© 2024 Aspen Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Questions about water rights remain after city’s open house

Aspen Public Radio News

The City of Aspen hosted an open-house discussion last week about its water rights to build reservoirs on Maroon and Castle creeks, but interested locals still have a lot of questions.


The city hired an environmental consultant to present information and moderate a carefully guided discussion but provided few answers to questions about what these complicated water rights actually mean for the community.

Larissa Read of Common Ground Environmental Consulting offered basic information about water rights on the iconic streams and city staff presented climate change models. But at the end of the meeting, many questions and concerns remained.

“I think there are still a lot of questions and solutions that haven’t been explored,” said Rick Lofaro, executive director of the Roaring Fork Conservancy. “I think there needs to be a discussion about the difference between water demands and true water needs.”

It remains unclear if the city will build reservoirs in the future, and many attendees encouraged alternative storage options, like using beaver dams rather than human construction.

The public can submit email comments through August 19, and city council takes up the issue at a work session in September.


Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
Related Content