Among the "experts" Mr. Nyquist assembled, Courtney Hemenway, P.E., president of Hemenway Groundwater Engineering, a self-described "water geek," who has been working in Highlands Ranch for 20 years, told the assembled that he had been "recharging" the aquifer underneath Highlands Ranch for all that time and the quality of the water and its effects on taste and quality had been negligible. Karl Knapp, P.E., President of CVL Consultants of Colorado, Inc: Civil Engineering; Land Surveying; promised "tests throughout" the pumping of the water.
Although Nyquist seemed to want a series of questions at the end of his presentation, he was questioned throughout, which destroyed the timing of the power point that his partner, David Pretzler, was operating behind him.
Mr. Pretzler spoke only once, asserting that in Prowers County, where Nyquist said they'd provide "15 jobs net" for engineers and other workers at his water plant, that their scheme would eliminate "negative cash flow" problems in Prowers County, through the elimination of migrant field workers who use Prowers County services, "but spend their money elsewhere."
Among the questions that were asked, the concern of what quality water would be put into the aquifer was paramount; as was the question of what could happen if the water were pumped out.
A final question was asked of Mr. Nyquist as the meeting broke up around nine o'clock: "Who would benefit?" The response of the audience, though tempered by Mr. Nyquist's assertions about "taking risks," was that Mr. Nyquist would benefit.
An e-mail has been sent to Richard Miller, Elbert County Planner, regarding Mr. Nyquist's assertion that Elbert County Staff encouraged him, to confirm or deny. We will publish Mr. Miller's answer on Monday, when we have asked him to reply.
Karl Nyquist with partner David Pretzler
Dianne Miller, attorney
Sarah Kolz, project engineer for CVL consultants
Nyquist Takes His Road Show To Simla
Karen Shipper, wife of Commissioner Shipper
Largely Skeptical Crowd
t a meeting where representatives and staff of various water districts and county governments assembled to determine the feasibility of providing water to homes in northern El Paso County's Cherokee Water District, Karl Nyquist and his partner, David Pretzler, were encouraged "to expand" their water-providing services, Nyquist asserted in a presentation on August 11th in the Simla High School Gymnasium.
The first of five presentations by Nyquist to residents of Elbert and Prowers Counties, billed by Nyquist as a "public forum" to outline the "benefits" of an "innovative, renewable water plan," according to his press release, was attended by 27 members of the public, 3 members of the press, and a representative of the Simla Police Department. His forums, designed to provide information to the public of the lasting benefits of pumping water from the Lamar Canal into Elbert County, are being held prior to a vote by the Elbert County Commissioners to approve or deny Amendment 3 to the Elbert and Hwy 86 Service Plan, which would enable Nyquist to pump and sell water all over the State from 38 acres in Wild Pointe, next to Elizabeth.
Nyquist, who has studied the issue "in depth, for five years," with Pretzler, determined that they wanted to drive down the cost of tap fees, which, they noted, are currently at $20,000.00 per new house. Since the majority of Colorado's population is living along the Front Range, with only "20% of the water in the state" to serve them, Nyquist says that taking water from the Arkansas River, "renewable and sustainable," is the answer. The Denver Aquifer is currently short by 250,000 acre feet, he claimed; to be short by 600,000 acre feet by 2050.
"Renewable water," according to Nyquist, is that fed from snowmelt and in rivers and streams; not underground.
Saying that he has obtained rights to this renewable resource, fed by the Arkansas River for Agricultural use, Nyquist plans to change its designation to "Metropolitan use," then build a "state of the art pumping station" on the previously used farmland. This pumping station would not only carry the water; it would be able to collect evaporation as well.
What could happen, in terms of fracturing of the shale above and below the aquifers without water, Mr. Knapp declared, "There's no communication between layers." The Denver Aquifer would not mix with the Upper or Lower Dawson, owing to the layers of shale between, he assured his questioner.
The project would take at least 7 years, he continued: building the pipeline and establishing the infrastructure, and would probably not be in service until that time. He proposed a pipeline from Wild Pointe to the Cherokee Water District to begin, through which he would pump his "personal water," 2,300 acre feet to its 18,000 taps, for 5 years. Then he would reverse the flow toward Elbert County, still serving the Cherokee Water District, but with water from the Arkansas River Basin. The remainder would "recharge" the Upper Dawson Aquifer underneath Wild Pointe; providing Elbert County and any other County in the pipeline's path with "sustainable" water.
There were questions of financing as well: In Wild Pointe, a real estate agent from Elizabeth asserted, Mr. Nyquist had brought property values down by selling lots below the amount he promised the bank, of $107,000.00, to $80,000.00, which Mr. Nyquist admitted he had "to make up." Follow up questions were asked about what tap fees were like in Wild Pointe: a bowling alley was proposed, but withdrew when it was charged a great deal more than $20,000.00. Mr Nyquist demurred.
There were questions concerning the Water District itself: Ms. Dianne Miller, Nyquist's attorney, stated that the District had open meetings and that its directors were publicly elected; that it could only operate as a non-profit and that it had no powers to seize water.
by William C. Thomas
County "Encouraged Expansion;" Reveals Promises and Theory