Wednesday, April 6, 2016

When will the Southern Delivery System be turned on?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 11:24 AM

click to enlarge The north outlet of Pueblo Dam links to the SDS pipeline, but when will the water be turned on? - COLORADO SPRINGS UTILITIES
  • Colorado Springs Utilities
  • The north outlet of Pueblo Dam links to the SDS pipeline, but when will the water be turned on?

In Wednesday's Independent, you'll see a story about the activation of the city's hallmark Southern Delivery System water pipeline from Pueblo Reservoir still being up in the air.

While many agencies with interests in the pipeline have notified the Bureau of Reclamation that Colorado Springs Utilities is in compliance with its contracts for SDS, Pueblo County thinks otherwise.

But Pueblo County isn't alone. The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District wrote to the bureau, which controls Pueblo Reservoir, earlier this year saying the city hasn't complied with its 1041 permit, a construction permit issued by Pueblo County and urges the bureau to step in.

In the Jan. 20 letter, the district cites the Environmental Protection Agency's notice of violations of the city's MS4 stormwater discharge permit as evidence the city has failed to comply with 1041 requirements regarding the control of storm drainage.

"Reclamation accordingly should not allow the conveyance of SDS water for the use of the city through SDS until the city is in full compliance with the MS4 permit and 1041 permit," the letter, signed by district president Lynden Gill, says.

The bureau says no such action is necessary at this point in time.

Mayor John Suthers has refused to comment on the negotiations until the city and Pueblo County reach agreement on an intergovernmental agreement. The Indy went to press before we received a response to a March 30 Colorado Open Records Act request to find out more about the mayor's involvement in negotiation of an IGA that will clear the way for SDS to begin pumping water without threat of interference from the county.

The records show that since the mayor spoke to Pueblo County commissioners on Jan. 25, he's met with his staff five times and once with Pueblo County Commissioner Terry Hart. The most recent meeting was March 22 during which a Pueblo County draft IGA was reviewed.

There have been no meetings since.

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