RRWCD is in the process of constructing a $60 million Compact Compliance Pipeline project to deliver water from wells located 8 to 15 miles north of the North Fork of the Republican River to that same stream at the Colorado/Nebraska State line just above the measuring device. Colorado will get credit for this water delivery in the accounting for the Republican River Compact between Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska.
The pipeline alignment runs approximately 12.7 miles from a starting point on the land owned by Cure Land LLC. and will run roughly parallel to the state line to an outfall point located approximately ½ mile above the Colorado/Nebraska state line. The pipe diameter will be 42" on the north end of the pipe, reducing to 36" in the middle portion of the pipe, and reducing even further to 30" in the lower section of the pipeline near the river. Water can be pumped from a network of up to 15 wells, into a storage tank at the top end of the pipe, and then free-flow down the pipe to the outfall at the river.
Requests were submitted to the Colorado Ground Water Commission to allow moving the water rights of the 62 well permits to locations so that pumping of the entire 14,798 acre-feet may be withdrawn from up to 15 specific wells. This change will significantly reduce the miles of connecting pipeline required for this project.
RRWCD has applied to the Colorado Ground Water Commission to change the use of the wells from irrigation to allow them to be used for augmentation of the stream in the North Fork of the Republican River. In making that change, the future pumping of the wells will be limited to 14,798 acre-feet, the amount of legal historic depletion to the aquifer over the last ten years from those wells.
RRWCD has a contract on 53 irrigation wells to purchase only the water rights, not the 10,000 acres of land that the wells have been irrigating. There are 62 well permits but only 53 wells because some well structures have two well permits, the second being an increase in appropriation or increase in irrigated acres for the same well.
GEI Consultants, Inc. of Centennial, Colorado was hired in 2007 to do a feasibility study on building a Compact Compliance Pipeline to deliver water to the North Fork of the Republican River from underground wells. Upon completion of that study, that same firm was hired to design and assist in the construction of that pipeline.
Plan for completion of the pipeline is in 2014.