From Water Education Colorado (Jerd Smith):
Early next year Colorado lawmakers will consider a bill that expands the Republican River Water Conservation District, helping the district pay for a program that ensures the state delivers enough water to Kansas and Nebraska to meet its legal obligations.
Colorado has spent millions of dollars battling lawsuits over the problem and earlier this year agreed to pay Kansas and Nebraska another $4 million in damages.
Last week, the Colorado General Assembly’s Water Resources Review Committee recommended a bill that would redraw the boundary of the Republican River district to include several hundred additional wells whose pumping is reducing the flow of the river.
The bill would allow the district to assess the same fee on those well owners that it does on all irrigators in the district in order to pay for a pipeline that transports additional water to the river.