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1. Why do I need an augmentation contract?

West Divide issues water supply contracts to replace out-of-priority depletions associated with water diversions from various structures, thus eliminating injury to senior controlling water rights and allowing contractees to continue to divert in water-short time periods without the threat of being curtailed by the Division of Water Resources. This type of contract provides an essential service to District constituents as decreeing a plan for augmentation can be quite costly in terms of both legal and engineering fees. 

The District offers several types of water augmentation services to help residents in its Service Areas to obtain a legal water supply including:

  • Augmentation of domestic, subdivision, commercial and/or industrial wells
  • Augmentation of irrigation use and pond evaporation
  • Augmentation of direct hauling and pumping of water from local streams and rivers
  • The delivery of irrigation water supplies from Alsbury Reservoir
2. What is “Area A”?

West Divide has several approved Service Areas, collectively referred to as “Area A”, that include the Colorado River and Roaring Fork River corridors, Silt Mesa, Rifle Creek, Elk Creek, Fourmile Creek, and East Divide Creek. Within these primary service areas, West Divide has decreed several regional water right plans for augmentation that provide a legal supply of water to its constituents. 

To locate your structure, click the “Locate Your Structure” link.

3. What is “Area B”?

West Divide defines its “Area B” service area as all lands located outside of a designated service area. West Divide has Colorado River and Roaring Fork River contract water available for constituents located in Area B, but does not augment depletions arising in Area B pursuant to an augmentation plan. These are areas where West Divide does not have a “local” tributary supply, replacements can only be made for a mainstem Colorado River call.

If a contractee has its own augmentation plan, augmentation water may be purchased for only those months needed as per the contractee’s augmentation plan. However, if the contractee uses West Divide’s augmentation plan, the augmentation must be purchased for the entire year.

4. I have a contract, where does my water come from?

The District contract helps secure a legal supply of water for the contractee by providing a mechanism, using the District’s water rights, to protect the contractee’s diversion from senior controlling water rights. It is the responsibility of the contractee to secure a physical water supply. West Divide only provides the legal supply to ensure continued diversion during water short times. 

5. What is the difference between a diversion and a depletion?

The amount of water that is physically pumped from a well, or diverted by other means is the total diversion. Not all water that is diverted is actually consumed (i.e. lost from the stream system to the atmosphere), that is what is referred to as the depletion amount. The depletion is the amount of water that is the basis for the amount of water that needs to be contracted based on anticipated uses. The portion that is not consumed is referred to as a “return flow”. Return flows accrue back to the stream system through groundwater returns or surface runoff (i.e. water leached back into groundwater through a septic system or groundwater returns from water applied for irrigation). 

6. Why do I have to pay a contract fee if I have not yet started to use water?

When the District grants you a contract, it dedicates and reserves a portion of its water rights to cover your anticipated needs. This water cannot then be allocated to other District users or to new contract applicants. Since the District reserves water for your contract once the contract is final, you will be assessed annual fees for the contract.

7. What is an acre foot of water? How much water is a CFS?

One acre-foot of water is 325,850 gallons.

One acre-foot of water covers one acre of land one foot deep.

One cubic foot of water per second of time (cfs) is 449 gallons per minute (gpm). If you diverted 1 cfs for 24 hours, that would be the equivalent of approximately 2 acre-feet. 

8. Why do I need a water meter?

All contractees, at their own expense, shall measure and maintain accurate records of all water diverted pursuant to the terms of their water allotment contracts. The failure of any contractee to comply with this paragraph may result in action to terminate the contract. When the contractee is a subdivision, a homeowners association is required to oversee the monitoring and reporting of well usage to the District.

9. How often do I need to submit water meter readings?

Contractees shall provide accurate readings to the District using a district approved accounting form and shall provide such accounting to the District at least annually, or more often if requested by the District.

10. What do I do if I end up needing more or less water than originally applied for?

The contractee can amend the contract with an amendment fee (please refer to Rates and the Amendment form).

11. What if my property is outside West Divide’s District boundaries?

West Divide may serve water users owning property outside the District’s boundaries and designated Service Areas by inclusion. Applicants must submit an inclusion fee to West Divide and file an appropriate petition for inclusion with the District. Upon inclusion of an applicant’s lands into the District, applicant’s land will be subject to assessment by West Divide. All inclusions shall be in compliance with CR.5. 37-45-136, as amended.