The RICD is a junior water right with a appropriation date in the 2000's (I can't remember the exact year), but the bottom line is on a river where a lot of the water rights date back into the 1800's a 2006 (or whatever it is) date doesn't give you priority on any year where it matters.
In other words, if there is enough water on a given year then putting in a call for the water doesn't matter since its already in the river. In a year where you would want those flows there isn't enough water and there are senior water rights that are being called and would be injured by delivering Chaffee County's water.
What the RICD does is give Chaffee County and our recreational economy standing in water court if a proposal came along that would significantly reduce future flows in the river. Its basically a long term insurance policy.
Originally Posted by lmyers
Thank you! I was thinking all day how to sum up the main issue of this entire discussion and this sums it up...and if they can't maintain the current crappy target of 700 at Wellsville until Aug 15th then imagine what is going to happen next time we see 75-80% of average?
I basically agree with NEK's concern with this issue and I have been concerned about this since the change was instituted even though, like Logan, I paddle year round and like paddling 500cfs in February or March.
This point Logan is making is the issue. This year we will probably be fine. I just talked to AHRA today. They have 15,000 AF committed already for this year for the VFP, July 1-Aug 15 and we will likely have plenty of run off. The larger point is on the bad years they should be holding water until later in the summer and wildlife would prefer the flows drop to native on those years so the fish can put on weight. This is not likely to get better now that the Upper Ark is "Gold Medal" trout water.
I have said this a lot here and other places, but it is important to keep the perspective that we are talking about two RECREATIONAL interests arguing about which water management strategy is better for their specific RECREATIONAL activity. Brown and Rainbow trout are not native to this river or any other river in the Rocky Mountain west. They have been grown and planted by Wildlife so they can sell tickets to trick them and stick them in the lip with a hook. No one has the environmental high ground here. This river is a plumbing conduit for big front range water interests. They own the water. We are just talking about when to deliver it so it works best for our interest.