April 15, 2024

KJCT8 News: Shoshone Water Rights

KJCT8 News: Shoshone Water Rights

Rows of blooming peach trees in peach orchard in full spring bloom

By Bruclyn Tribble

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) – This year, Western Slope leaders with help from the Colorado River District, arraigned a $99 million deal to acquire water rights from Xcel Energy. The arrangement involves leasing the water back to Xcel for electricity generation, marking a watershed moment in environmental conservation.

Shoshone’s water rights, the cornerstone of the deal, are poised to become the largest and most influential environmental water right in state history.

The initiative aims not only to safeguard fish and habitat but also to bolster water security for western slope farmers and tourism. Local stakeholders applaud the protection of this vital water right from potential future divestment by Xcel, Colorado’s Primary Electricity provider.

Many details remain to be ironed out. Biological assessments, legal proceedings, and public input will shape the final outcome.

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