Water Board Meeting – February 22, 2021
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Okay, I’ve got my watch this three o’clock. Let’s go ahead and call the February 22 2021. Water Board meeting to order.
Other Can you start with the roll call? Sure. Todd Williams. Here. Allison Alison Gould.
You’re Kathy Peterson. Here.
Scott Horwich. Here. Roger Lange. Here. Can you say you’re
Nelson Tipton. Here, West Lowery. Here, Kevin Bowden. Here.
Heather McIntyre’s here. Jason Elkins
here. And Councilmember Martin is just coming in. So, chair, we have a quorum. Okay. Thank you, Heather. Next item is the approval of the previous month’s minutes. Whereas does anybody have any questions? Comments on the meeting minutes? If not, we need a motion to approve the January 25 2021. Meeting Minutes.
Roger with the motion. Is there a second?
Second. Kathy did the second any further? Comments? Seeing none All those in favor say aye. Hi.
Opposed. Okay. Meeting Minutes are approved. Next item item four is the water status report. Nelson. Yeah, Todd, thank you. I’ll go ahead and do that.
Um, so not a whole lot to give pretty, pretty similar in the winter months, but I’ll do the standard stuff. So the flow the same brand Creek at Lyons at 7am today was 7.68. CFS. The 124 years stork average is 14.25. CFS for this date.
The colonists seat brain Creek is Highland Lake admin number is
8917 with a priority date of 531 1874.
The column main stem of the South Platte that’s impacting district five is Pruitt reservoir, which is admin number 22059 with a priority date of 525 1910.
Ralph price reservoir at route at bedrock reserve is currently full and spilling due to the outlet repairs that are planned for that. And those repairs are anticipated to be completed sometime in March of next month. And Jason can go into more detail if he wants to. But I’m not sure if he’s
he is working on Jason Elkins is currently working on that. on that project. Union reservoir is at 19.4 feet, which 28 feet is full. So it’s down at approximately 5500 acre feet and currently releasing 9.5.
So for today’s snowpack, I just looked it up for me, like I got on South Platte basin is currently at 92% of normal. And the upper Upper Colorado is currently at 88%.
And Wes, will we’ll go into more detail on the
drought in water supply. Okay.
That’s all I have time.
Okay, thanks, Nelson. Does anybody have any questions, comments for Nelson? Roger
Nelson, how often did they may hear the snowpack? How often monthly? Well, you know, the physical you know, canon West can chime in, but the physical readings, I think are done monthly.
They actually physically go out there they they take their snowmobiles out there and there’s snowshoeing out there. They take the snow sample that way. I think that’s done.
Monthly and then and then they have reporting. They have actual snow information sites that electronically are giving them the reading and that’s how they update it on more of like every few days. Is that correct? Western kin?
But that that number then you just gave us for snow packed and that’s as of what just a few days ago, as of today as of this morning.
Oh really? Okay. Well, when I first actually Safford in my first pull it up this morning. I think Wes also helped with it was that it was 1% less for each one of the sites. And since with our current our discard that last snowstorm that we had it
Raise it up. 4% Okay. Okay, thank you for each for each base in the South Platte in the Colorado bulls were increased 1% from from this morning, actually. All right, thanks.
Any other questions of Nelson?
All right. I’m not seeing any. With that. We’ll we’ll keep moving on item five is public invited to be heard and special presentations. Heather was there.
As a before the meeting, there was no public invited to be heard. Is that still the case? That’s correct. We don’t have anyone today. Okay. And no special presentations.
We have none. Okay. Great. Thank you, Ken.
Any items six any agenda revisions or submission of documents?
We have none. Okay. item seven development activity. There is my right there’s no development activity for consideration today.
That’s correct. None for this month. I believe we’ll have a couple for next month. Okay, thanks. Us. Moving right along. Eight a is an agreement between the city of Longmont East tree Creek Water District raphoe. County Water Authority and united Water Water exchange agreement. Nelson, are you taking this? Oh, I’ll take this one. So.
So as you indicated, Tod item in front of motherboard is the we’ve been doing it annually for the last five years. We started back in well, several years back in 2015 is when we started the first one. And it’s a raw water exchange agreement between each Cherry Creek wrap the whole water I’m rebated in the United water. And so it’s considered an IGA.
And waterboard action would be review and make recommendations to city council. And it’s
scheduled for city council on March 30 of 2021. regular session for that night.
So I included it in your packet, a copy of the and I’m just going to call it IGA a copy of the IGA and then also the resolution we actually had that completed through city to the city attorney’s office already so that’s good.
So under the existing municipal code, raw water supplies with other governmental agencies and special districts are considered intergovernmental agreements.
So the basis of the IGA is to exchange Water Water of equal value so water for water
and Eastern Creek Arapaho and united will use its fully consumable decreed water to meet law mots
union reservoir change case see 287 cW 222. And it’s the BS you ditch last component that they’re going to meet. And, and typically the ditch loss is due in July and August of each year. So it’ll be July of 20 2021 in August 2021.
And in Longmont, we use it fully decreed water to meet East Cherry Creek, Arapaho United’s winner
returned well, Ashley winter replacement obligations and typically that’s period we from October to March 31. So it’d be October of this year 2021 to march of 2022.
we’re actually for this year since it is so dry I wanted to make a comment that hopefully we can get some water underneath union reservoirs to create so we have to store actual union reservoir to carry water and then to generate a replacement obligation which which is huge losses a component of it. There’s two components the return flow obligation and an additional cost component. So and during actual the last couple years it’s been
pretty dry come July and August and so in order to help us get on mots
ditch last for the bees, you down there, so we’ve been they actually can get it easier. They don’t have to go out traveling all the way down through the South Platte to get to that gate, drop it in through their decrees, water rights right there at lower, Latham’s measurement and so that helps a lot so, so this year, if it continues to be dry, that’ll be that’ll be helpful for us. It’s been working out really well and they provide a schedule for for Longmont.
