Questions about the hydro-plant | AspenTimes.com

Questions about the hydro-plant

Dear Editor:

I am writing in regards to the pipeline construction and the city’s plans for the construction of the hydro-electric plant in Castle Creek.

I believe that there are a number of important issues that should be addressed by the Colorado Water Court before the city proceeds with a large diversion of water from Castle Creek.

Specifically:

1. Has the city water been “in continual use” or has it been abandoned?

2. If the point of diversion is moved, does that action require approval from the water court?

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3. What if, because of the city’s action, the stream flow becomes so low that other ditch owners are deprived of their water because the stream is too low to enter their head gate? Is this permitted without approval of the water court?

4. Is it necessary for the Maroon Creek water to return to Maroon Creek? If the water is diverted and not returned to the stream or origin does that action require permission from the water court?

5. Does the city right include a “right to impound”? Can you divert the water and fill the reservoir without approval from the water court?

Please ask Cindy Covell to confirm that you do not need to file an application with the water court and ask for a decree before the diversion is made. Normally such a large altercation to an existing stream would require permission from the water court, and the other ditch-share owners would be notified.

Lucy R. Hibberd

Aspen