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02E3140F513DC7FF872582E100728037 Hearing Summary


Date Aug 6, 2018      
Location HCR 0112

Republican River Issues - Committee Discussion Only

02:50:42 PM  

Kevin Rein, State Engineer in the Division of Water Resources, introduced himself to the committee.  The committee heard a previous discussion regarding the Republican River Basin on June 19, 2018.  During that presentation, Mr. Rein discussed the need for possible legislation to modify the district boundary and the need for rule-making concerning the basin.  Mr. Rein provided a brief background of the issues concerning the basin and described the final settlement that Colorado reached with Kansas in 2003 concerning water in the basin.  The district purchased water rights and built the Compact Compliance Pipeline (CCP).  This pipeline keeps Colorado in compact compliance and ensures that wells will continue to pump water throughout the district.  The district boundary was defined in 2004 legislation, but the model domain used in the 2003 settlement is a hydrologic boundary rather than a geographic boundary.  Mr. Rein discussed the boundary of the district and the impacts the discrepancy has on users in the district.  The State Engineer's Office believes that the best solution to this problem is to amend the district boundary; however, there is not universal support to change the boundary.  An alternate solution is rule-making promulgated by the State Engineer, which would include legally setting forth a requirement that well pumping requires a replacement of compact depletions. 

03:01:28 PM  

Mr. Rein further discussed alternatives to solve the boundary discrepancy, which might include importing water from the South Platte River Basin. Mr. Rein also provided a rule-making update.  Mr. Rein discussed the possibility of importing from the South Platte River Basin and discussed the cons of this import.

03:04:59 PM  

David Robbins, representing the Republican River Water Conservation District, introduced himself to the committee and provided the committee background regarding the Republican River Compact compliance issue.  He stated that the state needed to have a more prompt source of water to fulfill compact compliance and explained the 2003 settlement between Kansas and Colorado.

03:16:53 PM  

Mr. Robbins responded to questions from the committee regarding the possibility of a pipeline transferring water to the Republican River Basin from the South Platte River Basin. Committee discussion ensued. He discussed recent actions taken by the board of the Republican River Water Conservation District.  The board has prepared a draft contract for people who are outside of the model boundary and has been informed that a groundwater management district board wants to sign a resolution to change the district boundary, but there is still no consensus on whether to change the boundary.  Mr. Robbins responded to questions regarding how many acre-feet are delivered to the Republican River Basin and the impacts of pumping from the underlying aquifer, which differs from other well pumping in the state.  Mr. Robbins and Mr. Rein continued responding to questions from the committee.

03:49:37 PM  

Mr. Robbins discussed the South Fork Restoration Committee, which is currently in the process of studying how they can better utilize the south fork of the river. He also discussed the drainage of Bonnie Reservoir.

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