In Colorado, the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District is seeking a new water right to divert as much as 500 acre-ft of water a year from the Roaring Fork River in Snowmass Village. According to the Aspen Times, this would serve as a backup in case something happens to its primary water sources.
The district could divert as much as 9 cu ft per second of water from the Roaring Fork and pump it up to Snowmass Village from a 6-mile pipeline along the Brush Creek valley.
According to the Aspen Times, the district calls the project the “Roaring Fork intake pipeline.”
“This is an insurance policy for the district,” said Kit Hamby, district manager, to Aspen Times.
The district filed an application for the water right in Division 5 water court in Glenwood Springs on Dec. 31, 2017, according to the Aspen Times.
According to Hamby, the district is in negotiations with the state, the only party that filed a statement of opposition in the case. The proposed diversion point will allow the district to capture and reuse water that has flowed down Brush Creek from the district’s wastewater-treatment plant on the Snowmass golf course.
According to the Aspen Times, the diversion would deliver water from the river to a pump house located a few hundred yards below the Toothache Run on the Roaring Fork. The project’s pump station would be built on what is now private land, and the pipeline would come up along the river where other pump stations would be used to move the water.
“This is a project that probably won’t happen for years, maybe even decades, and it may never happen,” Hamby said to the Aspen Times.
Hamby also noted it is in the category of “long-term resiliency planning.”
“We’d have to have some catastrophic event in Snowmass Creek to move forward with this,” he said to Aspen Times, referencing a drought, landslide or wildfire. “If we were to lose that source of water, we’d need to go to another source of water, and we wouldn’t want that source of water to be in Snowmass Creek.”
There is no current cost estimate on the project, according to Hamby.