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FLCC Board Approves Water Delivery — LAWMA/Colorado Springs Utilities Water Sharing Agreement Finalized

First permanent water sharing agreement with augmentation association in Colorado

 

Las Animas, CO — The Fort Lyon Canal Company (FLCC) board approved to allow a Lower Arkansas Water Management Association (LAWMA) member to deliver FLCC water for municipal purposes. The vote makes a permanent water sharing agreement between LAMWA and Colorado Springs Utilities complete. Water sharing can begin early next year.

“We are appreciative of the Fort Lyon Canal Company board’s approval of this use of the water. The approval helps us execute this agreement,” said Don Higbee, LAWMA general manager. “The agreement with Colorado Springs will benefit many farmers in the Lower Arkansas River Valley,” said Higbee. “We will gain a more reliable water supply that will increase crop yields for the average shareholder in both wet and dry years.”

Colorado Springs Utilities acquired about 2,000 acre feet of water from a LAMWA member, Arkansas River Farms in July. The agreement allows LAMWA members and Colorado Springs Utilities to take water deliveries alternately 5 out of 10 years.

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. This storage will give LAWMA added flexibility to manage its water rights both in times of drought and excess.

“In this new era of water management, this is a win-win for our customers and farmers,” said Pat Wells, General Manager, Water Resources, Colorado Springs Utilities. “The agreement will help LAWMA members better weather droughts and will help us enhance water storage improving water security for our community. By cooperating with agriculture, this agreement gives permanent water security to both parties.”

The next step in the process is to obtain a water court decree formally changing the shares to be used for municipal and augmentation use.

About LAWMA:
Formed in 1973, LAWMA is a member owned non-profit corporation based in Lamar that replaces out of priority depletions to the Arkansas River caused by members’ well pumping. LAWMA allows its members to pump ground water based on the number of shares they own or lease. They also provide augmentation water for municipal, recreational and industrial uses.

About Colorado Springs Utilities:
Colorado Springs Utilities is a four-service municipal utility bringing water, wastewater, gas and electric services to residents of the second largest city in the state.

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEnvironmentEventsFeaturedMedia ReleaseUtilitiesWater

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