|Mancos Water conservancy District
42599 Road N
Mancos, CO 81328
Mancos Water Conservancy District
|UPDATE JACKSON GULCH RESERVOIR
Reservoir priority #36
There will be a public meeting on May 29th at 7:00 P.M.
at the Mancos Community Center.
The Mancos River Call:
- MAY 24th (AM) -
With the warm and cool weather we are able to keep the river
at a constant flow holding priority # 32
(note that I may not have the updated priority when this update is posted)
THE RESERVOIR CONTENT IS 3,349 AF OR 33.5 %.
The Board of Directors have set the 2013 water allotment at
17% of your total allotment.
They have also set a date for water delivery starting June 7th
AS FOR THE MUNICIPAL WATER - THEY WILL HAVE
WATER - THE BOARD HAS REQUESTED THAT THEY USE
NO MORE THAN LAST YEAR!
While we await for Senate action on H.R. 678 (Tipton), Rep. Steve Daines (MT) just introduced another bill that
allows for conduit hydro development at ALL Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) facilities. As some of you know, H.R.
678, as passed by the House 416-7, authorized such development at BOR facilities that are subject to the
Reclamation Project Act of 1939. Much earlier this year, we found that there were 11 BOR projects not covered by
the Reclamation Project Act of 1939, but are instead covered under the authorities of the Water Conservation and
Utilization Act (WCUA) of 1939.
There is a significant difference between those two statutes in that the WCUA only allows the federal government to
develop hydropower and requires any revenues associated with that development to stay with the federal
government. As a result, a non-federal developer (i.e. irrigation district) is prohibited from developing this potential
hydro resource and, even if it was allowed, it could not collect any revenues it receives from selling hydropower.
So, under current law, these projects could only be developed by the federal government. Such development is
contingent upon federal appropriations and subsequent action, which as many of us know is simply not practical.
This bill instead allows irrigation districts and others the ability to step in and develop these projects -- at no cost to
the federal government and allows them to keep revenues if they choose to sell the hydropower. Those projects
covered under the WCUA are the following:
Buffalo Rapids Project (Montana)
Intake Project (Montana)
Milk River Project (Montana)
Missoula Valley Project (Montana)
Newton Project (Utah)
Scofield Project (Utah)
Mancos Project (Colorado)
Mann Creek Project (Idaho)
Angostura Unit of PSMB (South Dakota)
Mirage Flats Project (Nebraska)
Rathdrum Prairie Project (Idaho)
Since 4 of the 11 projects are in Montana, Rep. Daines introduced H.R. 1963 yesterday to ensure that ALL BOR
projects are treated the same when it comes to conduit hydro development. The attached legislation amends the
WCUA to remove the above statutory barriers by authorizing non-federal hydropower development at the 11 WCUA
projects; and creating a mechanism which allows a non-federal hydro developer to generate lease revenues for the
federal government while allowing these developers to generate income from selling hydropower. The rest of the bill
follows much of H.R. 678, as passed by the House and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which
codifies the existing streamlined NEPA categorical exclusion process, clears up multi-agency confusion to establish
the BOR as the sole permitting authority for hydropower development on projects covered by the bill, offers a right
of first refusal for small hydropower development to the entities operating the facility as they are most familiar with its
details, and ensures that water supply for irrigation remains the primary purpose of the facilities, and that
hydropower developed on these facilities will be ancillary to providing water supplies.
In conversations with the BOR, the agency has informally supported what we are doing in this bill. However, a
difference of opinion existed between how best to amend the WCUA to make this happen while following a 1993
Interior Solicitor's opinion on hydro development at WCUA projects. We are hopeful that our provision does just
that, however, we are willing to have continuing conversations with the BOR on this topic.
We have a hearing on this bill next Thursday, May 23 at 10am. We expect two witnesses from WCUA projects
impacted by this bill to testify in support of the bill.
We hope too that you will support this bill. If you have any questions
Your help is needed to support this bill.