Welcome to the Official Website of Genesee Water & Sanitation District - Located in Genesee, Colorado
Message from Director Bob Leland
Additional Information Concerning Recent Flyer Sent to Genesee Residents
I thought it might be helpful if I give additional context to some of the information in the recent flyer.
Re: “The Problem”:
Paragraph 1: “The total sunk cost to get the project to this point has been $500,000”
Context: Approximately $380,000 of the $500,000 was paid for by the grant and will not have to be repaid and some of the work can apply to Plan B
Paragraph 3: “The Board’s actions have been fiscally wasteful, deaf to customer input and counter to the long-term strategic needs of the District”
Context: The Board is being fiscally responsible, given our long-term debt situation, balloon payment and almost no reserves.
The long-term strategic needs are desires, not needs, because we have kept reservoir 2 completely full since its completion in 2008, even though, each year since 2008, has been designated as some form of a drought year.
We are not Utah or California with extremely over allocated water sources. We have 7 of the top 10 water usage rights to Bear Creek plus 2 augmentation wells. These rights are not in jeopardy.
RE: “The Solution”
# 1: “Provides protection and preservation of a portion of unused, conditional water storage rights that are at risk of being re-allocated by the State if unused”
Context: Water usage rights are not the same as water storage rights. Our water storage rights for reservoir 2 are secure as will be reservoir 1, when completed. We have an additional 200 plus acre feet of unused storage rights with no place to put the water and no real need for it.
#2 “Provides additional drought protection in multiple low-rainfall years, growing the usable storage capacity from 101 acre feet to -147 acre feet.”
Context: We have kept reservoir 2 completely full since its completion in 2008, even though, each year since 2008, has been designated as some form of a drought year
#3: “Provides a legitimate alternate water supply for the Advance Water Treatment Facility (AWTF) in the event of maintenance downtime, a failure of existing infrastructure between reservoir #2 and the (AWTF), or contamination of reservoir #2 by wildfire in the Bear Creek Valley.”
Context: Plan B does the same.
#4: “It is cost-effective NOW through Colorado Water Conservation Board support via two financing mechanisms:
$1.38 million of outright grant funding (free money) “
Context: Approximately $380,000 already spent applies to Plan B as well and need not be repaid. The $1 million, will not be applied Plan B and will not need to be repaid.
“$4.24 million of, 40-year 2.5% loan in support of construction””
Context: The District has verbal commitment that the same rate and term will apply to Plan B
“The experts at the CWCB and the Department of Natural Resources recognize the importance of the project and are motivated to provide this level of financial support. We cannot let the GWSD Board cancel it.”
Context: The District has verbal commitment that the financial support will remain intact. The Board is cancelling NOTHING.
#5: “Improves both water treatment operational flexibility and adds reliability,”
Context: Plan B does the same
#6 “Provides capability for recycling of treated effluent if it ever becomes necessary.”
Context: Plan B does the same
#7: “Dramatically increases firefighting capability”
Context: Per the current Genesee Fire District Board president, the difference between Plan A and Plan B makes no significant difference, given the 101-acre feet of nearby reservoir 2.
Given that Genesee is almost completely built out, is this the time to undertake significant additional long-term liability, given our current financial situation.?
I hope providing context clarifies these issues. I personally have no objection allowing this issue to go a vote of ALL of the District’s customers.
Message from Board President.
Does not reflect views of District Staff.
In 2007-2008 the GW&SD spent approximately $10,000,000 to build Reservoir # 2 down by Highway 74. “Since August 18th 2008 the Reservoir (#2) has remained at capacity by flow through operations with accounting reflected as daily diversions from Bear Creek” The previous quoted information has been supplied by the staff to the board of directors. Reservoir #2 holds 32,666,462 gallons of water and with 1433 customers that equals 22,795 gallons of water stored per customer continuously since 2008. On average each customer uses 4,000 gallons per month so our current storage is in excess of 5 months of average water usage just with our big reservoir.
The GW&SD supplies water to its customers through our Direct Flow Water Rights from Bear Creek. We own 7 out of the 10 highest priority water rights for Bear Creek including #1. We continuously monitor these rights and take every action necessary to protect them. These water rights allow GW&SD to draw 1,000,000 gallons of water from Bear Creek daily, as long as Bear Creek flows above 5cf per second. Contrary to what you might have heard, these Direct Flow Water Rights are not impacted by any decisions concerning Reservoir #1.
Please join the board of directors by Zoom at 5 pm on August 16, 2022 for a study session to learn more about the Reservoir #1 project.