To make for their for their obligations, they provided well in advance, and they lay it out. If they have any changes, they notify us. So they’ve been they’ve been a good client to work with.
So that’s Is there any questions on just the basis of how it works? So it is water for water?
Any questions? Ellison? Yeah. Allison, go ahead. Thank you, Nelson, um, how much water has been exchanged over the course of this agreement. So as I indicated it, it’s different every year. So it’s all based on how much we actually in the in the law mods account. So there’s several different individual shareholders that have individual accounts, Walmart’s one of them were our the larger, the larger
space in that in Union reservoir. And so each year, it varies of how much we actually get that senior decree in there at generates discipline obligations. And but we’ve maxed it out. So we go up to 600 acre feet. Because we haven’t seen the ditch laws for just and this is just Bs, you there’s there’s also returned flows for union law, relate them and there’s three entities that that are part of the ait,
you gotta be a Tu, Tu, Tu. So does that answer your question, Allison? So it varies year to year. Okay, so is it 600 every year? Well, it’s up to, it’s up to. So it can it can be it can be, you know, a couple 100 acre feet, you know, 500 acre feet, but we we put 600. So it doesn’t exceed that. And then if they need additional water from us the bill, if they request over and above the 600, we have to approve that if we want to do that. And vice versa, for Longmont, if we need over 600 acre feet, but right now we have a tough cookie.
Because you’re kind of actually guessing you’re kind of trying to project you don’t know what it’s gonna be until because the storage period Allison actually ends on June 30. So we can we have the ability to store all the way up into June 30. And then we generate the replacement obligation iterates bees use ditch law.
And sorry, can go ahead, demean catch off. Yeah, Allison, if I could just add real briefly, really the the amount that exchange is based upon how much water we can store under the union decree for our purposes, once we’ve stored that water in Union reservoir, it generates that obligation to everywhere, but in particular, the one that’s of interest to us is the big ditch. So
a good example would be, you know, we store and generate a 200 acre foot obligation to the big ditch, we have to get that water down to them. In a year like this, it’s very difficult to do that. So this gives, this gives us opportunity to have that water delivered right above the BS you ditch. In fact, literally, the water that they are delivering has to go past the BS you headgate they have to send it down to a senior appropriator. So it allows them to divert it. And then in exchange, we have water up here that we can deliver quite easily. So it’s really a win win for both of us. But But yeah, the short answer is, usually it’s around two to 300 acre feet, four to 500, when we store a lot of water in, in Union, and we certainly are hoping we’re storing least 5000 acre feeding union this year, because we’re down that far. So it’ll be a little bit bigger this year, because of how much we need to store this year.
To benefits, we have to remember what is a lot of the we have to get down to the big head gate. That’s mostly important to us that happens. The second is we’re not having to release this water in the summer, when we normally would have to release it in June in July. Instead, we’re releasing it the next winter. So our recreational program and union reservoir benefits from higher water levels in the summer, and then we release in the winter.
And if I may one follow up question. I was just wondering what the figures look like as far as transit losses saved.
So So typically, I don’t have the numbers off top of my head, but I’ll explain something once before we we did this agreement, I can you know, prior to 2015. So we’d have this kind of work with the state and we would slug it and then they charge you know a half cent per mile and I’d have to pull up to the decree to get an exact on how many miles it is but I think it’s I think it’s
I think it’s 35 total to get to the Buju but don’t don’t quote me on that, but I think I’m close. I think it’s 35 miles. I’ll get all the way down to
between eight and a half percent per mile, that’s quite a bit, and then we have to slug it in order, you know, you have to get it with, in order to get it down there, you can have to slug it. So we let it out a union at a pretty high high amount. So you add that, that transit loss to it. And then so you go, like Ken said, so you’re using 200 300 acre feet, then you’re adding it to that amount. So you can definitely save it a good percent.
It’s, it’s helpful. And plus the coordination alone is is quite,
is quite the effort. You got to work with the other digit companies, and especially big in that state, and to get that all, all organized, and then also units for company itself to release. So it’s very helpful. Any
Any other questions for Nelson on the proposed agreement?
If not, we need a guess the recommendation would be from the water board to the city council to approve the IGA got correct is just someone want to make that motion.
Mr. Chair, I’d make that motion. This is Scott. Okay. Scott Hall with me the motion. Is there a second?
I’ll second. Okay. Kathy. Seconded the motion. Any further discussion?
Hearing none, all those in favor say aye. Aye.
Opposed. Okay. Motion carries. Thanks, everyone. Appreciate it. Thanks, Nelson.
All right, we’re on to the items from the staff. The first is nine A, which is a windy get firming project update. Ken.
Thanks. Thank you, Chairman. Just a
fairly brief update this month. Like all the water board is aware that there was an appeal filed for the federal case against the permit issuance. And so we’re, we’re off on that.
Typically, those appeals take around a year, but it could be a little less, or it could be a lot more. Yeah, you know,
there’s no telling, especially with with the courts,
operating a little bit more remotely, as well. But we certainly hope that the sooner than later that that’ll get done.
The result of that action is that both Longmont was prepared and ready to start the process of selling bonds, as well as the project participants who were doing a pooled bond, we’re ready to start that both of those processes, of course, have
stopped the pool, the pool financing, proponents are still preparing their official statement.
I know how much work it takes for long but to put an official statement together. So it’s it’s almost staggering, what it takes that many participants to get that big of an official statement together. So that will continue. It’s expected that, you know, it won’t happen quite as fast. But it’s expected that will continue in the next three or four months to try to get that official statement and get ready to issue that bond.
Then Then the participants,
project participants will have to decide you know, what do we do? Do we go forward?
the most likely we will not be going forward until the end of the appeal period. Technically the project can start and in can move forward.
Because the there was not a motion to enjoin the project from being constructed.
