Grand County will still be able to use excess water left over from 2008 |

Grand County will still be able to use excess water left over from 2008

Tonya Bina
Grand County, Colorado

Grand County’s unused water pumped to Lake Granby last summer may not go to waste.

Grand County learned in October that it can still cash in the remaining 501 acre-feet of “free” water from the 1,500 acre feet it set aside in Lake Granby last summer after pumping cycles were completed.

Last summer’s deal, struck with Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District’s Municipal Subdistrict, which controls the Windy Gap pumping facility, allowed Grand County to release water back in the river at anytime during 2008 at any rate of flow it deemed necessary.

Grand County paid $57,500 for the energy needed to pump 1,500 acre feet of 2008 river overages back to the Granby reservoir for storage.

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As much as 1,000 acre feet of releases took place in late summer and early fall to augment flows, but 501 acre feet were left over.

General Manager Eric Wilkinson informed the county Oct. 7 that the Municipal Subdistrict was willing to work with the county concerning water not released in 2008, granting an extension through March 31, 2009.

If the water is not released by then, an additional 10 percent shrinkage will be charged to the county, Wilkinson’s letter stated.

In response, Grand County said it was thankful for the subdistrict’s courage in allowing Grand County to bank the water.

“We feel that we have begun a new phase in our relationship with both the Municipal Subdistrict and the Northern District, which will hopefully benefit us all as we march into the unknown future with regard to water resources,” Grand County commissioners stated in an Oct. 21 letter.

Grand County is now finalizing its comments on the draft environmental impact statement for the Windy Gap Firming Project. The public comment period deadline is Dec. 29.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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