GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — The city of Glenwood Springs is seeking recreational water rights for three potential whitewater parks on the Colorado River — but it has yet to come to terms with Aurora, Colorado Springs and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
The Aspen Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/2bYEiIS ) that Glenwood Springs has already reached understandings with other groups.
Aurora and Colorado Springs co-own a reservoir on Homestake Creek in the upper Eagle River basin that holds 43,300 acre-feet of water. The water is shipped through the Homestake Tunnel to Turquoise Reservoir and on to the two Front Range cities.
The two cities have told the water court and the Colorado Water Conservation Board that Glenwood Springs is claiming more water than it needs.
And they say Glenwood Springs’ proposed water right for the parks would prevent the additional development of more water-supply projects in the upper Colorado River basin within Colorado.
“Glenwood’s proposed RICD (recreational in-channel diversion) would unilaterally foreclose development in the Colorado River basin above Glenwood, affecting users both in the basin and on the Front Range,” Aurora and Colorado Springs told the water court in June 2015.
Glenwood Springs has filed for a single water right tied to three proposed parks to be known as the No Name, Horseshoe Bend and Two Rivers whitewater parks. Each park would include two wave-producing structures.
The city has so far managed to file signed stipulations in water court with Denver Water, Ute Water Conservancy District, Orchard Mesa Irrigation District, Grand Valley Water Users Association, Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge and Pool, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The Colorado water court has given Glenwood Springs, Aurora and Colorado Springs until Oct. 27 to see if agreements can be reached.
Glenwood Springs attorney, Mark Hamilton, is set to meet on Thursday with representatives from Aurora and Colorado Springs in another effort to reach an agreement. It will be the fourth such meeting since February.
Even if an agreement can be worked out, Glenwood Springs will still need to come to terms with the Colorado Water Conservation Board, which recommended in June 2015 that the water court deny the city’s filing.
The Board voted 8 to 1 that it would “impair Colorado’s ability to fully develop its compact entitlements” and would not promote “the maximum beneficial use of water” in the state.
Information from: Aspen Daily News, http://www.aspendailynews.com