GW&SD Board Of Directors President
To Genesee Water and Sanitation District Customers,
Thank you for your mostly respectful letters of inquiry. Asked, as a director on the Genesee Water and Saniation District (GWSD) board, what factors I have assessed relative to supporting reservoir expansion proposals, I thought it would be most useful to provide excerpts from appropriate sources that are to the point. The information provided includes excerpts taken from the sources I found that is available to anyone.
The excerpts are highlights from resources accessed on line, including the in-depth document the Colorado Water Plan (Plan). The Plan addresses the all of Colorado, and includes information specific to each of the Colorado basins. We are in the South Platte Basin. If I were to have provided more information, it would include excerpts from the appropriate sources that reflect that our priority Water Rights are sound, and that water storage is not at risk. The Colorado Water Plan refers many times to storage, but not with the implication that it is the answer for the entire State. In fact, the current or possible plans for storage are primarily relative to agricultural enterprises. For the South Platte Basin, when one has read the Plan, it is clear that the state recognizes the physiographic and therefore water resource characteristics for basins are different and that the utility for storage is not the solution for all water purveyors.
I hope the information concerning stream flow history and predicted precipitation is helpful for understanding trends for water supplies, and that refernces to priority water rights and storage included here affirm for you what others have found regarding how well our GWSD is protected. All the information
Only highlights are provided, so please follow links included for referenced websites if you would like to know more detailed information. I also have a cribsheet that indexes (by page number) many, many excerpts regarding water rights and other important information in the voluminous Colorado Water Plan; if anyone would like a copy of this, please contact the GWSD office and I can provide a copy of that.
Best Regards, Cynthia D. Corbett
To my fellow Genesee Water & Sanitation District Board of Directors,
Attention continues to be drawn to the cost and water volume use-to-date of Reservoir #2 (north of CO Hwy 74). My fellow board members, our current decision is not about Reservoir #2, which was an excellent decision. It is about Reservoir #1 and the future generations in GWSD.
The Colorado Water Conservation Board is the most knowledgeable entity Colorado has for management of Colorado water resources. It is apolitical and focused on the future of water in Colorado. CWCB has studied Colorado’s current and future water needs in detail (please visit its website) and determined that the Genesee Water & Sanitation District’s project to enlarge Reservoir #1, now called Plan A, is very much in the interest of our district. So much so that the CWCB continues to make available for GWSD a grant of over $1,000,000 and a 40-year loan of up to ~$5,2000,000 at 2.5% for the engineered and already bid (project ready) enlargement of Reservoir #1. The CWCB is giving GWSD money for Plan A because it considers it to be a very important project!
Who is our board to say that it knows more about the future of water resources on Bear Creek than the CWCB?
The water rights of Bear Creek are over-subscribed. There is currently barely enough water for everyone along Bear Creek today. For future residents of the Genesee Water and Sanitation District, the challenge will be water storage, not water rights. It is only a matter of time before the State of Colorado takes GWSD water rights away because GWSD did not make the effort to store its water. This will be done in response to municipalities upstream and downstream, pleading that they need the “Genesee water” that Genesee did not defend, even though it clearly could have.
And as we have discussed innumerable times, enlargement of Reservoir #1 is not just about water rights. This project, which is strongly recommended by GWSD management, is also about GWSD operational efficiencies and redundancy. Increased water storage will also provide a stronger response to wildfire, which is the single greatest threat to the Genesee Water and Sanitation District.
For the sake of the district’s future, it is critical that the GWSD board support the district customers’ remarkably strong demand to proceed with Plan A, enlargement of Reservoir #1. As Board members, you well know, any delay of this project will put project funding in extreme jeopardy.
Branch Russell, Director
Genesee Water and Sanitation District
Genesee Water & Sanitation District Board Meeting Info
- Res No. 1 Work Study Session - August 16th 5:00PM
- Upcoming Regular Board Meeting - August 23rd 5:00PM
Q&A from zoom chat 7.26 Board Meeting regarding Res No. 1 can be found here:
PDF can be found here: July Q&A PDF
June 28th Agenda Item 11 "Disucssion and possible vote on construction & financing options for reservoir No. 1 - Plan B Option".
"Plan A" - Reservoir No.1 Expansion Project (chosen after feasibility study): Expand current storage and augmentation Reservoir No. 1 from its current 16 acre ft capacity to 46 acre ft and add infrastructure required to tie reservoir into the advanced water treatment facility and wastewater treatment facility for recycle ability.
"Plan B" - No expansion of current Reservoir No. 1. Replace reservoir liner and add infrastructure required to tie reservoir into the advanced water treatment facility and wastewater treatment facility for recycle ability.
"Motion to go ahead with plan B as quickly as possible and also incorporate it into the possibility to recycle" - Motion Passed with 4 YES votes and 1 NO vote.