By Scott Miller

The effort to raise the $98.5 million purchase price for the water rights for the Shoshone Power Plant in Glenwood Canyon has taken another step forward.

The Eagle County Board of Commissioners Tuesday signed a commitment letter to provide $2 million to the deal to purchase the rights that currently power the aging hydroelectric power plant in the heart of Glenwood Canyon.

The water rights are the oldest “non-consumptive” rights on the upper Colorado River, meaning the water used for the plant stays in the river. The seniority of those rights means that water for the Shoshone plant must be supplied in even the driest years before supplies are provided for any other uses.