June 7, 2012--Leased water rights to satisfy downstream call (Telluride Watch)

The Ouray City Council has approved a water rights lease from an entity that owns senior downstream water rights, in order to satisfy a recent call on its municipal water supply. The lease is a temporary, short-term solution to augment the city’s water supply, as staff continue to work toward a more permanent solution. The lease provides 1.1 cubic feet per second of water from the Oldcastle SW Group until Jan. 1, 2013, for $4,506.17. It is not enough to cover the city’s entire consumptive use, but will go a long way toward addressing the problem, said City Administrator Patrick Rondinelli. The Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association (UVWUA) placed a call on the Upper Uncompahgre River with its Montrose & Delta Canal in early May, because sub-average snow pack and early run-off have resulted in low seasonal flows. The city is not currently subject to the call, Rondinelli said, but it is only a matter of time until the call goes back into effect. “The lease is a preventive measure but we are 99 percent confident our water will get called again this summer,” he said. “This is a very generous opportunity. The owners are willing to lease it to city for this year; they have said they would possibly entertain options for future years but they don’t want to commit.”

To view the full article, visit the Telluride Watch. For a copy of the original article contact the WIP at (970) 247-1302 or stop by the office at 841 East Second Avenue in Durango, Colorado.