Attention residents of Douglas County. Do you value Valley View Hot Springs and Orient Land Trust? Do you question and challenge the Renewable Water Resources (RWR) proposal to take water from the San Luis Valley and pipe it to provide water for growth in your county? Your voice matters. The Douglas County commissioners want to hear from YOU in regards to the Renewable Water Resources (RWR) proposal. People across the Valley and around the state are joining together to fight the proposal that would export water from the San Luis Valley to Douglas County. Our goal is to send over 1,000 letters from people like you who care about the Valley, our public lands and maintaining intact ecosystems. Send them an email or a letter with your thoughts. Join in the struggle for common sense! Douglas County residents have more influence on the county commissioners. Write letters to the Commissioners, or to Newspapers in the form of Letters to the Editor.
Douglas County Commissioners have already received many letters from Douglas County citizens supporting the RWR proposal and the use of ARPA funds for increasing the Douglas County water supply. If you value the time you spend in the San Luis Valley and want to protect this high desert valley and its scant water, your voice can make a difference.
We are in the public comment phase that Douglas County has begun, so it is imperative that they hear from everyone that has concerns and especially residents of Douglas County.
You have every right to weigh in on this issue.
If you have concerns, please contact OLT with any questions.
The goal of the water protecting organizations in the Valley is to have people write and deliver 1,000 letters to Douglas County from all over the state by March 15th.
Thanks so much; every individual effort that may seem like a small bit accumulates.
The Douglas County Commissioners will be holding a series of town hall meetings to discuss buying water from the northern San Luis Valley. We do not yet have the date of the next town hall but it is estimated to be in early February. The proposal to export water from the confined aquifer in the San Luis Valley is a scheme that puts Valley View Hot Springs water at risk.
The San Luis Valley is a high desert. With an average annual precipitation of just over 7 inches, water is scarce and precious. There is not enough water to export to burgeoning front range subdivisions, developments, and towns. The ecosystem is fragile. The hot springs water that supplies the natural soaking pools comes from fractures along the geologic fault zone that is adjacent to the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The Sand Dunes National Park is a large area that depends on the scarce water that is here. Farms and ranches use the little water available with a keen awareness of how precious each drop is. The San Luis Valley economy, about $550,000,000 per year, is largely dependent on agriculture.
We need your help. Please write or email the Douglas County Commissioners and express your concern at a plan that has the potential to devastate the entire valley and Valley View Hot Springs.
Contact County Commissioners
Mail a letter to:
Douglas County Commissioner’s Office
100 3rd Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104
Call the central phone line to reach the Commissioners listed below: (303) 660-7401
Contact the News Media
You can submit a letter to the editor or guest opinion editorial to the Douglas County and Denver newspapers.
OP/ED: Submit 700 – 800 words to Dan Njegomir at or (720) 220-5891, or online at https://denvergazette.com/opinion/submit
Letter to Editor: Submit 250 words to Dan Njegomir at or (720) 220-5891, or online at https://denvergazette.com/opinion/submit
OP/ED: Submit 650 – 700 words to Lee Ann Colacioppo at or (303) 954-1754
Letter to Editor: Submit 250 words to or (303) 954-1331, or online at https://www.denverpost.com/submit-letter
Following are some key messages you may consider including in your emails and letters.
Here is a link to the Douglas County Commissioners Town Hall Comment Form for ARPA https://www.douglas.co.us/arpa/american-rescue-plan-act-comment-form/
Sample Letter (Your letter has a better chance of making an impact if you personalize it.)
Dear Douglas County Commissioners,
Regarding: RWR Proposal
In the interest of protecting the environmental balance in the San Luis Valley, I urge you to reject the proposal from RWR. I realize that water is scarce. That is true throughout the entire southwest United States. The already meager amount of water is declining ever more due to long term drought. The forecast for the future is for less and less precipitation in all western river basins. The RWR plan to redistribute a scarce water supply to Douglas County from the Rio Grande Basin is short sighted and a threat to natural resources, the agricultural economy of the San Luis Valley, and the people who depend on the water that RWR is trying to sell you.
The San Luis Valley is a high desert. The reserves of water are being depleted by drought and overuse already. The ecosystem is delicately balanced and the nearly twenty year drought has stressed the agricultural economy, the aquifers, and vast natural resources such as The Sand Dunes National Park, the Rio Grande National Forest, and the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.
The RWR proposal is flawed. The water reserves in the aquifers are inaccurately defined, the negative impacts on the San Luis Valley ignored, and the costs grossly underestimated - both in dollars and environmental degradation.
Please do the environmentally sound thing and dismiss this proposal. This is not a well considered solution for Douglas County nor is it at all beneficial to the high desert of the San Luis Valley.
More information: The Orient Land Trust Facebook page has a compilation of articles and news stories with information about the proposal and the opposition to the plan. It is a convenient place to access information.
Renewable Water Resources (RWR) is seeking "a $20 million investment of COVID refund money" from Douglas County. They intend to pump, redistribute, and sell San Luis Valley's deeper groundwater as a cheaper alternative for south Denver and Pueblo's growth. At risk is the continued existence of Valley View's geothermally heated spring water which could be drastically altered or eliminated! Our balance of agriculture and wildlife would be impacted as well. There is a public meeting 5:00pm Thursday night in Castle Rock followed by an (online) Town Hall starting at 6:00pm. There Douglas County residents can hear about the plan and respectfully voice their concerns. All residents are urged to attend in person, participate online, or dial in to 833-380-0668 or https://www.douglas.co.us/townhall/ if able.