Once a hard-scrabble mining town, the City of Pueblo, Colorado, is nestled on the banks of the Arkansas River due south of Colorado Springs. The city’s Board of Water Works (Pueblo Water) serves approximately 110,000 people. Since 1985, Schnabel has provided ongoing water resources consulting services to Pueblo Water, largely to assist with water rights analysis and engineering.

Our services have included extensive water rights analyses and litigation support for various types of water rights issues including river exchanges, changes of use from irrigation to municipal use, changes of use from direct flow to storage, claims for reusable lawn irrigation return flows, plans for augmentation, and obtaining a water storage enlargement water right. Our water resources engineers provided feasibility analysis and design and construction engineering services for the rehabilitation of three of Pueblo’s transmountain diversion canals – the Ewing, Columbine, and Wurtz ditches – and a reservoir flood inundation hydrologic analysis and mapping.

Recently, we provided the water rights engineering for a very large change of water rights case involving approximately 28% of the Bessemer Irrigating Ditch Company water rights, including significant engineering support during negotiations with Bessemer and with more than two dozen opposers in the case. Pueblo Water was able to reach a settlement with all opposers and obtain a final decree without a trial in water court.

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