Water news from the Arkansas Valley yesterday is a win-win. A win for farmers and a win for city-dwellers.
Late Wednesday, the Fort Lyon Canal Company (FLCC) Board approved to allow a Lower Arkansas Water Management Association (LAWMA) member to deliver Fort Lyon Canal Company (FLCC) water for municipal purposes. This vote makes a permanent water sharing agreement between LAMWA and Colorado Springs Utilities complete.
Permanent water sharing keeps water on farms, helps us manage our water supplies and has the potential to bring much-needed economic growth to the area.
I appreciate the Fort Lyon Canal Company board’s approval of this change-in-use (ag to municipal) of this water so that we can begin sharing. We have a team of employees working hard to establish productive, trusted and mutually-beneficial relationships within the Valley, and we hope to be able to continue to work with Fort Lyon and others in the Valley in the future.
Colorado Springs Utilities purchased 2,500 LAWMA shares for $8.75 million and also will reimburse LAWMA $1.75 million for 500 acre-feet of water storage. The agreement allows LAMWA members and Colorado Springs Utilities to take water deliveries alternately 5 out of 10 years.
The next step in the process is to obtain a formal water court decree. Meanwhile, water sharing can start as early as next year.
I’m proud of this innovative agreement and our commitment to not only planning for the future water supply for our community, but also the ongoing economic vitality for our neighbors.