Grand County must let its views be known on Windy Gap Firming Project | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County must let its views be known on Windy Gap Firming Project

To the Editor:

Recently, the Bureau of Reclamation extended the comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Windy Gap Firming Project (WGFP). The new deadline for comments is Dec. 29, 2008.

Our rivers and lakes have already been greatly impacted by the loss of water that presently gets diverted to the Front Range and the WGFP will only help to exacerbate this impact, as growth east of the divide will demand its use. Northern Colorado Water Conservation District ( NCWCD ) takes our precious water and sells it for millions of dollars to the end users on the Front Range.

This water belongs to NCWCD because of senior water rights; however, the water for WGFP is a “conditional” water right. In other words, if certain “conditions” are met, the water could be diverted. These conditions should include firm mitigation and firm conservation. Currently, neither of these considerations are being proposed.

To put this issue into perspective, presently in Broomfield, under certain circumstances, the town can fine a property owner for having an unwatered, brown lawn. It should be noted that parts of Broomfield don’t even meter their water use. Regardless of whether an end user uses 50 gallons or 500 gallons a day, that user still gets billed the same amount. This obviously doesn’t promote any sense of water conservation and NCWCD says it cannot force its end users to conserve water. I disagree.

Every Grand County resident needs to be aware of what is going on and have their voice heard on this issue. Tell the Bureau of Reclamation that without firm mitigation and firm conservation the DEIS should be rejected.

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E-mail or fax:

Will Tully, Bureau of Reclamation

Fax 970-663-3212

Email: wtully@gp.usbr.gov

It’s our water, when it’s gone it’s gone.

Chas McConnell

Winter Park

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