Flaming Gorge pipeline update: Pikes Peak Water Authority to sponsor $190,000 study of the two alternatives on the table

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority will sponsor a $190,000 grant request to the Colorado Water Conservation Board to form a task force that water leaders from around the state decided was needed at a meeting in Silverthorne [ed. June 29]. The task force would be made up of members of the state’s nine basin roundtables, along with environmental and recreation interests. It also could include some of the state’s top water officials, and could have 20 to 23 members. The plan, however, still requires buy-in from the roundtables, which were formed by the Legislature in 2005 to sort out state water issues. The needs assessment committee of the Arkansas Basin Roundtable met Thursday and agreed to move the Flaming Gorge task force proposal to the full roundtable at its Aug. 10 meeting. All of the money would come from the water supply reserve account, a program funded by mineral severance taxes. The Arkansas Basin Roundtable would use $10,000 from its basin fund, along with $30,000 from the Metro roundtable. The rest of the grant would come through a statewide account.

“As a state, we need to move forward and identify new projects that bring water into the state,” said Alan Hamel, who represents the Arkansas River basin on the CWCB.

He also is a member of the roundtable’s needs assessment committee. “In order to protect agriculture, we’ve got to be able to move state projects forward,” he said…

The Pikes Peak group, which is managed by Gary Barber, chairman of the Arkansas Basin Roundtable, has an interest in new supply. Like the area served by the South Metro Water Supply Authority, the Pikes Peak region is largely dependent on the Denver Basin Aquifers, a groundwater formation that is being depleted…

The facilitators chosen for the project are Michael Hughes of the Keystone Center and Heather Bergman of Peak Facilitation. Bergman, while working for Keystone, facilitated the Fountain Creek Vision Task Force, which led to the formation of the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District by the Legislature in 2009…

“The task force will ask if (Flaming Gorge) is doable and determine how it fits in with the state water supply,” [Jim Broderick, another member of the needs assessment committee] said.

More Flaming Gorge Task Force coverage here.

Monument: Board of trustees meeting recap

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From the Tri-Lakes Tribune (Lisa Collacott):

The town of Monument unanimously approved four resolutions pertaining to water at its most recent board of trustees meeting.

To establish a contract with El Paso County Water Authority and make the name change to Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority.

To participate in the Colorado-Wyoming Project Participation agreement.

To sign on the Super Ditch Project Participation agreement.

To sign on the Southern Delivery System Project Participation agreement.

Monument has been paying dues to the EPCWA and PPRWA. Recently the two water authorities merged and stayed with the name of PPRWA. The dues to the water authority for 2011 will cost the town $2,950. “It’s a good thing for the town. We were paying dues to two authorities and there really was no need for two authorities,” said Rich Landreth, public works director…

The Board of Trustees also approved the resolution for the Super Ditch Participation Agreement. The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District is considering a plan to lease water used for agricultural purposes to cities. The town of Monument has been part of the project for several years.

The final resolution approved was the Southern Delivery System Project Participation Agreement. The project would allow members to negotiate, as a group or individually, the delivery of water through the SDS with Colorado Springs Utilities.

More Arkansas River basin coverage here.

Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District approves purchase of three High Line Canal farms

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

he water district will pay three sellers $1.79 million for 41.2 shares of High Line Canal water rights if the sales are closed following due diligence investigations. The purchase would amount to $4,300 per acre. A smaller water right is also included in the package. The farms are a small part of the High Line’s 2,250 shares, and all are near the end of the 85-mile long ditch in Otero County. The High Line diverts south of the Arkansas River east of Boone and ends at Timpas Creek.

“We anticipate using the water in accordance with our exchange decree filed in December,” said Jessie Shaffer, manager of the Woodmoor district. Under that application, water would be exchanged upstream along the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek to Woodmoor, which is in the far northern part of El Paso County, just east of Interstate 25…

Woodmoor would still need to obtain approval from the High Line board and obtain a change of use decree in Division 2 Water Court to move the water. The district does not know when it would seek those changes, Shaffer said…

Two conservancy districts are opposing Woodmoor’s exchange application in Water Court. The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District board voted to file a statement of opposition in the case in January in order to protect its own exchange capacity on the Arkansas River below Pueblo Dam, which eventually will be needed for the Arkansas Valley Conduit. The district also is concerned the Woodmoor exchange could use Lake Pueblo, part of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, to take water outside the district’s boundaries. The Lower Arkansas Valley Conservancy District opposed the Woodmoor exchange application largely because it could be used to move water outside the Arkansas River basin…

Woodmoor serves 8,400 people in 3,300 homes. About 400 of the homes are on the other side of the Palmer Divide in the South Platte River basin. All sewer return flows from the district come down Monument Creek, but flows from lawn watering on some homes would end up in the South Platte basin, Shaffer said…

Woodmoor, a part of the [Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority], dropped out of Super Ditch negotiations because of the objections to taking water over the Palmer Divide.

More infrastructure coverage here.

The Woodmoor Water & Sanitation District wants to drop out of Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority’s negotiations with the Arkansas Valley Super Ditch

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From The Tri-Lakes Tribune (Nicole Chillino):

Woodmoor district manager Jessie Shaffer wrote a letter addressed to the authority suggesting the district stay out of the negotiations with the ditch due to a possible conflict with a recent filing for an exchange plan for water in the Lower Arkansas Valley. The letter was written under the direction of the water and sanitation district’s governing board, said assistant district manager Randy Gillette. “They have given us direction that we don’t have to be involved with these negotiations,” Gillette said. “We do want to be a part of the Super Ditch concept […] but it’s always been stated, at least what I’ve heard, is that individual contracts are going to be the bottom line.” In exchange for stepping away from the issue, the water purveyor also wanted to be excluded from the costs associated with the authority’s negotiations with the Super Ditch.

More Super Ditch coverage here and here.

Cracks in the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority?

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From The Tri-Lakes Tribune (Nicole Chillino):

At the group’s Jan. 20 meeting, Cherokee Metropolitan District general manager Kip Petersen said Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District’s filing for an exchange plan for water in the Lower Arkansas Valley and a letter sent to Aaron Million expressing interest in his project came as surprises to him. Million, a Colorado entrepreneur, is working on a privately studied, built and funded project to pipe water from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Utah and Wyoming to areas along the Front Range. The exchange plan filing came as a surprise to several members of the authority and some thought it could hurt the group’s negotiations with projects it is looking at to potentially provide the area with renewable water. “I’m pretty sure that’s hurt our credibility with the Super Ditch people,” Petersen said.

More Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority coverage here.

Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority: Suite of potential water supply options to choose from

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The Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority is discussing their options for a sustainable water supply. They could be customers of any number of projects including, the Super Ditch Companay, a Flaming Gorge Pipeline(either Aaron Million’s or the Colorado-Wyoming Coalition) or Colorado Springs’ proposed Southern Delivery System. Here’s a report from Nicole Chillino writing for The Tri-Lakes Tribune. From the article:

The Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority continued discussions about its options for a future water source and it appears it will be a while before it can determine what its best course will be…Regardless of which project or projects the authority ultimately chooses, it will need to find a place to store the water. The authority has a few options, including the Pueblo Reservoir, but no storage location has been finalized.