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Bad for Douglas County

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Renewable Water Resources’ Pipe Dream

Corporation asks for $10-20 million of taxpayers dollars

Renewable Water Resources (RWR), a for-profit corporation, wants to use $10-20 million taxpayer Covid-relief dollars to jumpstart a proposal to pipe water from the San Luis Valley hundreds of miles to Douglas County. Estimated to cost $2 billion, the proposal faces unsurmountable challenges to ever being built. This puts Douglas County taxpayers dollars at risk and drains funds from more viable and beneficial projects. 

 

Douglas County received $68.2 million in federal government Covid-relief funds and got proposals for $241 million in water projects alone. See all requests. RWR’s ask could drain almost one-third of the county’s funds.

 

Risks to Douglas County taxpayers:

  • RWR’s proposal is extremely expensive and risky – it highly unlikely to ever deliver water and will cost tax payers millions in legal fees.

  • Not one water provider in Douglas County is interested. Of the 5 major water providers, two are at build-out and don’t need more water, and the other three already have more viable projects planned. Castle Rock, Parker and Dominion Water have stated no interest in RWR’s proposal. RWR must have a customer to go through the required water court process.

  • The proposal would require piping water hundreds of miles through the mountains and federal lands and would have significant environmental impacts.

  • RWR suggests using other water providers’ infrastructure to get the water to the Front Range, but all three utilities they list as having viable infrastructure – Denver Water, Aurora Water and Colorado Springs Utilities – have said they won’t allow it.

  • The project faces costly environmental permitting that would take tens of millions of dollars to undertake and has a high probability of failure.

  • Permitting and legal challenges will take decades and only route money away from more viable water solutions.

  • The proposal is universally opposed by state and federal elected officials, farm and ranch groups, environmental and conservation groups, recreation groups and the residents of the San Luis Valley.

 

Consequences to the San Luis Valley:

  • RWR would drying up more than 22,000 acres of farms/ranches that produce locally grown food for the Front Range and U.S.  

  • RWR would drain $53 million annually from the Valley’s economy that relies on agriculture as its primary economic driver and job producer.

  • RWR’s proposal would deplete an already dry groundwater table in the San Luis Valley, drawing water from streams, rivers and wetlands that support the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the Sandhill Cranes and the Baca Wildlife Refuge.

  • Recreation impacts to water sports, hunting and wildlife viewing would occur. 

View Additional Analysis of RWR's Infrastructure Plan

Contact Douglas County Board of County Commissioners

Write or call the commissioners today and say no to this ill-conceived pipe dream.

View letters already submitted to the commissioners

 

Email: bocc@douglas.co.us

Email for public comments on the ARPA (COVID-relief) funds: ARPA@douglas.co.us

Phone: 303-660-7401

 

Address:

Douglas County Commissioner’s Office

100 3rd Street

Castle Rock, CO 80104

 

Commissioner Abe Laydon, District 1

Commissioner Laydon has indicated he has not taken a position.

 

Commissioner George Teal, District II

Commissioners Teal support RWR’s proposal. 

 

Commissioner Lora Thomas, District III

Commissioner Thomas has stated she does not support the RWR proposal