Central’s GMS considers placing bond measure on November 2018 ballot to address water supply projects

Central Colorado Water Conservancy District, through its Groundwater Management Subdistrict, is reviewing a potential bond question for voters in 2018. Central’s board and management believe it’s important to start planning the next steps to secure water rights and build storage for the region. The possible projects may include:

  1. Construction of 5,000 acre-feet of additional reservoir storage—which will increase Central’s holdings by 25 percent—in the Fort Lupton and Greeley/Kersey areas.
  2. Construction of the Robert W. Walker Recharge Project, a large project at the Weld and Morgan county lines that will divert water from the South Platte River and send those flows to groundwater recharge basins as far as 5 miles from the river. This will increase drought resiliency for water users in the District. Central was awarded $1.5 million in state and federal grants for the estimated $15 million project.
  3. Purchase of several senior water rights that are becoming available for the District’s portfolio, including the purchase of water currently being leased by Central, which will ensure this water stays in the community to be used by local farms and businesses.

Access to reliable sources of water are critical to our local economy

The Groundwater Management Subdistrict is committed to ensuring that farmers and ranchers in our area have a reliable source of water, even during times of drought. More than $1.5 billion of agricultural products are produced in Weld County alone. And thousands of agricultural jobs are tied to farming and ranching in the eight communities served by Central in Adams, Morgan and Weld counties.

The “water” challenges in Adams, Morgan and Weld Counties:

  • Central’s 10-year outlook includes development of reliable water supplies, including storage and senior water rights.
  • A portion of the Central’s GMS water supply has been leased from municipal water supplies and as municipalities grow and use their supplies, GMS will have less certainty that these leases will be available in the future.
  • Buy and dry of irrigated lands downstream of the Denver area continues, and the agricultural water needs from groundwater in our region will increase. Central assists with the development of additional water supplies to help protect ag water.
  • The Colorado Water Plan estimates that 267,000 acres of irrigated farm ground downstream of Denver will be dried up by 2050 to meet future growth demands.
  • Farms and ranches are at risk in Adams, Morgan and Weld counties if additional water storage is not developed and if additional water rights are not secured.

Proposal allows Central Colorado Water to acquire and store more water:

  • Central and its Subdistricts need to make the most out of “Free River” conditions—times when flows in the South Platte River exceed the demands of water users.
  • Development of additional water storage will ensure more supplies in the area and reduce valuable water leaving the State of Colorado. Central has successfully developed multiple gravel pit storage projects and has been a leader in water-storage in the South Platte River Basin.
  • Diversions of free river water to storage reservoirs ensures supplies for the dry summer months and as important, water storage projects provide water supplies in future years to help combat multiple year drought conditions.
  • Central has both reservoir and recharge projects ready to begin that will allow the District and its Subdistricts to increase the region’s water supplies.

If you have questions about the proposed water projects, or the survey, please contact:

Randy Ray, Executive Director  |  970-330-4540

Tammy Rusch, Office Manager  |  970-330-4540