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Aspen Gets Grant For Water Rights Project

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy
Aspen Public Radio


The Colorado Water Conservation Board, which oversees water use across the state, has given the City of Aspen $186,356 to look into an alternative way to use water rights.

Aspen water officials are looking for partners on a system that would allow the city to temporarily use someone else’s agricultural water right. 

Alternative Transfer Methods or ATMs allow some flexibility in using water rights. The City of Aspen would pay a water right holder to not use their rights during some dry years, and then would use that water either to increase flows to keep the Roaring Fork River healthy or for municipal purposes. 

The city recently agreed to not use its water rights to build reservoirs on Castle and Maroon Creeks and is working with environmental groups to find alternative solutions to water concerns. 

Aspen officials will use the state grant to look for partners and projects.


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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