To the Editor of
It seems that you can't open a page in today's Denver Post or the Pueblo Chieftain or the newspaper from Lamar Colorado without learning about a new addition to the business plan of the Elbert and Highway 86 Commercial-Metropolitan District.

In at least one of the papers from the past week we saw a sketchy map of the route that the pipeline from Lamar to Elbert County was to take. The interesting thing about the map is the dead end of the pipe somewhere just East of Colorado Springs. A spur pipeline into Elbert County comes north well east of the Colorado Springs termination. Now that's news! No one has here-to-fore said this Arkansas River water was to feed an El Paso County user. We have been told that this pipeline is to provide renewable water strictly for Elbert County's future growth.

But wait there is more!. While the Lamar to Colorado Springs pipeline is being built, the 29 mile spur pipeline going north into Elbert County will be used to transport water extracted from the Denver Basin aquifers located in Elbert County South to satisfy an as yet unidentified Springs area water district. That's news too! Could it be that all of the water imported into the Colorado Springs area finally gets used to frack the oil and gas wells planned for the Banning-Lewis ranch?. You say
that's pure speculation. Perhaps so but with Nyquist at the helm, the water will be sold to the highest bidder. You wait and see.

The issue of approving Amendment 3 of the Elbert and Highway 86 Commercial Metropolitan District has now become an issue of state-wide interest and importance. It's time to call a halt to this project that seems to be spinning out of control. One way to do this is for our Commissioners to invoke HB1041 and state that Amendment 3 is an issue of state-wide importance. Can HB1041 stop this project? Perhaps not but it will give everyone some breathing room while the merits (or lack thereof) of Amendment 3 are fully sorted out. By invoking HB1041 other county commissioners successfully thwarted the cities of Colorado Springs and Aurora from building a pipeline to transport water from the Holy Cross Wilderness Area into the Frying-pan Arkansas conduits and more recently Pueblo County Commissioners stopped the construction of a pipeline that would take water from the Arkansas River up to the headwaters of Fountain Creek thus augmenting the water supply for Fountain Colorado. Both of these two projects were deemed to be beyond the scope and authority of the local county commissioners and those commissioners were able avoid the liability that went with the asked-for approvals.

It is pretty easy to see how Elbert County residents might end up short of water if Amendment 3 is adopted. Mr. Nyquist claims his district has rights to 180 thousand acre-feet of Denver Basin water. That's a lot of water and if it flows out of the county then the results will be catastrophic for many of us. Don't count on water well adjudication to protect you from this kind of loss of water. Denver Basin ground water is an endangered specie and when it's gone, it's gone forever.

The Elbert County Commissioners had better step back and take a deep breath and simply say NO but if they can't get up the courage then put the issue to Elbert County voters and we will say NO.

George Saum
Agate, CO