Ute isn’t satisfied with proposed pact

A global settlement of water issues between Western Slope interests and Denver still has a long way to go, at least with the Ute Water Conservancy District.

Based on what his board has seen so far, it wouldn’t approve the agreement, Ute Water General Manager Larry Clever said Thursday.

“There’s a lot of stuff we’re OK with,” Clever said, “but it still hasn’t handled two major issues.”

Ute Water and other Western Slope water users want the Colorado River to be managed as it is today with the Shoshone Generating Station in Glenwood Canyon exercising its call on the river, Clever said.

Ute Water serves 80,000 domestic, industrial and agricultural customers in the Grand Valley.

The Shoshone water right is among the earliest on the river, and while the agreement contemplates it continuing to call water down the river, it doesn’t resolve the issue of: “What if it went away?” Clever said.

If Xcel Energy chose not to operate Shoshone, it would no longer exercise the plant’s senior right on the river, throwing doubt on how much water would have to be allowed to flow downstream, he said.

Western Slope water users still are not satisfied with the way officials account for water stored in Green Mountain Reservoir, Clever said.

The Ute Water board hasn’t yet reviewed the agreement in full, though a committee has been involved, Clever said.

The agreement won’t get ink from Ute Water, Clever said, until “Shoshone and Green Mountain accounting are taken care of.”



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