Laserfiche WebLink
water released form Bonny Reservoir. <br />Mrs. Deb Daniel reporting for the Plains and East Cheyenne GWMD’s, reported that the moisture is great with just over seventeen (17) inches in the Plains District and a little less than <br /> thirteen (13) inches in the East Cheyenne District. She said that they too have had had severe hail damage. The Plains District thanked Mr. Wolfe for the information on the arbitration <br /> of the pipeline and for creating the advisory group. She expressed appreciation for the release of water from Bonny Reservoir. Mrs. Daniel said that she has been busy conducting PCC, <br /> meter and chemigation tests. She expressed appreciation for the work of staff. She reported that efforts continue to require either totalizing flow meters or PCC’s on the irrigation <br /> wells in the East Cheyenne District. Mrs. Daniels reported that she attended the Ground Water Management District Association conference in early June and in July on the Four States <br /> Irrigation Council tour for discussion on the South Platte River and Republican River Basin. <br />Mr. Max Smith reporting for the Southern High Plains GWMD stated that things are green with the weather being wetter and cooler than normal. He also said that they too have had a lot <br /> of hail. <br />Chairman Coryell thanked Mr. Smith for his service as chairman of the Commission. <br />There was no report for the North Kiowa Bijou GWMD. <br />Mr. Dave Doran reporting for the Upper Black Squirrel GWMD reported that they have had twenty six (26) inches of rain. He expressed the Districts concern over their ability to finance <br /> the ongoing legal battles over use of the basins water resources, especially when the applicants have unlimited resources. Mr. Doran asked for permission to consult with staff on the <br /> issues. He also asked for suggestions from the Commission on how they could proceed to fulfill their responsibilities with the limited resources at hand. <There was general discussion <br /> on this matter. < <br />Mr. Dave Tausig reporting for the Upper Big Sandy GWMD, also commented on how green everything is after all the rain. He reported that their water balance study of the basin is complete. <br /> The results show that the basin is over-appropriated and that the District is preparing a rule change declaring the Basin over-appropriated. Mr. Tausig concluded his report by suggesting <br /> that in the wake of the Gallegos case that the statute for creation and modification of a Designated Basin be changed. <br />Mr. Cory Huwa reporting for the Lost Creek GWMD, said that the significant rainfall has reduced the well operation. <br />Mr. Stan Murphy reporting for the Republican River Water Conservation District, noted that they purchased the surface water rights for 49 million dollars. Because of this purchase the <br /> District should decide in October to build the pipeline. Mr. Murphy noted that there is a new program that will replace the EQUIP. The new program is called AWEP, which stands for <br /> Agricultural Water Enhancement Program. He stated that in the past month he inspected over 300 parcels of land that had been enrolled in either the CREP or EQUIP programs. This is <br /> done to verify to Kansas and Nebraska that the lands are dried up. <br />Chairman Coryell called for agenda item no. 14, old business. There was none. <br />Chairman Coryell called for agenda item no. 13, new business. Secretary Nielsen asked the Commission for the guidance on locations for the quarterly meetings. He advised the Commission <br /> that the Castle Rock facility is available on a regular basis and that Commissioner Davis would prefer that the February meeting be held in Denver. <br />Commissioner Smith moved that the regularly scheduled meetings convene at the Castle Rock Town Hall except for the February meeting which will be held in Denver. <br />Commissioner Mikita seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. <br />Mr. Jody Grantham, the Hearing Officer, advised the Commission that currently when there is an appeal of his decision before them that they receive only a memorandum on the decision. <br /> He informed them that in future appeals before the Commission they will receive, in some fashion, a copy of all materials on record for that hearing. Referring to the situation between <br /> the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Ground Water Management District and the Cherokee Metropolitan District Mr. Grantham suggested that some of these situations might be resolved or reduced <br /> in scope if a method of alternative dispute resolution were used.