Location: SCR 357
Recent Water Supply Projects and Implementation of Senate Bill 16-200
WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
|Votes: View-->||Action Taken:|
02:03 PM -- Recent Water Supply Projects and Implementation of Senate Bill 16-200
John Stulp, Governor’s Special Policy Advisor on Water, discussed water supply projects in Colorado including the Chatfield Reallocation Project, Bear Creek Reallocation Project, and John Martin Reservoir (Attachment H). He also responded to questions from the committee about the proposed Chimney Hallow and Gross Reservoir expansion projects.
Rebecca Mitchell, Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board, explained that the Colorado Water Plan recommended that the planning and permitting process for water project be streamlined. Towards that end, the State of Colorado and U.S. EPA Region 8 jointly convened a Lean event in March 2016 that brought together stakeholder groups to address these challenges. Lean (or process improvement) is a set of principles and methods to improve customer experience by identifying and eliminating waste from a process. The result of the Lean event was a series of recommendations to improve communication and cooperation across federal, state, and local regulators. The Lean team met on July 6 to discuss implementation of those recommendations, including the Colorado Water Supply Planning and Permitting Handbook. The handbook will help entities wanting to develop a water supply project better understand the process. The handbook will emphasize the need to engage agencies and relevant stakeholders and to incorporate regulatory requirements at the earliest stages of project planning. Ms. Mitchell also explained the CWCB and the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment adopted a memorandum of understanding for the permitting process. The CWCB is also developing a process to involve nongovernmental organizations earlier in the permitting process.
Paula Daukas, Environmental Planning Manager, Denver Water, discussed the permitting process for the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project (Attachment I). In July 6, 2017, the Army Corps of Engineers issued its Section 404 permit for this project Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes a program to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands. Activities in waters of the United States regulated under this program include fill for development, water resource projects (such as dams and levees), infrastructure development (such as highways and airports) and mining projects. Section 404 requires a permit before dredged or fill material may be discharged into waters of the United States. Ms Daukus explained that Gross Reservoir was built in 1964 and she discussed water supply planning changes implemented by Denver Water after the EPA denied the permit for the Two Forks Project on the South Platte River. These policies include increased water conservation and reuse. She explained that Denver Water currently receives 80 percent of its supply from its southern storage facilities. Consequently, it needs to diversify its supply source to increase the reliability of its supply system. She identified local entities that Denver Water worked with to identify local impacts project and develop measures to mitigate these impacts. She also identified other state and federal agencies involved in the permitting process for the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project including the US Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife.
Ms. Dkkas responded to questions from the committee about the permitting requirements for the Gross Reservoir Expansion project. Ms. Mitchell responded to questions from the committee about the water project permitting process and the need for additional water supplies to address the state's growing population.