Surface Water Supply Planning & Management
Parker Water and Sanitation District:
In the mid-1980s a water management plan was prepared to assess the ability of Parker Water and Sanitation District to meet its future water demands with its available water resources. The result of that water supply planning and management study was to identify the need to develop further water rights resources, which ultimately led to the identification of Rueter-Hess Reservoir as a means to develop additional, renewable water supplies for PWSD. Rueter-Hess Reservoir has now been built at Parker and has currently stored almost 30,000 acre-feet of water. A new future water supply planning and management plan is underway related to efficiently developing its direct flow surface water rights, storage rights, and alluvial ground water rights in Logan County for ultimate delivery to Rueter-Hess Reservoir to provide future service water to the district. This water management system is being conducted collaboratively with the Northeast Colorado Water Cooperative, a consortium of agricultural water users in the reach between Greeley and the state line on the South Platte River. This plan directly addresses objectives of the 2015 Colorado Water Plan as it is seeking ways to preserve agriculture by making water use more efficient and, at the same time, making additional renewable water supplies available for the growing population of Colorado to help fill the water supply “gap”. These two water management plans have assisted PWSD with growing from approximately 400 taps to an expected buildout of over 45,000 taps, and the collaborative effort with the NECWC is planned to provide many thousand ac-ft of additional supplies for farmers in the Lower South Platte River.
Town of Monument, Colorado:
Monument is currently principally reliant upon the non-renewable resources of the Denver Basin; however, the town recently obtained a Water Court decree for Monument Lake. A water supply planning and management plan has been developed to utilize reusable Denver Basin water from the water reclamation facility that will deliver water back to Monument Lake for storage and subsequent reuse, with the construction of a surface water treatment facility. Evaluations are also being made to acquire renewable water resources to either supplement and/or replace the non-renewable Denver Basin aquifer water supplies. Since any renewable water will likely be from trans-basin sources, the reuse plan proposed for Monument Lake will be equally applicable as Monument transitions its water resources.
El Paso County Water Supply Authority Water Supply Master Plan:
There are 16 members of the Authority that wanted to explore maximizing the beneficial use of their existing water supplies and evaluating potential means for regionalization of available water supplies, including native surface water from Monument and Fountain Creeks as well as transbasin water from the Fry-Ark Project. Some of the members of the Authority are principally dependent upon the non-renewable resources of the Denver Basin, while other members obtain their principal water supplies from surface water sources. The Master Plan inventoried and evaluated the water supplies of all 16 members and provided recommendations regarding future use of the water supplies, including potential new infrastructure projects such as pipelines, system interconnections, and new surface water storage.
Two Rivers Water & Farming Company:
This Colorado company has a water rights portfolio that includes three reservoirs, Orlando, Cucharas, and Huerfano Lake, as well as senior direct flow surface water rights and alluvial ground water wells. Water supply management plans have been prepared that evaluate the expected yields from not only the direct flow surface water rights but also the reservoirs based on their priority within the Colorado appropriation system. The principal objective of the company is to develop more efficient irrigation practices within the Huerfano and Cucharas River drainage basins, but also to provide a collaborative effort with developers related to potential residential and commercial development in the area north of Walsenburg. Optimization studies have been completed to evaluate the ability to achieve these objectives.
Water Supply Development Project for Colorado/Wyoming Coalition:
A surface water supply development and management plan is being developed through the use of a surface water/reservoir model of Flaming Gorge Reservoir. A coalition of Colorado and Wyoming water supply providers have identified the need for approximately 100,000 ac-ft of water and LWS has been evaluating the potential impacts to uses at Flaming Gorge Reservoir under varying water demand scenarios to achieve the required yield. The study is also evaluating the ability to vary annual yields by providing terminal water storage near the points of use to still obtain a firm water supply. The ultimate objective is a pump and pipeline system from Flaming Gorge Reservoir to eastern Wyoming, continuing down to the Front Range of Colorado.