Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

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The state Supreme Court upheld a water court limits on pumping from the Black Squirrel Basin by the Cherokee Metropolitan District on Tuesday, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. From the article, "Development will remain stalled and outdoor watering will continue to be banned in a vast area east of Colorado Springs after a state Supreme Court ruling Tuesday. The high court affirmed a water-court ruling that severely restricts how much water Cherokee Metropolitan District can pump from the Upper Black Squirrel Creek groundwater basin. The ruling means no relief for the 15,000 people, 5,250 homes and 350 businesses in the Cimarron Hills subdivision and surrounding unincorporated areas where all outdoor watering and car washing has been banned since September. It also means about 700 homes in 16 subdivisions that Cherokee promised to supply with water remain in limbo. El Paso County won[base ']t allow construction to begin until Cherokee proves the district has enough water to serve new homes and businesses.

"Developers with projects on the drawing board are tiring of the uncertainty, said Greg Timm, an owner of Cygnet Land Development. Some are considering suing Cherokee, he said. Cherokee committed to provide water for a 16-acre shopping center Cygnet plans near Constitution Avenue and Marksheffel Road...

"El Paso County had given 15 subdivisions preliminary approval but since has refused to allow construction to start until Cherokee proves it has the water it committed to provide. Another 22 developers are seeking approval to build in the area Cherokee serves, but the district and county won't give them the go-ahead until the shortage is solved. Cherokee, which gets most of its water from the Upper Black Squirrel Creek groundwater basin, ended up in court after committing to supply customers within its boundaries but outside the basin. The wells it drilled to meet those commitments, however, didn't supply sufficient water and the Black Squirrel managers took the district to court to prevent it from exporting water. Water used outside the basin would deplete the source because it would not eventually make its way back into the aquifer, the basin argued. In March, state water-court Judge Dennis Maes agreed with the Black Squirrel managers that Cherokee had misused the 'emergency' provision in its agreement and ordered it to halt supplying water to homes and businesses outside the basin's boundaries. Cherokee appealed to the Supreme Court, which upheld Maes."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water

5:41:54 AM    

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