Dry Gulch case: back to water court

By Chuck McGuire
PagosaSUN.com staff

In its most recent appeal, TU argued that the districts’ revised figures were still not in line with credible future water use projections and amounted to speculation. In Monday’s decision, the high court unanimously agreed, finding insufficient evidence to support the quantities of water Lyman awarded, either in direct flow rights or storage.

In its decree, the Supreme Court ruled that the 23,500-acre-foot size approved by the water court is based on “speculative claims, at least in part.”

In response, TU insists that, “Unless the Pagosa districts can now demonstrate a ‘substantial probability’ that a reservoir of that size is needed to meet future needs, the water court must reduce the amount of their claimed water.”

TU went on to say, “We’re ready to talk with the Pagosa Springs stakeholders and craft a solution that meets a range of valid needs, including municipal growth, agriculture and recreation and wildlife. But any solution has to be based on credible, substantiated numbers about future water supply and needs.”