Statement from Alamosa City Councilor Michael Carson
FOR two years now I have been involved in a fight that was mostly behind the scenes. An extremely important battle to protect the lifeblood of this Valley. This fight has now come to the forefront in what would seem to be a David vs. Goliath scenario.
This of course being the water export proposal that has been recycled by Renewable Water Resources and pushed as a great solution the San Luis Valley’s Water shortage. This proposal has recently been submitted to The Douglas County Board of Commissioners as a fix for water sustainability. This latest scheme proposes to pipe water out of The San Luis Valley into the South Platte River and on to Douglas County. They are proposing to do so through a plan that is very disturbing from a technical and logical standpoint. It is based on inaccurate data that grossly exaggerated the water availability in the Valley. This data, which was debunked in courts, has been misused multiple times to try and accomplish the same thing … take our water to subsidize the unchecked growth in the Front Range along the I-25 corridor.
I wear many hats in my daily life. Primarily that of a father of three children all of whom call this Valley home. I am also the IT Manager at the Rio Grande Water Conservation District which as of late has become a role that has engulfed me in this battle along with my elected office as an
Alamosa City Councilor. It is a paramount task to help keep entities like RWR (Renewable Water Resources) at bay.
During my time at the District, I have watched our Subdistricts struggle daily to manage this finite resource. We are in the midst of a 20-year drought that is just getting worse by the day. Our shallow aquifer has taken a huge hit this year alone dropping it to lowest January in recorded history. Which would indicate that the deep aquifer is also dropping.
The water inflow to the aquifer RWR purports as a perpetual source of “renewable” water is simply not there. Any person can see this by looking Northeast at the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and seeing them bare at a time that they should be covered with snow. All these facts were omitted in the presentation RWR’s consultant gave to the Douglas County commissioners this week.
Given these facts, it is hard to understand why any public official would see it as a good investment of American Rescue Plan Act funds for a resource that is simply not there. As an elected official, when considering spending millions of tax payer’s money, it should be invested on advancing projects that are more of a guarantee. RWR’s proposal to use ARPA funds to advance water export is a huge gamble for Douglas County. Dozens of other water providers from Douglas County with VIABLE projects are vying for this same money.
This is simply be a bad buy. The Colorado attorney general has spoken out against RWR’s plans. If it ever advances, RWR’s plan will be tied up in court for decades. Why would Douglas County invest $20 million in a project that has such a low probability of ever being built?
Please join me in fighting this latest water grab by visiting www.protectsanluisvalleywater.com and informing yourself of our efforts to keep our water here in the San Luis Valley. Please share our information on social media and with your friends and family in the Front Range and all over Colorado. You will find contact information to write letters to the commissioners and the news media. The Rio Grande Water Conservation District along with our coalition of partners have been instrumental in keeping schemes like this from coming to fruition in the past and will continue to do so into the future.