Water Court

Case No. 07CW42: 

Battle Mountain Resources, Inc. (BMRI) needed to develop an augmentation plan to provide water supplies to accomplish its required post-mining reclamation plan. LWS evaluated the historic use of the Salazar Ditch, as well as historic irrigation practices associated with two deep ground water wells completed in the Valley Fill aquifer, to effect a change of use of these rights. The plan was challenged by the Costilla County Conservancy District and a number of ditch companies; Mr. Lytle provided expert testimony both in deposition and in Division 3 Water Court to support this augmentation plan. The case was adjudicated and BMRI currently operates under this augmentation plan.

Case No. 04CW24: 

The State Engineer’s Office promulgated new rules related to ground water production from the deep, confined aquifer in the San Luis Valley. Since these new rules would affect a water supply project that LWS was working on for Cotton Creek Circles, the rules were challenged. LWS produced an expert report detailing issues related to use of the Rio Grande Decision Support Systems model that did not support the proposed rules. Mr. Lytle gave expert testimony both in deposition and in a 6-week trial in Division 3 Water Court.

Case No. 00CW146: 

The Town of Monument sought to adjudicate a surface storage right for Monument Lake. LWS conducted analyses to demonstrate the availability of in-priority water for storage and successfully assisted with negotiation of settlement with all water suppliers in the Arkansas River Basin. However, the State Engineer’s Office challenged the proposed priority date for Monument Lake, i.e., when the dam and reservoir were originally built by the State, and, as such, a trial was held in Division 2 Water Court related to this issue. Mr. Lytle provided expert testimony in the trial; however, while a water storage right was adjudicated for Monument Lake the Town was limited to a priority date consistent with the date of the Water Court application.