RWR proposing to export San Luis Valley water to Douglas County
Updated: Dec 10, 2021
Renewable Water Resources (RWR) has submitted a proposal to Douglas County requesting $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act (COVID relief) funds to advance its plan to export agricultural water from the San Luis Valley. Douglas County is considering various proposals and as part of the process will host an Open House and Town Hall meeting Thursday, December 9 starting at 5 pm. You can listen to the Town Hall online starting at 6 pm through this link: https://www.douglas.co.us/event/american-rescue-act-plan-open-house-and-live-town-hall/. I have attached the plan for your review.
I am reaching out to you as a key stakeholder who has joined us in opposing this detrimental water export plan. RWR continues to communicate that their plan has support in the valley through manipulation of a survey they conducted. We know that is not the case.
The Douglas County commissioners stated in an excellent news story by the Alamosa Citizen (which also ran in the Colorado Sun and Douglas County newspapers) that they will consider the funding proposals in January 2022.
The story reports the Douglas County Commissioners are split on the proposal. Commissioner Lora Thomas told the Alamosa Citizen that she believes it’s irresponsible for the Front Range to take water from other communities. Commissioner Abe Laydon has indicated he has not made a decision and plans to come to the San Luis Valley to talk to residents before he decides. Commissioner George Teal was quoted as saying any opportunity to bring water into the county bears serious consideration.
It’s unconscionable to suggest using federal COVID relief money be used to advance a transbasin water project that is so detrimental to another part of the state.
The team RWR has assembled includes former politicians, lobbyists, real estate and private equity investors who stand to make a lot of money. Their resumes in the plan speak for themselves.
We are well organized to continue the fight against this proposal. We will likely be asking you to write letters and contact the commissioners expressing your concerns with this latest water export attempt. Please share this information with your network. We have worked together to successfully stop similar plans and we will do it again.
General Manager, Rio Grande Water Conservation District