Talk focuses on reusing and recycling water

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Future water for the town of Monument was a topic of discussion during the first board of trustee meeting of the year.

Town Manager Cathy Green told trustees at the Jan. 7 meeting that for the last seven years the town has been searching for ways to get renewable water because the aquifers don't have enough water to sustain the water supply for the future.

Green said the town's plan for water is not more than four shares of water from Twin Lakes. She said in the past that they looked at buying Fountain Mutual Shares but were advised by their water attorney not to and last year they were approached about the Two Rivers Company in southern Colorado in which water would be brought from the Arkansas River to Monument by exchanging water from farm land that was being fallowed. But that idea was nixed.

Green said other local water entities are purchasing farms in order to have sustainable water but the town of Monument hasn't done anything. She said the problem the town of Monument has that other water districts do not have is that they have an entire town to run and they do not have enough money to try several, expensive plans for obtaining future water.

“We really have enough water to do one thing and we really need to try to make that one thing right,” Green said.

In conversations with Betty Konarski, Monument representative to the Pikes Peak Water Authority and Arkansas River Basin Roundtable Chair Gary Barber, Green said they came to the conclusion that the best thing for Monument would be to reuse and recycle water which is something the town studied years ago.

“It works whether we ever piped water here or not. It's something that can work for us now. It would look something like taking our water, taking what we have down below the Monument Sanitation treatment plant, probably bringing it up around Palmer Lake, bringing it back through the creek and starting to use every bit of the water that is ours instead of taking it out of an aquifer and letting it run down to Colorado Springs,” Green said.

Water down the creek

Konarski told trustees that Monument has a lot of water, that they have paid for and that they own, run down the creek because they are not using it. She said for many years when water is pumped it is used, goes through the system and then goes back into the creek and Monument does not receive credit for it.

“So we have been letting water that we have paid to pump go through one use and then we've lost it,” Konarski said.

Green said they would basically be looking at using their own water to extinction.

“We think if we very efficiently use our on water we almost don't need too much more. Now someday we will but we can get by on that for a long time and when we need outside water we will be more efficient at using that because we will have this plan and reuse infrastructure in place,” Green added.

Green said there are two studies that look at reusing and recycling water and would like to retain Barber to work to partner with other water and sanitation districts to put together a plan on how to reuse and recycle water and he would also put together a finance plan.

“No matter what we do we are looking at millions of dollars. So although we have a fund set aside just for water it's not enough money so the best we can do is leverage it and we are going to have to look at some very creative ways of financing to use that money,” Green said.

The town has an Acquisition, Storage and Delivery of New Water Sources fund which Green said currently totals about $700,000. The ASD fund comes from one cent of the sales tax from Tri-View.

Discussions will continue at future meetings

“I think this board has always been ready to move forward with water. We've always been open to changes and ideas that are in front of us,” Mayor Travis Easton said.

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