Basalt’s first water proposal rejected by wildlife division |

Basalt’s first water proposal rejected by wildlife division

The town of Basalt’s initial proposal to try to renew a lease for a major source of water has been flushed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, according to officials on both sides of the issue.

Basalt is piecing together another offer to try to retain use of the Lucksinger Springs on lower Basalt Mountain. A town lease for 1 cubic foot per second, or about 640,000 gallons per day, from the springs will expire at the end of the year.

The town hopes to renew a lease for half that amount. It needs the water to augment its supply during summer’s peak demands.

The wildlife division has been reluctant to renew the lease for any amount because it wants to use more of the water to irrigate land in the Christine State Wildlife Area. The irrigated land would provide winter forage for mule deer.

In its initial proposal, the town said it would cut its use down to 1/2 cfs and fund improvements to the wildlife division’s water diversion facilities at the wildlife area.

The DOW rejected the deal because it felt it could make all necessary water transportation improvements with its own funds, according to Basalt Councilman Steve Solomon.

Craig Wescoatt, acting area manager for the DOW, confirmed the deal was rejected and said a second proposal was forthcoming from Basalt. He said he didn’t know the details of the second proposal.

Town officials indicated they have offered to provide additional water infrastructure improvements at the wildlife area as part of the new package.

If a deal isn’t arranged, Basalt could be forced to dig at least one new well and install a pumping station to ensure service to upper portions of town. It would be replacing a high-quality water supply from the springs with a lower-quality supply from a well.

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