LCCA Advisory Board Mtg – 5/23/14
The following recommendations were approved by the Board to give to the State Engineer as he considers what to do with the model and his current order:
1. Extend the current temporary order until May of 2016. (an amendment to include all aquifers below Laramie County failed on a 2-2 vote.)
2. All new wells should be charged a graduated fee starting at $5000. The funds would go into a conservation or preservation fund for the Laramie County aquifers. (This is to buy out irrigated lands to reduce the amount of withdrawal.)
3. All users on a graduated scale should pay a fee for their water use. (This should be tied to property taxes.)
4. The entire county should be included in the control area. (This died earlier in the meeting because the motion excluded the city of Cheyenne.)
5. Adopt Lidstone’s attachment #3.
6. LCCA board supports SE & BOC in implementation.
7. SE should get input from NRCS, Conservation District, users, & industry prior to implementation & implementation should occur by September, 2014.
A motion requiring all wells of 50 gpm or greater to be metered and have at least annual reporting died on a 2-2 vote as the board was worried about the cost to the farmers.
I expect this to be a longer term implementation as this will have to go to the Board of Control to expand the control area and they will have to hold a hearing. Also I expect the fees would have to go to the legislature for approval and determination of a mechanism on how to spend the fees.
The Advisory Board talked extensively about the city of Cheyenne and the use by subdivisions. They thought everyone should have skin in the game and should pay fees for their water use.
The big deal is where is the money coming from to buy out the irrigated lands to reduce the water use.
The farmers want to be bought out to convert from irrigation to dry land farming.
County Commissioner M.Lee Hasenauer - Cheyenne, WY.