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Water Conservancy District augmentation plans finally approved

by Carol Dunn

HUERFANO– The Huerfano County Water Conservancy District Water Activity Enterprise was notified on September 7 that its Substitute Water Supply Plan (SWSP) was approved by the Division of Water Resources, State Engineer’s Office.  The Enterprise submitted the application for the Plan on June 2, 2009, and has been operating the Plan “as though it were approved,” while it made its way from desk to desk through the approval bureaucracy.  The 2010 SWSP covered out-of-priority water use by the Malachite Spring near Gardner, Huerfano County Road & Bridge, and a short-term bridge project by the Colorado Department of Transportation and Walsenburg Sand & Gravel in Farasita.

    The letter of approval stated that the effective dates for the SWSP are January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010.  Because a Plan renewal must be filed 90 days in advance of expiration, the Enterprise must now file for the renewal by October 1, 2010.  “How did we get to a calendar date when we started with an April to March request?” asked Dawson Jordan, Enterprise Chairman, at Monday night’s meeting.  Several requests to the State Engineer’s Office by the Enterprise’s water attorneys to extend the expiration date to March 31, 2011 were turned down.  Engineering consultant Ted M. Zorich, Jr. confirmed to the Enterprise Board that the CO61 group, a group of homeowners near Gardner who require an augmentation plan for well water use, intends to participate in the 2011 Plan and will be added to the renewal application.

    The Enterprise’s Rule 14 plan, which covered out-of-priority use of well water by Gardner Water & Sanitation District and Paradise Acres Homeowners Association, was approved March 31, 2010 for the period of April 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011.

    The Enterprise is still looking to purchase water rights on the Huerfano River so it can file a permanent blanket augmentation plan in District 2 Water Court.

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