Reclamation Releases Draft Programmatic Environmental Document for Continuation of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project Temporary Excess Capacity Contracting Program and Two 40 Year Excess Capacity Contracts

Media Contact: James Bishop, (970) 962-4326,

For Release: October 29, 2018

LOVELAND, Colorado -- The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft programmatic environmental assessment (EA) for continuation of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project Temporary Excess Capacity Program and the issuance of two 40-year excess capacity contracts.

As described in the EA, Reclamation would continue to issue annual excess capacity storage contracts for the use of up to 25,000 acre-feet of excess capacity storage in Pueblo Reservoir "if and when" the space is available. Entities can request temporary (1-5 years) excess capacity storage contracts with Reclamation to meet their agricultural, municipal and industrial water needs.

The EA also evaluates a 499-acre-foot 40-year excess capacity storage and conveyance contract with Donala Water and Sanitation District (Donala) and a 400-acre-feet 40-year excess capacity storage contract with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for storage in Pueblo Reservoir "if and when" it becomes available. Both Donala and BLM have previously held annual excess capacity contracts issued under the Temporary Program. Donala utilizes excess capacity storage to facilitate the use of its water rights to reduce dependency on non-renewable groundwater resources. Under the 40-year contract, Donala would also utilize the Southern Delivery System pipeline as the primary route to deliver water treated by Colorado Springs Utility to Donala's service area. If granted a 40-year contract, BLM intends to utilize excess capacity storage to exchange water from Pueblo Reservoir to DeWeese Reservoir to improve low flow conditions in Grape Creek.

Written comments on the Draft EA are due to Reclamation by November 10, 2018; the document is available online at: For additional information or to provide written comments, please contact Terence Stroh at either: 970-962-4369,, or by mail at U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Eastern Colorado Area Office, 11056 West County Road 18E, Loveland, Colorado 80537-9711.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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