Just a motion to appeal some of the ruling on the on the permit. So the permit is valid. And there is some some small preparatory work going on. An example is that getting electricity into the construction site from the local provider which is pooter Valley RTA that works on going because you got to have that the US
United States wapa Western area Power Administration. One of the first things that needed to happen they their main transmission
line that generate that delivers power from the CVT system down south Gooding to Longmont because right through the middle of the chimney hollow Valley, so that that power line needs to be relocated. After the permit was issued in the ruling in favor of the permit, the wapo was ready to go. And so they’ve already they launched right away and started the relocation of those power poles. That work is continuing, and I would expect to be done fairly soon.
So hopefully, hopefully, that’s positive, that’ll be out of the way. So when when the project does start, be one less thing. So there is there’s a little bit of work going on. But as far as kicking off the main project, that’s gonna wait, the project participants, I’ll probably have a much more informed update in a March meeting, because the project participants will have that conversation at the March, participants meeting,
about how they want to react to the appeal. And, you know, again, I say, most likely, it’ll it’ll become you know, we will not move forward issuing a contract. But until then,
what’s it costing us, you know, it, it will cost a
significant amount of money each month, to, to postpone for approximately another year. We don’t know what that is the we do know,
the numbers we’ve got right now had a may
started construction, so we know what it is tell me. But to postpone it for approximately another month, that conversation in negotiation will start with a contractor and should hopefully have that information before too long, certainly want to want to keep that going and want to keep that contractor
The final thing is just to give you a quick heads up, probably at the March meeting, so so when we entered into the allotment contracts last fall, it was expected that we would about now fairly soon be making for Longmont a $49 million payment, the other participants, their proportionate shares, that the money for the project would come in within the next month or two or three. That’s not obviously not going to happen now. But the project still has considerable ongoing costs. One is the
many of the environmental mitigation costs, were triggered by issuance of the permit. And so those things are going on and and
that activity is happening. We’ve not pulled back on the Colorado River conductivity channel, yet, that may still have to happen. We would hope it wouldn’t. But there’s there’s some costs there that
if we keep going with that project, you’ll continue to have costs there. The reason we aren’t stopping that right now is because there’s a good portion of the funding for that project was a grant grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, that Grant has a had a deadline that expired and got renewed, got extended, and is yet yet to expire. And if we were to postpone the project, we’d lose a third the funding of the project. So it’s critical to move that forward. Also, you know,
if this delay postpones it too long, you could, you could lose one of the you know, one of the real benefits to the environment on the west slope is that connectivity channel. And so
how that happens. A lot of what I guess, for what I’m trying to tell you is is that there are ongoing costs that will need to be paid. And so the project, Northern Colorado water Conservancy, this sub district
will will come back to the participants to ask for a partial.
Our llama contract doesn’t allow for payment for just part of the project. It contemplated payment for the whole project. So we’ll be coming back probably in March or April probably March asked to Amanda
The contract to allow us to pay for for the first probably are around $10 million.
And long months will of course be
7590 of that 10 million, that’s for the 10 million for the whole project to allow us to pay
earlier than for the whole project for that amount. Right now, it’s not contemplated that that willing crease the total amount that will pay that that will come out of contingency funding. And some of it like the conductivity channel, and a lot of the environmental mitigation work was already contemplated, and is already funded. So right now, we don’t know, once the negotiations with the contractor are done, then we’ll know if the total project might have to go up a little bit. We don’t know that yet. We just know that right now. We need to get some of them some of the 49 million Longmont contracted for about a million of that would come from us. And we need to get that amount of money up to Northern sooner than we would for the rest of it. And the rest of it will come at a later date, which again is not determined. So just wanted to give you that heads up. But that’ll be coming next month.
And then one real quick update, similar to indie gap is that northern has been very proactively and hard at work on the
fire recovery efforts for the West slope from the east troublesome fire. Right now they’re working at infrastructure protection, ie, looking at Willow Creek Reservoir impacts to hit Granby, they’re they’re looking at some debris booms, both around the Adams tunnel in lat, a little bit of some possible to breathe booms and shadow mountain, and then in Willow Creek. And then we’re also going to be having some conversations about how to operate the project that’s yet to come. But just real briefly to let you know, Northern is working very hard at
looking at the recovery efforts that need to happen on the west slope and working hand in hand with grand County, because grand county just doesn’t have the wherewithal to deal with the severity and the full scope. They’re looking at a fairly large mergency watershed protection grant grant, which requires 25% match with Grant County and and as well as other things that can be done on the west slope. So still a long ways to go on that. But they are working on that. And
operationally, it will it will change a little bit what what happens with the CVT system. Everybody’s looking at as hard as they can to try to protect our water supplies. Wessel water supplies, as much as we can. So that’s all I had. Mr. Chairman, if I’d be happy to answer any questions, if there are any.
I think Marsha has her virtual hand up. So did you have a question, Marsha? Yes, I do. Thanks, Todd.
I just wanted to know, I, after I put my hand up, Kim said, it’s on the order of a million dollars for transitional funding since the start of the project is delayed again. And it’s going to come to the waterboard next month. Do you have any
expectation that that it’ll be any less than a month or a few weeks after that, that it comes before the council?
you know, what should I tell people to expect? Um, well, the earliest we’d be able to get it is the
I think it’s around the 30th. of March in it more than likely will be in April. And that that depends on whether any decisions are made at the March when the gap participants meeting if, though that the participants have to make their decision on whether to go forward right away, which then if they don’t make that in March, then they’ll make an April and it’ll it’ll be a month after that. But yeah, I would. I would, I would expect it wouldn’t be
it’ll would not surprise me that that decision will be made at the march participants meeting which would then mean March waterboard meeting and either the
last regular meeting in March for council or the
First regular meeting in April for counsel. Depending on, we’d have a contract I need to get through our legal department to review and give them sufficient time. Right. And that’s pretty much as fast as it could happen. Right. That’s as fast as it could happen. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Great. Thank you.
Any other questions for Ken on the windy gap? update?
I’m not seeing any. Okay. Thank you, Ken. Next item is nine be the monthly legislative report looks like you’re up again, Ken.
