Location: SCR 357
South Platte Water Storage Study, House Bill 16-1256
WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
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11:27 AM -- South Platte Water Storage Study, House Bill 16-1256
The committee returned from recess. Andy Moore, Senior Water Resource Specialist, Colorado Water Conservation Board, provided an update on the South Platte Water Storage Study that is authorized by House Bill 16-1256 (Attachment F). The act requires the Colorado Water Conservation Board (board), in collaboration with the South Platte Basin and Metro roundtables, to consider whether to award a grant under the water supply reserve fund to conduct or commission, in collaboration with the state engineer, a storage study of the South Platte river basin. The purpose of the storage study is to determine, for each of the previous 20 years, the amount of water that has been delivered to Nebraska from the river in excess of the amount required under the South Platte river compact. The study must also include a list of locations that have been identified as possible sites for the construction of a reservoir, enlargement of an existing reservoir, or implementation of an alternative storage mechanism along the mainstem and tributaries of the South Platte river between Greeley, Colorado, and Julesburg, Colorado.
Mr. Moore explained that the South Platte Basin Roundtable developed the request for proposal (RFP) for contractors to conduct the study. In November 2016, the CWCB selected the contractor for the study. The study is expected to be completed in October 2017. He also identified the scope of the study including water demand analysis, historical flows, and reservoir sites. The study has identified 147 potential water storage sites in the basin including surface and aquifer storage. The study's authors are currently reviewing these sites and narrowing these sites to the most viable ones. He also discussed historical flows in the South Platte River and identified potential flows that may be available for additional diversions. Mr. Moore responded to questions from the committee about the study and potential water storage sites.
Jim Yahn, Executive Director, North Sterling Irrigation District, thanked former Representative J Paul Brown for sponsoring the bill that commissioned the South Platte Water Storage Study and discussed the participation of local water users in helping to identify the potential storage sites.
Mr. Yahn and Mr. Moore responded to questions from the committee about the flows that may be available for additional storage and potential storage sites in the South Platte Basin.
The committee recessed.