Aspen makes progress on Castle, Maroon water rights cases
The City of Aspen is making progress toward settlement in a state water court case regarding storage rights on Castle and Maroon Creeks.
Aspen has filed to maintain its 1971 rights to build reservoirs on those creeks; it faces opposition from 10 organizations, government agencies and individuals.
At a district water court meeting Tuesday, attorney Andrea Benson, who represents the city, said Aspen has come to an agreement with one of the opposing parties, Double R Creek, a neighbor in the Castle Creek Valley.
Benson also said the city has an agreement in the works with conservation groups Wilderness Workshop and Western Resource Advocates; that settlement has not yet been signed. Will Roush with Wilderness Workshop said his organization is involved in this case for several reasons.
“The biggest of which is to protect the ecological integrity of the two valleys, and to make sure that there wasn’t a possibility to build dams across either of the creeks," Roush said. "That kind of remains our biggest goal in this work.”
In response to public feedback, the city of Aspen has been looking into alternative places to store water. The city purchased property in Woody Creek last year that it says could eventually become a reservoir, if it can move the storage rights.
Benson said the goal is to bring three settlements in front of city council for review at the end of May. Aspen will continue working with the remaining seven opposing parties; the next meeting with the water referee is set for June 26.