Letter: Is the state water engineer being fair?

Saguache well owners who have smaller wells are required to do one of the following for each well: Install a flow meter and join a subdistrict, have an augmentation plan approved by the court, reduce water use to domestic (well can still be used for irrigation of lawn and garden up to 1 acre) or cease the use of the well.

Waterfoul must have wetlands to survive. Additionally, “there were approximately 2,000 artesian wells in the San Luis Valley flowing an assumed average of 25 gallons per minute in 1891,” according to text from page 56 of the USGS Survey — Water Supply Paper 240 Titled Geology and Water Resources of the San Luis Valley, Colorado printed in 1910 by the U.S. government.

Much of the wetlands of the San Luis Valley have been dried up, the water being used for irrigation farming. Therefore, it is not fair to eliminate the duck habitat or the livestock waterers in the valley.

Should Ducks Unlimited change its name to Ducks Limited in the San Luis Valley? Should the Russell Lakes Observation Area be closed (there aren’t any active streams running into Russell Lakes)? Should the Russell Lakes Wildlife Area put meters on their wells and levy a tax to cover the cost? Should designated wetland areas of the San Luis Valley maintained by wells be posted “NO DUCKS ALLOWED”?

It seems to me that an artesian well or livestock well, some of them over 100 years old, should be designated as livestock and wildlife and the total well production be the same as a domestic well mentioned above.


Tom Corzine