So what’s in de-water? | AspenTimes.com

So what’s in de-water?

Dear Editor:

Wow! First Roger Marolt and now Tony Vagneur are having reservations about diverting water from Castle and Maroon creeks (Opinion, Oct. 12 and 13, The Aspen Times).

I can understand our newcomers to Aspen being misled by misinformation, but our old-time locals should know better. And they do! Tony, your family has ranched in this valley for more than a hundred years, and they have been good stewards of the land. Both the Vagneur and Marolt families irrigated hayfields and ranched in the Aspen area for more than a century. Never has their irrigation been detrimental to a local stream.

This was also true of the historic electric plant on Castle Creek, which the city of Aspen desires to restore clean generation for the next generation. Some recent opinions expressed in our local papers give the impression that our mountain streams will be depleted by using the natural energy of the stream in generating clean and renewable nonpolluting electric power for the city of Aspen. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The term “dewater” is being misconstrued. The removal of water from a stream for any purpose is defined in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as a “transitive verb,” meaning to “remove water from” (circa 1909). Does this mean that if you bend over for cup of water, you are “dewatering” the creek? Of course not! Nor did the Vagneur and Marolt historic irrigation practices “dewater” local creeks. Nor did the generation of electricity at the Castle Creek plant deplete Castle or Maroon creeks!

Look at the historic photos! Why is there water in the stream at the Castle Creek Plant? (In full operation, in 1958, and in the dead of winter, below the intake but above the discharge.) Should not the stream be dry at this location? Opponents of Aspen’s efforts to restore clean hydro paint a picture of a dry creek devoid of life. Nothing could be further from the truth!

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But tell a lie often enough and most people will believe it to be true. Power to the people!

Jim Markalunas

Aspen

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