Since the legislature recessed and just recently sat again, they have introduced a couple of water bills, and we will get those water bills to you to review. But it’s
we haven’t had time to even really hard to look at them ourselves, as well as
because everything got loaded on the legislature all at once. I’m thinking that they’re not going to be able to move too quickly. The one bill that I I did want to highlight, not because it’s ready to review or get or even have any input. But it’s a I believe it’s a bill that has
a lot of a lot of people looking at it from both sides. And and does impact Longmont so I wanted to give you a heads up, and we’ll bring it to the march water board meeting. Probably we’ll be asking for a recommendation at that point. But basically, it’s what what is, for lack of a better term, it’s called the turnback. Bill.
More recently, in the last few years, there’s kind of been a push on some water users, but also at the state level,
more language in water rights decrees that
prevent turned back of water on water that’s changed out of a ditch.
But then not used out of the ditch by the shareholders that move it
to not allow that to be turned back into the ditch and used by the other shareholders. And there’s a whole bunch of levels of conversation around that.
The first one is.
So just generally, you know, when when we transfer water out of a ditch, we’re transferring our proportionate share of the ditch. And then when we transfer it, there’s a whole bunch of
controls on what we can do one of them as we can’t go beyond the historical use of the water. So we are left with in the decree, we’re given
volumetric limits, limits on times when we can divert when we can’t divert
all kinds of limits that protect both the creek and the other water users in the ditch.
So in the past, when, in the past, when when you use that water outside the ditch, then the remaining shareholders got to use
that portion that wasn’t changed. But in the past many times,
say Longmont wood has decides Oh, we don’t want to use the long supply ditch this month, because we have other water rights we’re going to use then then that water could be used by the other shareholders because it wasn’t being used for the change operation.
there and there’s a couple things that are of concern that this happened. One is there’s a concern that if we meet our volumetric limit,
and then it goes back in the ditch and others use it. Is that an injury because you’ve expanded the use of that water? Right.
That’s one issue and the courts have been just recently had a court case that allowed that specifically said that can’t happen once you’ve reached a volumetric limit of more concern is what happens when we don’t when the changed water right doesn’t use its its full allotment but hasn’t met its volumetric limit. Do you want to
cut back on the other shareholders ability to use
And the theory is that in a generally in a in a ditch, irrigation ditch, the decree is pulled and then especially many ditches you,
one third of the shareholders are used all the decree, and then it’ll go to the next third and then the next third because there isn’t enough water to give every single shareholder, a proportionate share. And so that’s kind of a rotating basis, many ditches do. And you got to do that to make the ditch work. And so the courts have kind of held that if the ditch it’s a real facts specific thing, the ditches so. So there’s a lot of
there’s a lot of unknowns right now that whole area of turn back and what can turn back when you can’t turn back, quite honestly, a lot of long mush decrees. Once we put once we pull the water out, we can’t go back in any way. So it’s not quite as big a deal for Longmont, because of a lot of our degrees, we have to say at the start of the year, we’re going to either allow this to be used for irrigation, or getting allowed to be used for change use, but we can’t go back and forth.
But on the other hand, some of our ditches, we use some of the changed water outside the ditch and we use some of the changed water left in the ditch say to irrigate a city park. So then we want to make sure that we can irrigate the city park. So there’s there’s a lot of
this is an issue I think has enormous
potential to, to take a long time to figure out. And I’m really not sure where this bill’s gonna go. I can’t tell you right now.
Colorado water conservation board’s state affairs committee, which does look at a lot of the water bills, so that they can be worked out kind of the technical details can be worked out. They are currently meeting they met last week and changed a lot of the language from the bill that you’re looking at right now. They changed some of that language. And they’re meeting again this week, I think, Wednesday or Thursday, and it’ll change a little bit more. So certainly what you have in front of you is not going to be what the final bill will look like anyway. And still got to get a sponsor in the Senate. But it’s a it’s a big deal, I think in my mind is one of the bigger issues in front of the in front of the legislature in terms of water rights. And I hope everybody that looks at it can hope we get it right. It’s gonna take a little bit effort. And and the courts. Right now the courts are gonna are having to come up with their, their decisions, because there isn’t a lot of legislative guidance. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there understand even a lot better than I do. But I wanted to give you that heads up that this is probably one that we’re gonna be looking at pretty hard, and trying to figure out what what best to do with it. So
I’ll leave it at that. I don’t know that I’d be able to answer a lot of questions on it, because there’s still so a lot of unanswered questions, but I’m
happy to answer any that I might be able to
Yeah, thanks, Ken. I was just wondering if there have been any discussions among other municipalities on this bill. And if anybody taking the position at this point.
There there will be
most of his policies are still looking at it. And I’ve, I’ve talked with a couple of my compatriots, but I don’t have anything from any of the other participants yet. It’s entirely possible that it might even it’ll probably be brought up at windy, windy gap participants meeting where a lot of the municipal entities set. And a lot of times, that’s where I can get kind of some input from other cities. So if I do get some input from those cities, then or any other time, yeah, I’ll pass that on to the board as well, but I don’t have any right now.
Just I guess one update on that. I know, the Northern District, you know, is monitoring that as well. And I think the point is, is just as Ken said, it’s kind of in flux. So I’m waiting to get maybe more clarity on the wording of the proposed bill before anybody can take a stance on it. But anyway, northerns looking at it pretty hard as well, as you can imagine. So any other questions, comments for can?
I don’t see any Canada’s at the so is that the only one you wanted to bring up? With regards to the legit legislative report.
Okay, yeah, that’s that’s the only one we’ve really had time. I knew how big that one was. So I wanted to make sure we took a look at it, but the others we haven’t had time to review. Okay. Go ahead, Scott. You had some?
Yeah, sorry, Todd. I’m not sure where this best fits on the agenda. But it derives from legislation that was passed several years ago. And I just thought I’d ask Ken, if he has any information on this topic, it has to do with the revision of the 811 program. And that revision that was legislatively approved, went into effect January 1. And that does affect infrastructure that’s underground and the need to
the owners of property with an underground infrastructure needing to do a certain number of things in order to be in compliance with the statute.
