New five-year water allocation to remain at 65 inches
Rules and regulations for the next five years for the Upper Republican Natural Resources District have not been fully completed but one thing is for sure—the allocation will remain at 65 inches.
If used equally, that amounts to 13 inches per year. However, the allocation is not based on annual usage but over the five-year period. That provides the irrigator some latitude based on weather conditions.
If it’s a wet year and an irrigator uses just 11 inches, they don’t lose the other two inches. Then, if the next year is dry, they could use 18 inches.
The true-up comes in the fifth year. In that year, their pumping can’t exceed 65 inches for the five-year period. If after the fifth year the irrigator has exceeded the 65-inch threshold, the amount of overuse is deducted from the next allocation period at a rate of 2-to-1.