Laserfiche WebLink
,COLORADO <br />Divisioii of Water Resource8 <br />October 11, 2016 <br />RE: Indian Mountain Subdivision Augmentation Water Supply <br />Water Court Decree W-7389 <br />To Indian Mountain Property Owners: <br />As a property owner in the Indian Mountain subdivision, you have probably heard about potential <br />changes to the water supply options for your property. These changes may impact your ability to <br />either operate your existing well or obtain a permit to drill a well on your property in the future. <br />You may already be aware of the litigation between the Indian Mountain Corporation and the Indian <br />Mountain Metropolitan District (Park County District Court No. 14CV30056 and Court of Appeals No. <br />15CA1055) related to the Water Court decree for Indian Mountain subdivision in Case No. W-7389 <br />(Decree). The recent (August 11, 2016) ruling of the Court of Appeals created the necessity for this <br />letter, as I wilt explain below. <br />First, let me take a moment to explain my role in regulating water diversions and use in northeast <br />Colorado. One of the main duties of the Division Engineer (as part of the Division of Water Resources <br />(DWR), also known as the Office of the State Engineer) is to regulate water diversions from streams <br />and groundwater in accordance with Colorado's prior appropriation system of water law. The basic <br />principle is that the person who first diverts water and places it to beneficial use has a better, or <br />more senior, right to use the water than later diverters, i.e. "first in time, first in right". The <br />primary water regulation objective of DWR is to optimize the use of water consistent with the prior <br />appropriation system and the decrees of the water courts, <br />As part of the regulation just discussed, I am required by law to order water users with more junior <br />water rights (junior user) to cease diversions when that water is required by a user with a more <br />senior water right (senior user). As part of the optimization also just discussed, the junior diverter <br />can "augment" the water available to the senior diverter by supplying water from another source to <br />the senior diverter, allowing the junior diverter to keep diverting water when they would otherwise <br />be curtailed. However, the junior diverter may only do this as part of either: (A) a "plan for <br />augmentation" decreed by the Water Court; or (B) a temporary plan for augmentation called a <br />"substitute water supply plan" (SWSP) approved by the State Engineer while the permanent plan for <br />augmentation is being considered by the Water Court. In either case, the plan (along with all other <br />water rights) is regulated by DWR. <br />It is important to note that pumping from wells affects surface streams, but those effects are <br />delayed in time. When water is pumped from a well, that pumping eventually results in a <br />corresponding decrease in water in the stream system. Wells almost always have very junior water <br />rights and, because of this delayed well pumping impact on the stream system, it is impossible to <br />predict if pumping a welt today will cause a decrease in stream flow that does or does not harm <br />senior water rights in the future. This is where a plan for augmentation comes in; it allows wells to <br />pump when they would not otherwise have the right to pump by providing a mechanism to replace <br />the well pumping impacts to senior water rights to prevent injury to them. <br />k109`tc€t Suto 200, Gte=,Aey, CO €,9 0252.V!2 f W0,3`rL'1816 <br />icR<,odaU, cue(%tt�,e Duectr? i t'ic VVfe 11.z:., s,atc Er�sineer ; David "4eWttt A.L, L'nv3.d,An big.? neer <br />