PAWSD Conjures $357 Million Project in Dry Gulch, Part Five

Pagosa Daily Post
Bill Hudson | 3/3/09
When District 7 Water Court Judge Greg Lyman approved the water rights for a proposed 35,000 acre-foot reservoir in Dry Gulch in 2004, that decision was appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court, by national fishing organization Trout Unlimited.  The Supreme Court objected to Lyman’s decision and remanded the case back to him for additional “findings of fact.”  The Supreme Court’s objections were based on three main issues.

In 2003, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District engineer Steve Harris had designed the Dry Gulch Reservoir at 35,000 acre-feet for one simple reason: that was the largest reservoir that would fit in Dry Gulch.  Harris admitted this in court, and at public PAWSD meetings.  In order to justify such a large reservoir — almost 18 times current Archuleta County use — Harris had used estimates of 100 years of astronomical community growth.