Can I I have had some conversations on behalf of some ditch company clients with the city of Boulder and the city of Boulder is investigating potentially taking charge of all of the locates for underground infrastructure and public right of ways within the city limits. And I just don’t know if Longmont has a program that it’s looking at thinking about or has been in consultation with other municipalities that would be similar or how the city is approaching 811 locates within its city jurisdiction.
Yeah, that that’s a great question, Scott. We we have
we have done some locates within the city limits on
in real select cases on some of the ditches specifically I think Longmont supply, and a couple others.
Quite honestly, unfortunately, a lot of the ditch a lot of the private ditch companies facilities are not locatable.
And so we’re having conversations
amongst the local niche companies, in Longmont.
We don’t think we haven’t been able to work out a locate service internal to the city yet, I would certainly hope that we can work something out in that arena.
We have informed the company’s the of the
pretty significant penalty if you don’t play that game.
A lot of people don’t it’s like a $50,000 fine if you don’t play the game. And and that’s, that comes as a shock to many of the ditch companies, you know, but but it’s what it’s it’s the legislation that was passed.
Ironically, I know of a private, private
Hoa that has some raw water irrigation in its subdivision when I live in, and I’ve told him twice, it’s the size of that fine, and I can’t get it through him. So you know, it’s it’s a it’s a real unfunded mandate out there that that is hitting everybody. You know, we’re trying to I agree this guy, we’re trying to figure out what the ditch companies for one thing that most of the ditch companies have part time dish riders, so you don’t even have anybody located. And
we’re even considered things as far as saying, Can we go back to the legislature and say, if it’s a road culvert and the contractor can look on one side of the road and see it and look on the other side of the road and see it Why do you have to locate it? But you do you know
and so yeah, we’re looking at everything from possibly doing permanent marking of some of the of the ditches
that doesn’t help the private
Hoa isn’t you know, it’s amazing how many Hoa is out there have some infrastructure buried underground. I don’t think you know the folks that wrote that bill. He thought about that, but it’s it’s a big deal. So yeah, I apologize Scott. We don’t have any any answer yet. But we we are looking at at at that and, and
I’m not even like Kevin, throw in anything more. He’s been helping us look at that quite a bit too.
But yeah, we’re
we’re still working on that one.
Yeah, Scott, we’re a few of the ditch companies are looking at getting a private Locating Service to do their locates. So
I was working with the
the denied retailer today trying to get
there’s a contract with a private Locating Service
up and running. So, you know short of that the problem we have, like Ken said is there’s just, you know, the dead riders work only part time part of the year. And the 811 system requires somebody to be available 24 seven.
that’s why we kind of went with a private Locating Service, we’re going to try it.
With the mill dodge mountains, there’s a pretty extensive amount of underground infrastructure with the mill ditch.
Gonna try it with that one and kind of move on from there. So
Well, Kevin, if you wouldn’t mind keeping us posted? i?
Yeah, I have ditched company clients. Similarly, looking at private services, as a way of at least limiting the potential liability. Certainly there’ll be a higher cost. And that’s hard to swallow for relatively lean operations that ditch companies generally run.
But I do know that like I said, Boulder is contemplating something I’m told Lafayette has something similar where at least within the city limits, there’s some some assistance that potentially is forthcoming and I, I’m not asking for it. I’m just curious if you guys come to that conclusion, or if you’re talking about in municipalities, that would be nice to know, you know, that the one thing that’s obvious is that because it started January 1, I doubt that anybody’s got any invoices yet.
To give them any sticker shock, frankly, at the cost of locates, right. So, um, yeah, I was just going to be interested. Now this enrolls because I think can your your suggestion that corrective legislation is perhaps in
something on the horizon, I’ve talked with several groups about looking at something in 2022, because I don’t think 2021 we’re gonna have enough data to really prove a point. But I think 2022 will be ripe for that, and just wanted to make sure we collaboratively thought about that, because I think there’s a lot of dormant issues that will arise that weren’t intended by the wall.
And yeah, thanks for your time. I appreciate that. And Scott, I just got one comment to make. Kevin and I on the boards that we serve on. We most of them, we have been bringing it up because its annual annual annual meeting time this right now, January, January, February, March. So when it’s we’ve been bringing it up with most of the meetings.
Roger, did you have a question or comment? Yeah. Scott, did you mention the city of boulders plan on doing all locates under their jurisdiction like power and telecommunication locator? How far are they looking at going? That’s a good question. Roger. I’m not sure I know the answer. I was having a conversation with one of the city attorneys about the ability for the city or the city’s desire potentially to at least help ditch companies and similar to Longmont. They sit on a lot of boards. They own a lot of ditch shares within the with ditch companies that exist within the city boundaries. So they were only looking at those infrastructural elements that were within city right of ways. So it was fairly limited, but I don’t know what the scope of that was, if it was solely ditch infrastructure, whether that dealt with other utilities as well. I just don’t know, I can try to find out and circle back. Roger, I just, I don’t have any better information at this point.
I think that would be a real
bad decision to mess with something that works well now particularly power locates and telecommunication. Why would you you know, I just don’t understand. Why would you try and fix something that’s not broken? So I was just kind of curious. And maybe they’re not planning to look that direction? I’m not sure they are. Like I said it was specifically in the context of ditch infrastructure. And again,
as Ken mentioned, yeah, if you can see a culvert on both sides of caprino. A covered road shouldn’t have to go out and locate it necessarily. But most of the power companies and the telecom companies that people 24 seven available to companies just don’t and frankly, I don’t have any budget for for the increased
expenditure of doing that. I mean, if you don’t narrow your buffer on the locates, you’re looking at a fairly
big amount of locates
Aren’t anywhere near your ditch, but you get called on anyways and have to be responsive to and have to be responsive to almost immediately. It’s a pretty draconian bill on that element. So
in practice, we find, basically the call out service, they’re not going to put themselves at risk at all. So it’s practically, if the call for locates within the same quarter section, it might be a couple 1000 feet away, you’ll still get called. And you still got to pay for that locate. And
it It adds up pretty quickly. It’s a lot of locates real quick.