< <br />Director Wolfe informed the Commission on the rule making status regarding HB-1303 and the produced water issue. <br />Chairman Coryell called for agenda item no. 16, public comment. There was none. <br />There being no further business the meeting adjourned. <br />Respectfully submitted, <br />Richard A Nielsen, P.E. <br />Secretary to the Ground Water Commission <br />Ground Water Commission Meeting MinutesPage 8 <br />August 21, 2009 <br />MinutesAugust2009.pdfMicrosoft Word - MinutesAugust2009.docx <br /> MINUTES THIRD QUARTERLY MEETING COLORADO GROUND WATER COMMISSION AUGUST 21, 2009 The Third Quarterly Meeting of the Colorado Ground Water Commission took place on August 21, 2009, <br /> at Castle Rock Town Hall, 100 N Wilcox, Castle Rock, Colorado. Chairman Max Smith called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. Mr. Rick Nielsen called the roll and determined that a <br /> quorum was present. Commission members present were Carolyn Burr, Dennis Coryell, Corey Huwa, Earnest Mikita, George Schubert, Doug Shriver, Max Smith, Alex Davis, Dick Wolfe and Ted <br /> Kowalski for Jennifer Gimble. Staff members present were Kevin Rein, Keith Vander Horst, Rick Nielsen, Chris Grimes, David Keeler, Jim Martin, and Jay Bloomfield. Also present were <br /> Jody Grantham, Hearing Officer, Pat Kowaleski, A.G. for the Commission and Devin Odell, A.G. for staff. Review and Approval of Agenda Items – the agenda was approved as proposed. <br /> Approval of Minutes for Meeting of May 15, 2009 Chairman Smith asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes. There being none, Commissioner Burr moved to approve <br /> the minutes as amended. Commissioner Shriver seconded the motion which carried unanimously. Biennial Election of Chair and Vice-Chair Commissioner Clever nominated Commissioner <br /> Coryell for chairman. Commissioner Shriver seconded the nomination. Commissioner Shriver moved to close the nominations and that Commissioner Coryell be elected by acclamation. Commissioner <br /> Clever seconded the motion which passed unanimously. Commissioner Clever nominated Commissioner Huwa as Vice Chairman. Commissioner Coryell seconded the nomination. Commissioner Shriver <br /> moved to close the nominations and that Commissioner Huwa be elected by acclamation. Commissioner Clever seconded the motion which passed unanimously. Report of the Executive Director <br /> by Dick Wolfe Mr. Wolfe advised the Commission that commissioners Bledsoe, Huwa and Mikita had been reappointed to the Commission. Mr. Wolfe began his statewide updates by noting <br /> that the water supply was good throughout the state, especially in the North East portion, the South Platte River and Republican River Basin. The reservoirs statewide are full, setting <br /> the State up well for next year. Ground Water Commission Meeting Minutes Page 2 August 21, 2009 The annual Republican River Compact administration meeting was held in Lincoln Nebraska <br /> on August 12. Part of that meeting was a continuation of the April 28th special meeting concerning the approval of the Compact Compliance Pipeline. Again, the pipeline/augmentation <br /> plan did not receive approval due to concerns of Kansas and Nebraska. Because the plan submitted is considered to be the best plan the committee can come up with we will be invoking <br /> binding arbitration today. It is hoped that continuing discussions with Kansas and Nebraska will resolve the issues before the arbiter makes his decision, probably no later than February. <br /> On the matter of staffing the Republican River well administration and compact compliance team, Mr. Wolfe advised the Commission that examinations had been finished and interviews <br /> were being set for the third of four positions on the team, this one for water commissioner. Mr. Wolfe informed the Commission that Bonny Reservoir continues to be monitored to strike <br /> a balance between compact compliance and recreational use. He also stated that almost 6,000 acre-feet have been released from the reservoir since last August. Mr. Wolfe concluded <br /> his comments on the Republican River Basin by advising the Commission that there are ongoing meetings in the basin to answer questions and keep the people informed on the status of <br /> the pipeline project. In Water Division 2, the Arkansas River Basin, Mr. Wolfe reported reaching a final agreement with Kansas on the last remaining issue, being the adequacy of the <br /> Compact Compliance Well Use Rules. After twenty four (24) years in litigation there is a final decree in place. There is hope that remaining issues can be worked out through Compact <br /> Administration process. Regarding the Irrigation Improvement Rules, the final advisory will be on September 21st. There are ongoing meetings with Kansas to address their concerns. <br /> It is hoped that the Rules can be submitted to the Water Court in September or October with the effective date of January 1, 2011. In Water Division 3, The Rio Grande Basin, there <br /> have been monthly meetings of the advisory group to provide input on drafting the Well Use