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Use it or lose it with Aspen water sources

As the former director of the Aspen Water Department, I wish to comment on your article of March 20. (“Storage and new water sources to be proposed in Aspen water plan,” by Aspen Journalism)

Aspen is singularly blessed to have such good water rights from exceptional stream sources that were established in the early years of Aspen’s history. But the old adage “use it or lose it” could still apply. In particular, as to hydro-power on Castle Creek, this source has been neglected over the past 60 years. The city has been remiss in not pursuing a more aggressive stance in its water rights policies.

In regards to its rights on Hunter Creek and the Roaring Fork River, Aspen seems to have a “laissez faire” attitude on the preservation and development of these sources. There exists an immense source of underground water in the Roaring Fork basin east of Aspen which could be used for domestic water purposes without detrimental effects on the North Star Nature Preserve.



Aspen should investigate the possibilities of this great water source. The abundance of underground water in this locale is the reason why the Bureau of Reclamation abandoned the proposed storage dam on the Roaring Fork and built Ruedi on Frying Pan River.

I have good memories of Katie Lee’s great song! “Don’t dam the nation, damn the Bureau of Reclamation “



Jim Markalunas

Aspen


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