Meeting on groundwater wells set for Thursday at Fritzler’s Corn Maze | TheFencePost.com

Meeting on groundwater wells set for Thursday at Fritzler’s Corn Maze

Staff reports

Weld County and state officials will meet with local residents and producers Thursday to discuss the thousands of shut-down and curtailed groundwater wells in the area and the impact it’s having.

The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at Fritzler’s Corn Maze, 20861 Weld County Road 33, south of LaSalle, just off of U.S. 85. Organizers urge anyone affected to attend the meeting.

Among those expected: Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins, and Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Eaton, along with water experts and local producers and residents.

Meeting organizers said invitations have also been sent to members of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s staff, and to Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar.

About 8,000 wells in the area were shut down or curtailed by the state, following a historic drought in the early 2000s, because the state determined the continued pumping of those wells would deplete water supplies downstream and cause harm to senior water-right holders who relied on surface water for irrigation and other purposes.

Some believe the curtailment of the wells has led to the high groundwater levels in the area, which have caused millions of dollars in damage to homes and in lost agriculture production in the LaSalle, Gilcrest, Brighton and Sterling areas.

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Farmers are particularly concerned this year about not having their wells pumping to irrigate crops in such dry conditions.

For more information, call Glen Fritzler at (970) 737-2141.