July 9, 2010

Will-O-Wisp goes back to water court
Issues raised regarding permits

by Debra Orecchio

The permit for the raw water diversion project for the Will0Wisp subdivision near Pine Junction has been referred to water court.

Dan Drucker, operations manager for the Center of Colorado Water Conservancy District, said that the application (a 1041. permit is required to address impacts associated with water development projects) and the 404 permit (which deals with certain activities in. wetlands or waterways.

The District needs to make sure that the procedures are correct and that WOW has provided correct information, he said.

On June 4, The Flume reported that Will-O-Wisp had received the last two permits needed to construct a water diversion from Elk Creek to provide surface water to the District The article noted that the permits were a Section 404 from the Army Corps of Engineers and a Section 401 Water Quality Certification from the Colorado Department Health and Environment, Water Quality Control Diversion

Jim Culichia, attorney with Felt, Monson and Culichia in Colorado Springs is representing the district, and he explained that this is not unusual and. Is really nothing out of the ordinary when dealing with water rights cases.

It is a discovery aid information process to see it the applicant, in this ease Will-O-Wisp has done what it’s supposed to do.

The district will evaluate the information that Will-O-Wisp provides and respond with any issues

When a water case is filed, it assigned to a water referee, Culichia said this is an informal process, without court deadlines, and is designed to let the parties work things out. He explained that the referral happens with any party in the case requests it

Culichia further explained that Will-O-Wisp has to go to water court every six years to prove due diligence an the Woodside reservoir because it is a conditional water right and it has not been built yet

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