Salida and UAWCD meet to discuss Nestlé

Representatives of the City of Sailda and Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District will meet to discuss leasing 200-acre feet of water to Nestle Waters North America. Nestlé Waters has purchased and optioned property near Nathrop, and is proposing to develop Ruby Mountain and Bighorn springs to supply a new bottling facility in Denver.

The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. in the boardroom of the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District Headquarters at 339 E. US Highway 50. The meeting is open to the public.

Nestle proposes sustainable pumping of up to 200 acre-feet of ground water annually, or approximately 0.3 cubic feet per second (cfs). Scientific and hyrdogeologic studies found the  average measured natural spring flow is about 4 cfs. Nestlé is exploring options to comply with the state requirement to augment water extracted from the spring. UAWCD and the City of Salida are two options Nestle is exploring as it seeks to secure the state-mandated augmentation.

Since early 2007, Nestlé Waters has been conducting intensive scientific studies of these two spring sites to evaluate the local hydrogeologic system and associated ecology. This summer, Nestle representative Bruce Lauerman has been providing site tours to community leaders – civic, media, and elected officials – to familiarize them with the project.

Concurrently, Lauerman said Nestle is preparing the necessary documents for application to the county for the required special use permit and 1041 requirements. 1041 Regulations are intended to allow for public input and to require mitigation for any impacts which may result from the establishment of new communities, siting of municipal water and wastewater facilities, siting and selection of airports and highway systems, and protection of significant wildlife habitat. The Nestle project would require a 1041 review.

For more comprehensive information, download Nestle’s Chaffee County Spring Water Fact Sheet.

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