Augmentation Plans / Exchanges
Battle Mountain Resources, Inc.:
The San Luis Gold Project in Costilla County, Colorado, is currently in post-mining reclamation, which in part requires it to treat ground water from the West Pit prior to discharge to Rito Seco. The brine associated with the treatment plant effluent is pumped to the lined Tailings Storage Facility (TSF), which creates a depletion to Rito Seco. LWS assisted legal counsel with the development of an augmentation plan that was based on an historic consumptive use analysis of both deep ground water rights pumping from the Valley Fill Aquifer and the senior, direct flow water rights associated with the Salazar Ditch and storage in the Salazar Reservoir. Credits from these two sources of water are used to offset the depletive effect related to storing the treatment plant effluent brine in the TSF.
The water treatment plant at the Resurrection Mine near Leadville, Colorado, treats outflow from the Yak Tunnel, as well as the Black Cloud Mine and Oregon Mine tailings. Water is initially stored in the Surge Pond prior to treatment and, at times, treated water that does not meet discharge standards can be re-introduced into the Surge Pond. Out-of-priority losses related to evaporation from the free water surface at the Surge Pond, as well as losses in the treatment process, have to be augmented. LWS assisted legal counsel with the development and adjudication of the augmentation plan, which uses Twin Lake shares as the augmentation water source.
Historic operations associated with a coal bed methane operation near Walsenburg resulted in depletive effects to the Cucharas River. As such, LWS was requested to develop the technical aspects of a plan for augmentation that would offset the out-of-priority depletions from past pumping operations. LWS developed a schedule of depletive effects based on historic pumping data and used these data to assist legal counsel with the development of an augmentation plan. Water rights associated with the Coler Ditch and Oehm and Miriam Lakes were purchased and used as the augmentation source.
Meridian Service Metro District:
The District is located within the Upper Black Squirrel Designated Ground Water basin. The District developed a network of pipelines that collects foundation drain water and delivers it to recharge structures that are then used to infiltrate the water directly into the designated ground water aquifer. However, because the groundwater table is relatively shallow beneath the District, there was the potential for some minor depletive effects related to the recharge operation. LWS assisted the District with the development of a Replacement Plan that was approved by the Ground Water Commission. As part of the Replacement Plan, LWS developed a monitoring system that would ensure tracking and replacement of depletions to the designated ground water aquifer.