Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Eagle County Water Deal Could Affect Summit County

A recent deal between Denver Water and Eagle County won't have any immediate effect on reservoir operations and trans-divide diversions in Summit County.

But the agreement could increase the pressure to export more water from Summit County in the long run - or it could provide impetus for an overall settlement that balances West Slope and Front Range interests.

"Anytime something like that happens, it puts a bigger bulls eye on Summit and Grand County," said County Commissioner Tom Long. "It's just a matter of time before they Denver Water) look to start maximizing and exercising their water rights here," Long said.

Under the agreement, Denver Water relinquished long-held rights to water from streams flowing out of the Eagles Nest Wilderness, on the Eagle County side of the Gore Range, including the Upper Eagle River, the Piney River and Turkey Creek.

Plans for developing that water included a pipeline through the Gore Range to North Tenmile Creek and into Dillon Reservoir, for export to the Front Range via the Roberts Tunnel.

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