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New water ‘loop’ proposal would change the water supply in El Paso County

FOUNTAIN, Colo. (KRDO)-- Local water district representatives laid out a new plan to the El Paso County Board of Commissioners. The new plan would supply the area with a sustainable water source as the region grows.

However, the new project, dubbed the loop, comes at a hefty price.

Right now, thousands of El Paso County residents get water from the Denver Basin. The new plan would pull water from Fountain Creek.

While it's slated to cost $134 million, Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District Manager Jessie Shaffer says the alternative is also expensive.

Fountain Creek water comes from rainwater and snowmelt, while the water from the Denver Basin is well water and not renewable.

Shaffer says if an alternative source isn't developed before the Denver Basin groundwater runs out, local water providers will be forced to drill new wells.

"That is very expensive and it drives up the cost of water to provide to users in the system," said Shaffer.

He also went on to say even though the county isn't in a water shortage right now, an alternative source would help prepare for the future.

"There are a lot of folks moving into El Paso County, and obviously they all need water," said Amy Lathen of the Cherokee Metro District. She is part of the group of water district representatives who laid out the new water project to the county board of commissioners.

The loop would make the water in Fountain Creek accessible to 29% of El Paso county's population.

El Paso County Commissioner Stan VanderWerf was impressed by the idea but cautions it's still early for any decision.

"Water is fundamental, it's absolute. I call it game set match," Lathen says. "If you don't have water---the roads, the housing, the DHS issues, all the other issues that El Paso County or even the municipalities within el Paso county have, those issues don't really matter if you don't have water."

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Spencer Soicher

Spencer is the weekend evening anchor, and a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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