excess supplies, GMS will have less and less certainty that these leases will be available in the future. Additionally, as the buy and dry of irrigated lands downstream of the Denver area continue, agricultural water needs from groundwater will increase.
The possible bond projects for GMS may include 5,000 acre-feet of additional reservoir storage—which will increase Central’s holdings by 25 percent—in the Fort Lupton and Greeley/Kersey areas. The bonds may also help construct a very large recharge project near the Weld and Morgan county line named the Robert W. Walker Recharge Project. The Walker Project will divert surface and groundwater at the rate of 100 cubic feet per second from the South Platte and divert those flows to recharge basins as far as five miles from the river. In addition, Central is looking at the purchase of several senior water rights that are becoming available for the district’s portfolio. This includes the purchase of waters currently being leased by Central, which will ensure this water stays in the community to be used by local farms and businesses.
Over the coming months, Central will be reviewing different policy decisions as it builds a potential GMS bond proposal. This process will continue community outreach and communications efforts in order to get critical feedback to understand the public’s support for Central’s water-management efforts. If you have any questions about GMS and this project, please contact the Central offices at (970) 330-4540.