October 14, 2010--Roundtables want to move Blue Mesa plan (Pueblo Chieftain)

The Arkansas Basin Roundtable wants to advance a plan to protect transmountain diversions by setting up a storage account at Blue Mesa Reservoir on the Gunnison River. The roundtable is developing the plan in conjunction with the Gunnison Basin Roundtable. It would release water from storage in Blue Mesa to prevent curtailment of diversions if downstream states in the Colorado River Compact issue a call on the river. The plan of the Arkansas and Gunnison roundtables would be to store up to 200,000 acre-feet of water to release during dry times in order to allow transmountain diversions to continue. “Our motivation is that almost all of our transmountain rights are junior to the conditional rights of energy companies on the Western Slope,” said Gary Barber, chairman of the roundtable. “For the Gunnison folks, it would shift management to within the state of Colorado.”

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