The one nice thing about their new system is they are accepting our GIS shapefiles. So we can actually send them
the actual map of the ditch. And then
there they’re saying their, their call outs are within 40 feet, but we’ll see how that actually plays out.
That would help.
Okay, any other questions, comments?
All right, we’ll keep moving on. The next items is the water resource engineering projects update. And Jason, are you out there? Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Hey, everybody’s Jason Elkins just wanted to give you a quick update on a couple of our capital projects. As you might recall, button rock outlet has been torn apart for the better part of a couple months now getting repaired.
We are going to we’re actually starting assembly of the gate today. And installation of the gate begins tomorrow. So I went down to Koh bloco on
on Friday, and did a final inspection of all the gate components and the coatings and everything to make sure it was ready for assembly. And so now HMS is starting to assemble it in their yard. And then they’re going to transport that up there via trailer and start assembly tomorrow. So right now we’re scheduled to have the outlet back in operation by March 5. And right now, I don’t foresee any issues to delay that. But if something comes up, I’ll be sure to update the board. But as of right now, we’re expected in the first week of March to have it back into service.
The South St. vrain pipeline, as you also might recall, we’re installing a pump station that will connect South st grain pipeline into the North st brain pipeline. And we have burns and McDonnell who was doing the design on that. And so we’ve completed our 30% design, and we’ve actually
submitted an RFP for the actual pump station the purchase of the equipment,
just to remind the board that we’re using leftover FEMA pap funding from the 2013 flood recovery projects, we have about $900,000. And so we’ve we’ve asked FEMA can we use that money to purchase equipment. And so the the purchase of this pump station, we did open up bids, I can’t disclose who the lowest bidder is right now because we’re still vetting them. But we are going to be able to purchase all that equipment with the available funds the theme of pap funds. So right now we’re looking really good.
We’re planning on having the pump station should be fully constructed by the end of the year. And hopefully
within our operating within the first quarter of next year. And that that will be dependent on a lot of things we might get the pump station done before we get the South St. Green pipeline rehab project done. I don’t think that’ll be the case. But you know,
can’t turn the pump station on if we can’t get water to the pump station. So
and that’s that’s really it. Does anybody have any specific questions?
Any questions for Jason?
I am not seeing any. Thank you for the update. Just I guess one question. So you guys are using temporary pumps on the
on the button rock dam to pump water out. Is that correct? In the interim? And I assume you have those I think Ken was saying you had enough buffer in that that that’ll allow for that March 5 timeframe. Is that right? Yes. So we we originally was just allowing it to naturally spill over the spillway. And so just whatever the in stream flows was was what was going over. But because northern had to make repairs
basically turned off one of our water supplies, we had to install some pumps to make up for that loss. And so we installed two pumps and pumped 15 CFS over the spillway. And we had to do that for three, three whole days. And then we returned one of the pumps off, and then we turn the other pump down to about four CFS so that the in stream flows could then slowly refill the reservoir and then naturally start spilling over. And so now it’s back to spilling over as it was before northern turn the water back on. We’re back in, you know, left foot running at full capacity and the pumps have been demobilized.
One thing to note I am writing an SLP on on the pumping for for emergencies like this, just so for future reference. We have some documentation that shows how it was done.
Great. Thanks, Jason. Any other questions, comments? I don’t see any. Okay, we’ll keep moving on. Next item is nine D is the button rock preserve management plan update is Daniel
going to give us an update, she wasn’t able to make it today. Mr. Chair. So I’ll go ahead and just give you a quick update.
That project is still continuing.
We were not able to get enough of the work done to bring that project forward in early spring this year. So it’ll be a little bit later in probably into summer before we bring that that report that map master plan before you one reason we wanted to bring it up today was just to kind of give you a heads up. We there there had been talk about possibly
as part of that process looking at eliminating fishing permits in buttoned rock and just allowed to be the same as the stream above and below just you’d fishing it with a state fishing license only
wasn’t we we’ve not been able to get enough
directed input to move that one forward. And actually, we weren’t able to get it in time to get it in the states fishing brochure. So the 21 fishing brochure is already out, saying you got to have permits and button rock this year. So we’ve we are going to go ahead and continue this summer to have fishing permits. But we will come before the board and ask that question. Probably late spring, early summer, about the future of that permit program, whether to keep it or eliminate it.
But it won’t, it won’t be for this summer. So mostly, that’s probably the biggest thing we wanted to do is let the board know that. We’ll continue with a fishing permit program as we’ve had it for the last 25 years, for at least this summer. And then we’ll explore that in that master planning effort. later this spring and summer.
Okay, any questions?
Okay. Thank you, Ken.
Next West, you’re going to give the monthly water supply update?
Yes, Mr. Chair. Um, so
this month, I just wanted to highlight a few of the
changes on our water supply and, and drought indicators and go over a couple graphs. Next month, we will because we’re going to be returning in a relatively shorter period of time in three weeks.
That will be when we really kind of have some real strong meat and what we’re talking about. But nonetheless,
a couple things I wanted to mention at the beginning. And Nelson has already touched on a few of those.
The as we look at some of our our water supply and drought indicators, flows are pretty much staying consistent throughout the wintertime. The local select storage is
near average, a little bit below average. But near average, we were actually in I was in a part of a
meeting with a number of entities stretching from Pueblo down to or all the way up to Fort Collins. And it’s a fair it’s a fairly common situation for most of us, of the water providers and cities in that we’re all right now.
Feeling like we’ve got
good storage, there is slightly below average. But
municipalities and water providers oftentimes will take a more conservative approach in what they believe that their needs are going to be. And that’s certainly the case with long lat. What in our select storage, we find that we have more storage up high, some of that was a function of the bedrock Allah works.
project we have going on that Jason just spoke to so button rock is full. Although union is down more and pleasant valleys down a little bit. I think we’re at about 40% full, but we were still anticipating that that’ll be near will by the runoff. Our trans basin storage is all haven’t changed since the last time we spoke and really won’t until northern speaks to the supplemental quota that they’ll put out in in April or May.