Rules. Great progress has been made and it is hoped that a draft set will be completed by <br /> the end of the year. The plan of water management for sub-district one is set for trial before the Water Court in late September or early October. Mr. Wolfe finished his report by <br /> addressing budget and personnel issues. Mr. Wolfe said that the Governor’s plan to address the budget shortfall has had an impact on the Division of Water Resources. The Division <br /> gave up six (6) positions because of budget cuts. Unless alternative revenue can be found, these staff reductions will become permanent. In the interim the Division is able to maintain <br /> the status quo by using the savings from the 35 positions held vacant due to the hiring freeze. Because of the shortfalls and underfunding the Division will need to keep 20 of the <br /> 35 positions vacant for the remainder of this year and next year. Mr. Shimmin asked Mr. Wolfe to address the possibility of Bonny Reservoir being closed due to budget shortfalls. <br /> Mr. Wolfe deferred the answer to Commissioner Davis. Commissioner Davis advised that three of the positions at the park will be let go and the fourth will be reduced to a half-time <br /> position. However due to contracts with the Federal Government Ground Water Commission Meeting Minutes Page 3 August 21, 2009 and liability issues associated with a State Park, hours <br /> of operation for public access will be severely reduced. Chairman Coryell called for agenda item no. 6, being the presentation of the Colorado Geological Survey’s final report of <br /> the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Basin Aquifer Recharge and Storage Evaluation by Ralf Topper. Mr. Topper opened his remarks by stating that the specific purpose of the study was to <br /> identify locations for possible storage and recharge of the alluvial aquifer. He stated that all streams within the Basin are ephemeral, flowing from North to South only after a storm <br /> event. The study found that there are 167 square miles of alluvium present ranging from a few feet to 215 feet in depth. Depending on location water levels are declining rapidly, <br /> remaining steady or even rising. Calculations, conducted in ten year increments from 1964 to 2004, have shown that over the past forty (40) year period the 1230 alluvial wells in the <br /> Basin have withdrawn 60,000 acre-feet of water. The saturated portion of the aquifer extends from a few feet to 110 feet. Applying the storage coefficient results in 475,000 acre-feet <br /> of water in storage. The unsaturated portion, that part of the aquifer that the study is interested because it provides storage capacity, varies from a few feet to 174 feet. Applying <br /> the storage coefficient equates to 605,000 acre-feet, however that is ideal. If storage were started at 50 feet below ground surface there is storage capacity for 218,000 acre-feet, <br /> at 75 feet below ground surface 88,000 acre-feet and at 100 feet below ground surface 26,000 acre-feet of storage capacity. The most important criteria to look at to implement a project <br /> is land use, land ownership (public vs. private) and available infrastructure (water supply distribution lines). The Black Squirrel Creek Basin has large tracts of public land and <br /> available infrastructure. Mr. Topper concluded by saying that the alluvial aquifers are the best candidates for storage. They have greatest storage capacity and they are amendable <br /> to numerous implementation technologies. He went on to say that Designated Basins represent the best opportunities for storage because of their legal structure. Referring to the Statewide <br /> Water Study Initiative, he stated that according to the study the Front Range of Colorado will need an additional 500,000 acre-feet of water in the next twenty (20) years. That water <br /> brought to the Eastern slope by pipeline will need additional storage and suggested that the alluvial aquifers in Designated Basins could store that water. Mr. Topper believes the <br /> Ground Water Commission has the regulatory authority and the management structure through the Management Districts to make a project like this happen. He encouraged the Commission <br /> to pursue such a project. Ground Water Commission Meeting Minutes Page 4 August 21, 2009 Chairman Coryell called for agenda item no. 7, being a proposed resolution by the Colorado <br /> Ground Water Commission recognizing the creation of a task force dedicated to securing the long-term sustainability of the Ogallala Aquifer in the Republican River Basin. Commissioner <br /> Davis provided the background for the idea of a task force, its make-up and function. She stated that the Commission would adopt the resolution creating the task force to lend it structure <br /> and form and to allow for Commission staff to provide support to the task