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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.

Aspen City Council to discuss funding for reservoir

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Journalism

Aspen City Council hopes to get voter approval to buy land for municipal water storage, and they’ll discuss a ballot question Monday night.



Last month, city manager Steve Barwick announced a plan to purchase 63 acres of land in Woody Creek to use for water storage. On Monday, council members will discuss a question for November’s ballot that asks voters to approve $3 million in bonds to buy that property.

The city does not currently own rights to store water there. At a press conference last month, Barwick said staff hopes to transfer storage rights from Maroon and Castle Creeks. The bond approval would not guarantee this will happen, because it would have to be approved in state water court.

The discussion is part of an effort to find alternatives to the city’s current rights to store water on the two scenic creeks. The city is working to keep those conditional water rights but faces opposition in water court.

Council will discuss the ballot question at a 5 p.m. meeting Monday.


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.
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