WHEREAS in January of 1962, the United States acquired water rights decreed in the Colorado Water Court for water storage and hydroelectric power generation at the Aspinall Unit from the Colorado River Water Conservation District; and
WHEREAS the United States has already committed to numerous uses of the storage pools in the Aspinall Unit in the form of written agreements including but not limited to the 1975 Taylor Park Reservoir Operation and Storage Exchange Agreement and the Agreement for the Administration of Water Pursuant to the Subordination of Aspinall Unit Water Rights Within the Upper Gunnison River Basin; and
WHEREAS the United States has agreed to operate the Aspinall Unit to avoid jeopardy in the continued existence of threatened and endangered aquatic species pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act; and
WHEREAS the United States has committed to operating the Aspinall Unit as the reasonable and prudent alternative necessary to offset the impact on the Colorado River endangered fish related to the depletion of the Dolores and Dallas Creek Projects, other Bureau of Reclamation projects, as well as non-federal water uses in the basin; and
WHEREAS the United States has committed to operating the Aspinall Unit pursuant to the stipulated Black Canyon National Park water right decree; and
WHEREAS it is a policy of the United States that the remaining unallocated portion of the water stored in the Aspinall Unit is available for sale for decreed uses as a means of developing Colorado’s entitlement of water (the so-called “marketable yield”) under the Colorado River Compact and the Upper Colorado Basin Compact subject to compliance with federal requirements.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that CLUB 20 asserts that future Aspinall Unit operations are limited by and subject to senior water rights and treaty obligations, as well as existing commitments made by the United States for the benefit of western Colorado and the four upper division states of the Colorado River; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CLUB 20 also asserts that the amount of water available for future marketing purposes is limited by, and subject to, the aforementioned existing commitments made by the United States.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CLUB 20 urges the United States to continue Aspinall Unit operations that honor and protect existing and historical water use practices in the basin above any new uses that could adversely impact such current and historical uses.