GP Water Plans Outlined in August Meetings in Lamar

sunflowerGP Water Group announces water deal in Arkansas River Basin (DENVER) –

GP Resources, LLC, a Colorado-based farming and natural resources firm, announced plans today to provide water to Front Range communities, Elbert County, and others as part of a new regional water project intended to serve as a model for how in-state water transfers can be done in a way that benefits all communities involved.   The project involves limited amounts of ground water from Elbert County and a significant amount of agricultural surface water from the lower Arkansas River, both of which are privately owned by GP. It is anticipated that the project will create jobs and provide homeowners and businesses with access to much-needed renewable water supplies, helping them to solve the increasing problems associated with reliance on aquifer resources.  

GP will hold a series of public information sessions to describe its plans in detail, take questions, and listen to community viewpoints in order to further increase the project’s benefits.  Two meetings have already been scheduled in Lamar.  These meetings will take place on August 16th and August 23rd from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the multi-purpose room of the Lamar Community Building.  Additional meeting times and locations in Elbert county and other venues will be announced soon. In an effort to make this project a model for how agricultural transfers should be done, GP will take guidance from the Water Transfer Template developed by the Arkansas River Roundtable as a framework for addressing the needs and concerns of all stakeholders. Significant groundwork has gone into project analysis, finance, and planning.  Key components include: — Investments in equipment, systems, and practices to increase the efficiencies of current water consumption on GP’s farms based in Lamar. 

Large portions of the farms will continue to operate after the project is completed and the remaining water will become available for municipal use after going through Colorado’s mandated water court process.  The court process ensures that downstream agricultural and municipal users will not be adversely affected by the change in use. Furthermore, because this is an existing diversion, the project will not remove any water from the Arkansas basin that is not already being consumed and therefore should have minimal environmental impacts — Investments in GP’s water rights and systems in Elbert County, involving an upgrade of the capabilities of a local water District to allow transmission of GP’s privately owned and adjudicated water on an interim basis to a water district in the greater Colorado Springs area.  This will include construction of a below-ground pipeline through or adjacent to an existing service easement for most of the alignment and will bring much-needed relief to the community, which has experienced problems with its current water sources. 

Upon delivery of GP’s renewable water supply to this community, the same pipeline will be re-used to deliver additional renewable water to Elbert County and others. –Investments in water treatment, storage, and transmission facilities which will allow the efficient movement of GP’s excess Lamar water to Front Range communities and Elbert County, providing them with a stable, cost-effective, and renewable water supply. Additionally, jobs will be created in both counties through the construction, on-going maintenance and operation of the system. To implement these plans, GP is currently in discussions with several water districts to provide them with as efficient a solution to their water needs as possible.  GP has also had preliminary consultations with relevant County authorities to ensure its project is responsive to local needs and provides a win-win for key stakeholders.  GP plans to continue these efforts through immediate contact with all interested parties in the Arkansas Valley and along the Front Range. 

 

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