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Brighton OKs a trade with Central Colo. water district

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — The city of Brighton will be trading water with the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District to avoid losing augmentation water.

In an 8-0 vote, council decided to enter into the agreement, which is a one-for-one water exchange, during its June 17 council meeting.

Assistant Director of Utilities Sarah Borgers said as part of an ongoing case in water court, the city is required to return water to the river to the northern portion of the South Platte River to the Cache La Poudre River. She said since the city doesn’t have any facilities there, the city would have significant losses in augmentation water — 20 to 30 percent — to transport the water 45 miles downstream.

According to Borgers, Weld County Road 2 is the furthest point north that the city is able to return water to the river and that the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District was interested in getting additional water supplies from the Brighton area.

“Between us and Central, we had a discussion and they needed water where we have water. They have water where we need water and so, we thought it would be a good plan to do a one-for-one trade of augmentation water,” she said. 

The city of Brighton will provide 252 acre-feet of water to the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District, and CCWCD would provide 252 acre-feet of water at the Cache La Poudre River for the city. Because it’s a trade, there is no cost for the city.