Here in the San Luis Valley, we are a high mountain desert valley that thrives on an average of 7-8 inches precipitation of water a year.
The land and water provide an economy for the six counties that make up the San Luis Valley: Mineral county, where it received its name of the county for its precious natural resources; Rio Grande County for the flow of one of the largest rivers in Colorado; Saguache County for its beautiful blue water; Conejos County, for its abundance of cottontail rabbits and at one time was said to be proposed for the capital of Colorado; Costilla County, for the first community to be established in the State of Colorado and the first water right documented in the state, The Peoples Ditch.
In the San Luis Valley, the beauty of the vast scenery follows you from every destination the north, south, east or west part of the valley floor to the 14ers mountain top.
Recently, you have been hearing of more attempts to export water out of the northern part of the San Luis Valley in Saguache County. On December 6th in an open meeting with Rio Grande Water Conservation District, Renewable Resources Development proposed a 22,000 acre-foot plan to export water out of the northern part of the San Luis Valley to the Front Range to sell the San Luis Valley ground water.
Just look what happened in Crowley and Chaffee Counties along the Arkansas River, where the water was sold and diverted to the big city of Denver, Aurora and the Front Range. The land is dried up, and the water kept in the watershed.
I am informing you that I am full heartedly against this export plan for a water grab to the Front Range. If this plan was to go through it would diminish the very aspect of the beauty of the San Luis Valley, the land, that is between approximately 8,000 square miles from the Continental Divide in the San Juan mountains to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and affects the economic stability of so many that live in the six counties in the San Luis Valley.
The San Luis Valley’s lifeblood is water and is unique in more ways than one, the beauty of the landscape, the culture and diversity of people that make up each city and community within the San Luis Valley.
In turn, the San Luis Valley water is very precious to the land and people in the watershed. I strong oppose the water export to the Front Range.