Vail Valley secures water for dry years
VAIL, Colorado – A group of water providers in Colorado’s Vail Valley reached an agreement with the city of Aurora for an additional 500 acre-feet of water from Homestake Reservoir.Under the terms of this new water agreement, the west slope owners of Eagle Park Reservoir, located in the headwaters of the Eagle River above Camp Hale, will pay Aurora $7.5 million. The water may be used by water users in Eagle County in drier years.”The old east-west model is obsolete. The new model is joint action,” said Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer. “The valley wins, Aurora wins. It’s how Colorado should work in the future.”Two prior agreements with Aurora and Colorado Springs, in 1998 and 2004, gave Eagle County water users the right to 1,000 acre-feet of water from Homestake Reservoir. Homestake Reservoir is jointly owned by the cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs and is a component of a transmountain diversion project that takes water from the Eagle River basin to Colorado’s eastern slope.”This is truly another precedent-setting water agreement between the east and west slopes,”h said John Garnsey, co-president of the mountain division for Vail Resorts and COO of Beaver Creek. “With the 500 acre-feet of water becoming available, this was also an opportunity to ask Eagle County to join Eagle Park Reservoir Company and assist with the purchase, as well as become a co-owner of Eagle Park Reservoir.”The west slope parties consist of the four original owners of Eagle Park Reservoir – Vail Associates, the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority and the Colorado River Water Conservation District, together with Eagle County.The acquisition serves as a milestone towards a long-term goal of water storage that was cooperatively developed in the 1990’s. The Eagle River Water & Sanitation District and Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority have pursued these “Eagle River Assembly” objectives to ensure an adequate and reliable public water supply while sustaining local rivers.
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