|June 20, 2012|
|Land and Water USA demands audit of South Platte River|
From: Land and Water USA (LAW USA)
Contact: Chuck Sylvester (970) 284-6874
Weld County Colorado
Today, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper issued a decision that allows no timely remedy for damages accrued by the catastrophic non-historic flooding and dry up along the South Platte River basin.
Land and Water USA strongly disagrees with Governor Hickenlooper’s decision not to take emergency measures for property owners that would have alleviated injuries due to non-historic/man-made flooding.
“It is the amount of snowpack in the mountains that determines the flow of water in the river…not because of wells being pumped,” said LAW USA spokesman Chuck Sylvester.
“Simply put,” he explained, “More snow, more runoff; less snow, less runoff.”
Historically, when there was meager snow runoff, the river totally dried up on the lower end, or - not much past Greeley, CO.
Augmentation created the South Platte River to flow year around. That flow now pushes well past Greeley, to the extent of crossing the Colorado border and running into Nebraska. The property owners on the lower end benefit by capturing this flow.
“Having a water right, does not guarantee actual water to use. Your water right is good only when there is water in the river,” said Sylvester.
Lower end users now not only expect this water, they demand it; even at the expense of upper South Platte well owners who – through augmentation – are the ones who initially supply water to the river, thereby creating this new source of water that never existed before.
Pumping actually helps lower end water users. The water pumped from whatever depth it takes to reach an underground lake some say is 5 times the size of Lake McConaughy, is placed back on the grounds surface. This water penetrates the earth’s crust and works its way back to the lake and the river…increasing the river’s flow.
If the South Platte River basin is considered over-appropriated, then Governor Hickenlooper should first:
a) Initiate a full audit of the South Platte. This will identify exactly where the water’s going, who’s getting it and how much they’re being paid; who’s not getting it and their compensable losses. Any alleged illegal activities will also be revealed, and justly dealt with.
What can the Attorney General’s office offer that shows the data used to base the claims:
a) The 2012 water year has resulted in reduced water in the South Platte River basin.
Governor Hickenlooper, LAW USA demands you please initiate a full audit of the South Platte River.
More critical, we ask that you reconsider your decision “not to help provide property owners relief from the man-made manipulations that have generated the non-historic flooding and dry ups,” and PLEASE extend your compassion to them. Do whatever is necessary to take care of them.
Remember: The water doesn’t know the courts own it. And encouraging the “Governor’s staff, Weld County farmers, municipalities and senior water rights owners to all work together to find solutions that can prevent agricultural losses,” will not talk the water out of flooding… or drying up.
|comments powered by Disqus|