WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
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03:39 PM -- Public Testimony
Robert Longenbaugh, representing himself, explained that he is a retired Assistant Engineer in the Division of Water Resources. He expressed concern about groundwater pumping regulations and he proposed policies to maximize groundwater use in Colorado. He identified major aquifers in Colorado including alluvial aquifers in the South Platte, Arkansas, and Rio Grande basins and the Ogalala aquifer. He explained how augmentation requirements limit the storage and use of groundwater for irrigation and municipal purposes. He also identified depletive effects on South Platte River flows including phreatophytes, gravel pits, and changes in irrigation practices. He explained that these activities may impact senior water rights more than unregulated groundwater users.
John Meininger, representing himself, expressed concern about the management of the South Platte River and its effect on groundwater users in the basin. He also expressed concern about the cost and time required to litigate water rights cases. He urged the Water Resources Review Committee to determine if statutes should be amended to increase conjunctive use of surface and groundwater. He also urged the General Assembly to appropriate money to complete the South Platte River Decision Support System and to pay for more hydrology studies. He also identified pending court cases that may affect how the South Platte River is managed.
Joan Green, representing the Pawnee Well Users Association, the Harmony Ditch Company, the City of Sterling, and the Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Company (FRICO), urged the Water Resources Review Committee to consult with affected water rights owners before recommending any legislation to amend state water laws.
The meeting adjourned.