From The Mountain Mail (Joe Stone):
Witte said he believes the vast majority of seep water affected by the new rules is in southeast Colorado “because there are big ditch companies out there with large canals that cross dry arroyos.” Witte explained water from the big ditches seeped into arroyos through time and people claimed rights to that water instead of allowing it to return to the river. Because seep rights are more recent or junior rights, failure to administer them under the priority system has deprived senior rights holders of their water – particularly in the Upper Arkansas River Basin, Witte said. “I’m absolutely convinced we’re doing the right thing,” Witte said, adding he sees no basis for distinguishing between ditch seepage and natural springs.
On a separate topic, Witte said water storage in the basin is down about 15 percent because of dry fall weather. He said an environmental impact statement process is under way for the Arkansas Valley Conduit.
More Arkansas River basin coverage here.