force. The members of the panel should be residents of the area, users of the resource, Management Districts <br /> and the Conservation District. The panel would be charged with any number of tasks, starting with sustainability. She said that the resolution before the Commission at this time is <br /> a draft for discussion only and to take home to discuss with the people. Mr. Troy Snyder, representing the Republican River Watershed Association, a group of eight conservation districts <br /> in Eastern Colorado, addressed the Commission. He said that the idea of the task force came from the watershed and that he was having trouble forming it. He identified various supporters. <br /> The purpose of the task force in his mind is to bring all of the players together and become proactive rather than reactive. Mr. Snyder answered questions of the Commission. Commissioner <br /> Davis talked about the need for a similar task force in each state that the Ogallala overlies or one for the whole aquifer. Commissioner Coryell talked about the diversity of the Northern <br /> High Plains and how difficult it would be to get a consensus since conservation means something different to each area of the basin. Commissioner Smith asked why the task force was <br /> limited to the Republican Basin when the Ogallala covers a larger area. Commissioner Davis responded that they are not limiting it but that this is the area where the discussion started <br /> and where she has been focused because of the compact issues. She also said that everyone’s input is important but they do not want too unwieldy of a group. Mr. Nate Midcap, Representing <br /> Sandhills, Frenchman, Marks Butte and Central Yuma GWMD addressed the Commission. He stated that his districts are undecided about the resolution at this time but hopes that the Commission <br /> will address the districts concerns and abide by what the districts would like to see done. Ms. Tracy Bentley, representing the Colorado Agricultural Preservation Association or CAPA <br /> addressed the Commission. CAPA is very supportive of the idea and think that it is necessary. Mrs. Deb Daniels, representing the Plains and East Cheyenne GWMD”s addressed the Commission. <br /> Her districts have the same concerns as those of Mr. Midcap and stated that they need a lot more information and discussion about the idea. The districts feel that there is already <br /> an organization, The Republican River Watershed Advisory Committee, which they believe is already looking into sustainability and they wonder why another group is needed. Ground Water <br /> Commission Meeting Minutes Page 5 August 21, 2009 Mr. Jack Dowell, representing the W-Y GWMD addressed the Commission. He said that his district agrees with Mr. Midcap and Mrs. Daniels. <br /> They will not take a position until after further discussion. After discussion on framing and operation of the task force, October 31, 2009 was set as the deadline for comments from <br /> interested parties. Chairman Coryell called for agenda item no. 8, a Hearing on the request by Birdsall Young for a Variance to Rules 7.5.3 and 7.10.2. Mr. Tim Buchanan, representing <br /> Mr. Young provided a history of the permitting of the well and the historical farming practices. Mr. Keith Vander Horst, Commission staff, stated that staff does not disagree with <br /> the facts or issues as presented by Mr. Buchanan. He stated that Mr. Young submitted his variance request at the suggestion of staff. There being no other evidence presented Chairman <br /> Coryell closed the hearing. Commissioner Clever moved to approve the request for a variance to Rule 7.5.3 and to Rule 7.10.2. Commissioner Huwa seconded the motion which passed unanimously. <br /> Chairman Coryell called for agenda item no. 9, being a petition of Lost Creek Land and Cattle Co., Equus Farms, Inc., and the Lost Creek Ground Water Management District that the <br /> Commission initiate the process to amend Rule 5.2.5.2 so as to determine that the northern portion of the Lost Creek main stem drainage within the Lost Creek Designated Ground Water <br /> Basin is over-appropriated. Mr. Mike Shimmin, representing Lost Creek Land and Cattle Co. addressed the Commission. Using a power point presentation Mr. Shimmin described the area <br /> of concern and the location of the major land holders. He stated that the petition was in response to applications for new appropriations that had been filed. After describing the <br /> cooperative path that led to the filing of the petition, Mr. Shimmin presented hydrographs of wells in the area that showed declines n the water table for the past 10 to 15 years. <br /> He also advised the Commission that wells owned by his client require adjustment towards the end of the season because they begin to pump air. In conclusion, Mr. Shimmin requested <br /> the Commission to approve the petition, direct