Aspen city officials said Wednesday they plan to seek water court approval to transfer the city’s two conditional water rights to store a combined 13,629 acre-feet of water in upper Castle and Maroon creeks to other potential storage locations in the Roaring Fork River valley.
Those locations include 63 acres of land it has under contract to purchase for $2.65 million on Raceway Drive in Woody Creek, a neighboring gravel pit operated by Elam Construction, Inc., the city’s golf course, portions of the Maroon Creek Club golf course owned by the city, and Cozy Point Ranch.
Aspen City Manager Steve Barwick said at a news conference the city is not yet walking away from its conditional water rights tied to the potential dams and reservoirs on Castle and Maroon creeks, but instead is holding on to those rights while seeking to transfer them, and their 1971 decree date, to new locations.
“We’re going to attempt to transfer the water rights down to these sites,” Barwick said. “There would not be an abandoning of water rights. It would be moving the water rights from one site to another.”