Republican River Water Conservation District
WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
11:01 AM -- Republican River Water Conservation District
David Robbins, General Counsel, Republican River Water Conservation District (RRWCD), explained that the district was formed in 2004 to help reduce the impact of groundwater pumping on the Republican River and to enable Colorado to comply with the Republican River Compact. The boundaries of the RRWCD are established in Section 37-50-103, C.R.S. According to this law, "the district shall comprise the following area and territory of the state of Colorado: Phillips and Yuma counties and those portions of Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Sedgwick, and Washington counties within the Republican River Basin." He explained that a new hydrologic study has determined groundwater pumping outside the district's boundaries affects stream flows in the Republic River and may affect Colorado's ability to comply with the Republican River Compact. He distributed a map that identifies areas outside the current district boundaries where groundwater pumping can affect stream flows in the Republican River (Attachment D). He also explained how a fee collected by the district is used to help reduce the impact of pumping on downstream states. The district collects fees from water users based on the number of acres irrigated in the district and the amount of water pumped for municipal and commercial purposes.
Jim Lenz, representing himself, explained that he is an irrigator in Republican River Basin and a payer of the district's fees on irrigation. He urged the committee to support legislation to expand the district to ensure that all groundwater users who affect steam flows in the Republican River are treated fairly.
Mr. Robbins responded to questions about the impact of groundwater pumping in the area outside the current district boundaries and how it affects stream flow in the Republican River. He also explained that there are 342 wells that could be effected by the expansion of the district.
The committee recessed.