the Hearing Officer to conduct a fact finding hearing and then they would make the final decision. Mr. Mike Browning, representing Equus <br /> Farms, addressed the Commission. Mr. Browning stated that his client wants to be proactive and that the process as proposed by Mr. Shimmin is appropriate. Mr. Keith Vander Horst, <br /> representing staff addressed the Commission. He stated that the evidence indicates the water level may be declining and that it would be appropriate to send it to the Hearing Officer <br /> for findings of fact. Responding to a question from Commissioner Kowalski, Ground Water Commission Meeting Minutes Page 6 August 21, 2009 Mr. Vander Horst stated that this petition <br /> probably could not be combined with the one for Hay Gulch because of different geology and interested persons among other things. Mr. Steve Larson, representing Yokum Land Holdings <br /> addressed the Commission. He stated his belief that the proposed method is appropriate and that he would like to see the two petitions kept separate for the reasons outlined by Mr. <br /> Vander Horst. Commissioner Shriver moved to direct the Hearing Officer to conduct a fact finding hearing. Commissioner Schubert seconded. The motion carried unanimously. Chairman <br /> Coryell called for agenda item no. 10, being a petition by the Northern Colorado Water Association to initiate the process to create a new designated ground water basin to be known <br /> as the Upper Spring Creek Designated Ground Water Basin in Larimer County. Mr. Bill Fischer, representing the Northern Colorado Water Association addressed the Commission. Mr. Fischer <br /> opened his remarks by describing the service area and the number of residents effected. The proposed basin is approximately 12 square miles in size and the wells are located approximately <br /> forty (40) miles north of the South Platte River. He informed the Commission that they currently have an application before the Division 1 Water Court for approval of a plan of augmentation <br /> and that the office of the State Engineer has been approving Substitute Water Supplies plans since the demise of GASP. Mr. Fischer stated that they believe and are prepared to demonstrate <br /> that the ground water in the proposed basin meets both statutory definitions of Designated Ground Water. He concluded by requesting that the petition process proceed and publication <br /> occur. Mr. Fischer answered questions by the Commission. Mr. Keith Vander Horst, representing staff confined his comments to the process of designating a new basin. He advised the <br /> Commission that it appeared the applicant had addressed all the items as set forth in statute. He suggested that if they chose to proceed they may want to consider assigning a fact <br /> finding hearing to the Hearing Officer. Mr. Pat Kowaleski, Conflicts Council for the Commission, outlined for the Commission the statutory process for designating a ground water basin. <br /> There were no public comments on the petition. Commission Huwa moved to initiate the proceeding for the process. Commissioner Clever seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. <br /> Commissioner Burr moved that after publication the Hearing Officer hear the petition. Commissioner Mikita seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Ground Water Commission <br /> Meeting Minutes Page 7 August 21, 2009 Chairman Coryell called for agenda item no. 11, the staff report. Mr. Keith Vander Horst reviewed the staff activity report as submitted. <br /> He reminded the Commission that Mr. Chris Grimes spends most of his time helping the Republican River Team and that Ms. Sandy Johnson is helping evaluate exempt applications throughout <br /> the state. Chairman Coryell called for agenda item no. 12, the report of the Attorney General’s Office. Commissioner Davis advised the Commission that Mr. Devin Odell had been appointed <br /> a District Court Judge in Ft. Collins. Ms. Davis commended Mr. Odell for his service to the Ground Water Commission staff and the Department of Natural Resources in general. Mr. Odell <br /> addressed the Commission saying that it had been a pleasure working with the Commission. He said that he found Designated Ground Water law interesting and challenging. He praised <br /> the Commission and staff for their dedication. Chairman Coryell called for agenda item no. 13, Management District Reports. Mr. Nate Midcap, reporting for the Marks Butte, Frenchman, <br /> Sandhills and Central Yuma GWMD’s, reported that his districts had received twelve (12) to fifteen (15) inches of rain so far this year and that the wells were not running much. He <br /> said that a couple of areas in his districts got hailed out. Mr. Midcap reported completing 625 chemigation inspections leaving 300 to perform. He told the Commission that Mr. Dave <br /> Keeler had helped