Northern Water’s Regional Pool Program
Northern Colorado farmers may have access to an additional water supply this year.
This is likely to be the first year that water will be available through Northern Water’s Regional Pool Program, which gives farmers and other water users another way to lease Colorado-Big Thompson Project supplies.
Allocation of RPP water may come as soon as Friday, Feb. 12, when the Northern Water Board of Directors will decide whether to implement the program this year and, if so, how much water to place up for bid. Uncertainty about 2010 runoff potential might prompt the Board to postpone a decision until its March 12 meeting.
RPP water is C-BT water that wasn’t needed by C-BT water users the year before. The Board allocates a quota of C-BT water each year for allottees, or unit holders. When allottees don’t use all their quota water, they can preserve, or carry over, some of it. If more remains, it automatically goes into the RPP and in certain circumstances can be leased the following year.
C-BT allottees can lease RPP water, but the program also makes C-BT water available for lease by other water users within Northern Water’s district boundaries. Account holders whose water contributed to the pool are not eligible; however, they do receive the leasing revenues.
RPP leases will be awarded based on the highest per acre foot bid. The Board is set to review the details of the bidding process, along with whether to implement the RPP, on Friday.
People who want to stay informed about the RPP can sign up for updates by e-mailing RegionalPool@NCWCD.org, check http://www.NorthernWater.org for the latest RPP news or call the Northern Water Distribution Systems Department at (970) 292-2500.
Interested water users will need to fill out a pre-approval form, which can be turned in before or with the bids.
The Board adopted the RPP in 2005, but the 2009 water year was the first with enough C-BT reserves to implement the program.
“This program offers project beneficiaries an alternative method to lease C-BT supplies for their upcoming water demand season,” said Brad Wind, Northern Water deputy manager.
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