Settlement reached in Dry Gulch water case

By Randi Pierce staff

After years of litigation, the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation and San Juan Water Conservancy districts have agreed to the terms of a settlement with Trout Unlimited in the case of the proposed Dry Gulch Reservoir. The local chapter of TU brought forth litigation in 2004 over concerns that the then 35,000 acre-foot reservoir and accompanying rights for diversion and refill amounted to a water grab on the part of PAWSD.

“The settlement underscores that municipal water projects must be based on well-founded, substantiated data about future growth and water needs,” [Trout Unlimited’s attorney, Andrew] Peternell said in the press release. “In a time of water scarcity, Colorado must embrace water solutions that meet a range of needs, including municipal growth, agriculture and wildlife and recreation. No water user can take more than its fair share.”