And then South Platte water. snowpack. Nelson mentioned that they were that we were at about 92%. If you actually look down towards the
kind of more St. Breen specific, we’re a little bit
weaker on our snowpack.
Just kind of looking at a few of the sites that are more specific to our drainage probably puts us closer to about 80%. Right now, with the Colorado, although it’s at about 88%. If you looked at the windy gap storage, kind of the willow Willow Creek area, it’s closer to 96%. So
there’s there’s a, we’re kind of paying attention to that. And so, Heather, if you wanted to jump to page 30. For us.
What you’ll see there is some of the specific elevations have been bringing that to you the last several months. This just kind of shows everyone once again that our total in the in the district, and our storage is at 71%. And normally, it’s probably in the mid 70s to upper 70s. But a bulk of that is coming through the Hyland system and there the there, there will be the ones that are always down there about 50% on their system. So nothing real surprising there.
And then if we wanted Heather to jump down to page 38.
I just wanted to
kind of go over this is a part of a graph on page. Actually 39 I’m sorry, Heather.
It’s kind of a difficult one to read. You can kind of find it in your packet. But this is one that we pay attention to. Now, you’ll have to bear in mind that this was as of February 1, but it is the most recent one we have through NRCS that they’ve given us. And what it’s telling us is that
I guess it actually be the next next page forward for long, but I’m sorry, Heather, thank you that we’re probably looking at about right? Well, as of February 1, they were predicting about a 70% of average run off for lions, which goes hand in hand with the snowpack. February 1 No, we we had a lower snowpack. Now we’re in the Upper 80s. So I’m guessing depending on what happens in the next week that when we get the march 1 reading, we’ll find that bumped back up to maybe those around 8080 to 85%. So we’ll report that next month to the board.
On page 42.
What I wanted to highlight on these graphs,
South Platte you can see we’re kind of tracking along average lb it
below average. But what you really see is, and it’s it’s
more often than not, we’ll have a
snow event, maybe sometime mid December into December that gives us a bump. Then we more frequently seen it towards February where you get that bump and then again,
mid March and so it’s
what it begins to show us is that even though we are currently in the South Platte basin, right around eight to nine inches where our normal peak would be at about 15 inches, so we’re about halfway there.
This last bit of snowfall
fact that we get often comes in the form of one or two snow events, those wet snow events in the spring. And so we’re all crossing our fingers and hoping that we’ll we will see those. And so between that graph and
the last graph on the following page for the Colorado River, you find how significant some of those storms can, can be, you’ll see those sharp increases in different time periods where it’s made those jumps. So, again, we’ll be coming in front of the board on the 15th of March. And at that time, I think we’re going to have will be able to have a much more in depth conversation about where we set I’d say right now, though, we’re
hopeful that we’re going to have a hopefully, a decent run off another thing that was discussed in this meeting that I had with some of these other entities.
And it seems to be fairly statewide is the recognition for the low soil moisture, and how it’ll probably take a above average snowpack to yield an average runoff. And so I think that’s true with us as well. So
we’ll just have to stay tuned. So at that, I’ll be happy to answer any questions that the board may have.
Are there any questions for Wes on his report?
Well, as I do have one question you had mentioned in your write up that the Pleasant Valley reservoir saint of it doesn’t feel there may be a limited water supply under the rough and ready system.
In particular, I guess what I’m curious about is you’ve got the you Creek Golf Course, the rough and ready Park, Steven de Park and spring Gulch. Number two, what what would the city do in terms of irrigation supply? If you don’t have
you know, if those don’t, you don’t have enough water out of Pleasant Valley to irrigate? Is that a, would they reduce their demand per se? Or is there other supplies that you would then supply? I’m just kind of curious what what the plan would be since I got brought up in the right Oh, yeah. So.
So for a lot of those parks golf courses, greenspaces, East of town, we really think about them being irrigated with three sources, the rough and ready in that direct flow component. So depending upon the runoff regime, we’ll find out how long that stays in priority to irrigate under that. After that goes out of priority, we would then jump to Pleasant Valley.
And then, if and when the Pleasant Valley decree is no longer to yield enough for that water, Longmont would likely dedicate some of its CBT supplies to those purposes. So the simple answer is we’d probably supplement it with CVT.
We have our high mountain dam decrees that are eligible to be stored in Pleasant Valley. So depending upon the call in the river when the runoff occurs,
we may be able to put those in there to help fill up our part of the Pleasant Valley reservoir that we would need for the city purposes.
There’s, there’s a, there’s a number of different factors that will be involved, but I think we’re Longmont would likely and in that would kind of depend also upon the quota declaration from Northern if our first priority will be to be providing, meeting the needs of our domestic users or treated water users. And to the extent that we feel comfortable that we can do that, then we would free up probably those CVT supplies as needed. But if it was very dry, and Pleasant Valley was down, they would have to further reduce what they normally would do.
And one last thing to remember is that long months use under that reservoir is a proportion to our to our interest in the company is very small.
There’s a lot of other users out there that have actually benefited from the fact that you know, we don’t have that much irrigated area under the Pleasant Valley reservoir compared to our total share ownership. And basically, we’ll probably, you know, we should do fairly good because we don’t have a huge area to irrigate compared to our our interest of full water we do have in there.
Other water, other water users that pull water out of that will have to
you know, they’ll have to watch their hole much closer than in years when that reservoir is full.
Thank you guys. Any other questions, comments on the water status report? Okay, I don’t see any we’ll keep moving on. Item number 10. A is a review of the water board bylaws and guiding water principles. Ken, are you gonna take that one?
Yeah, we have before you we think we made the changes that the board approved of last month. So hopefully you had a chance to look at those and make sure you’re okay with that one.
conversation we had surrounded, remote meeting attendance.
And, as it turns out, the city does have some policies around remote attendance.
