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.
The Super Ditch project, Southern Delivery System, the Regional Watershed Supply Project and a joint Colorado and Wyoming Flaming Gorge project are all available in one form or another to the authority at this time.
The Super Ditch Company is a project that would allow water purveyors to lease water from farmers in exchange for money to compensate the farmer for the water and for temporarily ceasing to grow crops.
Water would come from ditches and canals in Pueblo, Bent, Otero, Crowley and Prowers counties. Water entities would be able to become shareholders in the project by agreeing to buy water.
“We’re the best first customer because we’re in the basin,” said water authority manager Gary Barber. He has been part of continuing discussions between the authority and the company and said he believes the authority members are in the right place to participate in the project.
The Southern Delivery System is a project designed to pump water through a pipeline from the Pueblo Dam to Colorado Springs, with water deliveries made available to Security, Fountain and Pueblo West, according to www.csu.org. Colorado Springs recently received the permit it needs to be able to build the pipeline and pump the water from the county.
Aaron Million, an entrepreneur in the state, is working on a plan for a privately funded pipeline from Flaming Gorge Reservoir, located in both Utah and Wyoming, to the Front Range. The Regional Watershed Supply Project has been met with a considerable amount of opposition, Barber said.
The Colorado-Wyoming Coalition is looking into a Flaming Gorge water project that would benefit both states, according to the April 9 Parker Water and Sanitation District meeting minutes. The district’s manager Frank Jaeger is one of several members of the coalition who Barber has spoken with about its plan. The potential project is presently being studied by the coalition.
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.