resolve a complaint about waste of water. Mr. Jack Dowell, reporting for the W-Y GWMD reported that his district had also received a lot of rain and hail and that <br /> the hail had devastated a lot of fields. He should have his chemigation inspections finished next week. Mr. Dowell reported that the wheat crop varied from good to great and that the <br /> sugar beet harvest will begin in early September. Regarding the removal of the Russian Olive and Salt Cedar. They have cleared 234.8 acres on the North Fork and 17.65 acres on the <br /> South Fork of the Republican. They continue to work on the Arikaree and other areas in the basin. He has heard only good comments on the results of the project. Mr. Rod Mason, reporting <br /> for the Arikaree GWMD advised the Commission that as the new District Manager he has been spending his time getting acquainted with the people. He reported that parts of his district <br /> had received up to thirty (30) inches of rain. Mr. Mason reported that his district is concerned about the compact compliance and would like to see more water released form Bonny Reservoir. <br /> Mrs. Deb Daniel reporting for the Plains and East Cheyenne GWMD’s, reported that the moisture is great with just over seventeen (17) inches in the Plains District and a little less <br /> than thirteen (13) inches in the East Cheyenne District. She said that they too have had had severe hail damage. The Plains District thanked Mr. Wolfe for the information on the arbitration <br /> of the pipeline and for creating the advisory group. She expressed appreciation for the release of water from Bonny Reservoir. Mrs. Daniel said that she has been busy conducting PCC, <br /> meter and chemigation tests. She expressed appreciation for the work of staff. She reported that efforts continue to require either totalizing flow meters or PCC’s on the irrigation <br /> wells in the East Cheyenne District. Mrs. Daniels reported that she attended the Ground Water Ground Water Commission Meeting Minutes Page 8 August 21, 2009 Management District Association <br /> conference in early June and in July on the Four States Irrigation Council tour for discussion on the South Platte River and Republican River Basin. Mr. Max Smith reporting for the <br /> Southern High Plains GWMD stated that things are green with the weather being wetter and cooler than normal. He also said that they too have had a lot of hail. Chairman Coryell thanked <br /> Mr. Smith for his service as chairman of the Commission. There was no report for the North Kiowa Bijou GWMD. Mr. Dave Doran reporting for the Upper Black Squirrel GWMD reported that <br /> they have had twenty six (26) inches of rain. He expressed the Districts concern over their ability to finance the ongoing legal battles over use of the basins water resources, especially <br /> when the applicants have unlimited resources. Mr. Doran asked for permission to consult with staff on the issues. He also asked for suggestions from the Commission on how they could <br /> proceed to fulfill their responsibilities with the limited resources at hand. There was general discussion on this matter. Mr. Dave Tausig reporting for the Upper Big Sandy GWMD, <br /> also commented on how green everything is after all the rain. He reported that their water balance study of the basin is complete. The results show that the basin is over-appropriated <br /> and that the District is preparing a rule change declaring the Basin over-appropriated. Mr. Tausig concluded his report by suggesting that in the wake of the Gallegos case that the <br /> statute for creation and modification of a Designated Basin be changed. Mr. Cory Huwa reporting for the Lost Creek GWMD, said that the significant rainfall has reduced the well operation. <br /> Mr. Stan Murphy reporting for the Republican River Water Conservation District, noted that they purchased the surface water rights for 49 million dollars. Because of this purchase <br /> the District should decide in October to build the pipeline. Mr. Murphy noted that there is a new program that will replace the EQUIP. The new program is called AWEP, which stands <br /> for Agricultural Water Enhancement Program. He stated that in the past month he inspected over 300 parcels of land that had been enrolled in either the CREP or EQUIP programs. This <br /> is done to verify to Kansas and Nebraska that the lands are dried up. Chairman Coryell called for agenda item no. 14, old business. There was none. Chairman Coryell called for agenda <br /> item no. 13, new business. Secretary Nielsen asked the Commission for the guidance on locations for the quarterly meetings. He advised the Commission that the Castle Rock facility <br /> is available on a regular basis and that Commissioner Davis would prefer that the February meeting be held in Denver. Commissioner Smith moved that the regularly scheduled meetings <br />