Water Rights Pending

The city of Aurora wants to lease water from Rocky Ford Ditch shareholders while its legal battle to acquire the water rights is pending. Aurora bought 60 percent of the Rocky Ford Ditch shares in 1986. The city contracted two years ago to buy most of the remaining shares. The transfer of those water rights to Aurora is set for trial in December 2003. City water manager Doug Kemper says the Aurora City Council approved a plan this week to lease the water while the court case is pending. The arrangement will have to be approved by the state engineer's office. It will require notice to all the parties in the case and a comment period because the water is already involved in a court case. The court case involves 51-hundred acre-feet of water. That could be enough to supply more than 20-thousand people and 25-hundred acres of farmland.