Water released to desperate farmers | SummitDaily.com

Water released to desperate farmers

LA SALLE, Colo. – The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District has begun pumping 10,000 acre feet of water from the Western Slope to desperate farmers in Weld County, Morgan and Adams counties, but it isn’t enough to solve the problem.Brian Werner, spokesman for the district, confirmed water had begun flowing from the Windy Gap Project on Friday night.”I don’t want to give our farmers false hope. This doesn’t mean our members can turn on their wells,” Tom Cech, manager of the Central Colorado Conservancy District, told the Rocky Mountain News.But Werner noted it had taken only seven days to get the pumps turned on.Because of a 2002 lawsuit filed by Front Range cities and farmers, the state shut down 440 wells that rely on the aquifer that feeds the South Platte River. About 200 farmers could lose 30,000 acres of crops as a result.The water that has been made available will only reach farmers who take delivery direct from the river. The wells cannot start pumping again until Boulder, Highlands Ranch, Sterling and some other cities agree.”We have not reached an agreement with the state engineer or the objectors. If we can work out the details next week, we may be able to restart the wells,” said Cech.Boulder and other cities are reviewing a proposal from the Northern Water Conservancy District but needs more information, particularly which wells would be turned on and which would remain shut, said Carol Ellinghouse, Boulder’s water resources coordinator.”They didn’t give us enough information to evaluate it,” she said.

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