The city’s cut a policy is the only we can only allow remote attendance during emergency
situations. So certainly COVID has been a year long emergency. But that’s why we’re doing remote meetings right now. But generally, the city’s policy is not to do remote attendance. So we did not change the language.
Concerning remote attendance, in the bylaws, we that remains are basically silent on it. But that’s not changed in
There’s not specific statutory language that I can point to prohibiting that under a non emergency situation. But generally, it’s it’s
currently not not
not allowed in Longmont.
Well, put it that way, mostly be more from a policy standpoint, that is going to be reviewed, I think, but by the time we all go back to in person meetings,
sometime this year, whenever that’ll be, then after this experience, all the boards have been doing remote as well as council that I think will probably have that conversation. And it will be a more robust city wide conversation. So if that can’t happen, and it is an enemy, then it would probably be appropriate. next January, we look at the bylaws. The waterboard looks at the bylaws every January, we think next January would be a good time to look at that particular issue
and address it then. So if the board is okay with that, I think the rest of the changes. I believe we captured what waterboard had asked for and would be ready to move that but the bylaws forward. So in terms of moving it forward, do you need a just a approval? Do you need a motion and a second on that can to approve the changes as you drafted them. Um, you know, it might be good to go ahead and and you really approved them last month, but it might not it might not be bad just now that you’ve seen the changes in in black and white, and red.
Be good to approve it as written. Okay. I guess before we do that, is anybody have any questions or comments on the edits? And Ken’s explanation of that?
Okay, if not, we need a motion to approve the water board bylaws, as they were included in the water board packet.
Kathy is making the motion? Yes. Is there a second?
Rogers making a second? Any further discussion?
Hearing none, all those in favor say aye. Aye. Aye. Opposed. Okay, That motion carries.
The next item.
Switch over here is the
Yeah, go ahead, Roger. Good. Good. I make a comment on the last part of this the guiding water principles. I just have one thing I want to ask about.
I was reading through the annual Water Board report for 2020, which I thought was done very well. But when you get into looking at a sustainability update, there was a paragraph in there that said that
we were looking at water use per capita per day in Longmont service area from 26 2006 2019.
And I was wondering
kindred, your people put those numbers together
on on per capita water use over a period of time or who did the numbers for those?
We did the staff did that in house. Yes. And we try to keep that updated as as time goes on.
What what I was wondering is if we could see the numbers, the raw numbers for a five year period through 2020. Just just to look at the current Look at him, I’d like to understand better what those numbers look like. So when we get into this discussion of sustainability, I’d know what I’m talking about right now. I haven’t I haven’t seen the raw numbers that I would like to share. I think it’d be good for the board to see him too.
Yes, we’d be happy. We’ll we will bring that next month as just a general update to give you that information. And then we’ll continue to bring that to you. I’d appreciate it. Thank you.
Okay, thank you, Roger.
The next item is the is 10 b review of major project listings and items tentatively scheduled for future board meetings. Is there anything can you guys want us to look at in that regard? I have nothing update there. Okay. 10. c? Is the annual waterboard report.
Is there any? Are you going to give an overview of a can or use one input from us after reviewing reviewing it?
Well, I’ll let Wes give you a quick summary of it.
So what the board has in front, as you
all may recall, is there’s a requirement, if you will, that each year you’ll put together an annual report to produce to Council. And so this is a summary of that report for your for you guys. And so there’s it looks strikingly similar to the years prior that we’ve had, it tries to capture all those major items that you your board has reviewed in the water issues that you studied.
There’s really nothing
specific that I wanted to highlight if there was questions, or have you seen something that you thought might be an error we’d like to change.
We’d be happy to have that conversation. Otherwise, what we’d like to do is just have some direction to go ahead and for this as your boards,
formal annual report to city council.
Okay, is there any questions, comments on the annual report?
I do have one was under the cash in lieu of water rights.
It has a little description in there that the fee is determined by the current mercury of senior bass and water rights when such information is available, and anyway, we can keep going through that. But that’s really not
what we’re doing. We’re setting it based on the windy gap,
forming projects on a cost per acre foot of that. So I think that needs to be updated that section because it’s not really reflecting what we’re doing. So that was the only one I saw. Very good. Yeah, we’ll we’ll make that correction. So it mirrors what we what we’re doing currently what our practice was for last year. Absolutely. Thank you. Okay. Any other questions, comments? Do you want to guess what that one change may be subject to that one change? Would you like to get a motion the formal approval by the board? If you would? Okay.
I guess with that one change being made. We need a motion in a second for approval of the annual report.
make that motion? This is Scott. Okay. We have a motion by Scott, is there a second? I’ll second. All right, a second by Allison. Any further discussion? Seeing none, all those in favor say aye.
Aye. Opposed? Okay. What an annual report is approved.
All right, let me back to my script here.
So the next item under 11 is informational items and waterboard correspondence.
It doesn’t look like there was anything in there was there Can any other items we need to discuss. We have none other. Okay. And then I guess item 12. We will be reviewing the cash in lieu, next month, I believe. I guess the one note on that Ken would be if you can’t get any, you know, indication of when the gap costs. I don’t know.
have, you know, though, when they’re doing updates of the overall project cost, especially given the delay by the appeal to the lawsuit? I guess that would be, you know, something we would need to take into account as soon as it’s available in relation to cash in lieu. So, yeah, that may be available for your March meeting.
conversations are going ongoing with the contractor. But it may be June before we know for sure. I will certainly bring any information we have by them to the March meeting. Okay. I think the only other item that we talked about was maybe, you know, at some point here getting an update from say brain and left hand on the stream management plan that that they were working on, or the implementation of it, I should say. So, yes, we’ve had those conversations with the same brain district and currently, Shawn is tentatively scheduled scheduling to come to your April board meeting to give you that update. Okay, great. That sounds good.
With any other items aboard as
I’m not saying anything with that we’re on item 13.
Any questions, comments, anything for the good of the order?
I don’t see any. So with that being said, I’ll go ahead and adjourn the meeting. Thank you guys.