“We can’t depend on the past being any guarantee of the future.” – Robert Harris
Along with countless other towns across the west, Aspen, Colorado is deeply concerned with the future of their water security. High Country News reports that a third of the state has been declared in a state of extreme drought and all sorts of preemptive measures to stockpile water are being considered in the iconic vacation destination. In the past two years Aspen has begun testing several sites to store water including beneath the picturesque Aspen Golf Club. Currently the city can only stockpile one days worth of water that it pulls from Crystal and Maroon creeks. Aspen’s utilities manager Margaret Medellin had this to say about the situation:
“People right now are conserving water and we could still be in a real hardship at the end of the summer because we have no way to store that water. When talking about other communities in Colorado and the West that is a level of vulnerability that is not really acceptable as a water management practice. We are at that point now were it is time to start putting those (storage) plans into action.”The plan to store water under the golf course would involve injecting it into the underlying aquifer or reaching it through a basin specifically designed to draw water underground. The improved capacity would allow the city to store up to 1,200 acre-feet, or about enough to supply 2,400 households for one year. Having the water underground is superior to a traditional dam (which have been ruled out by self-imposed environmental protective measures) when it comes to evaporation loss which a problem that increases with rising temperatures.
“As a concept it really does help you preserve a lot of the water with minimal loss.” –Margaret Medellin
A round of golf with a cart is runs $129 at Aspen Golf Club, so there will be a short term financial toll if construction shuts down the course but that would be a small price to pay to take the Aspen’s water storage capacity from 1 day to enough for 2,600 household for an entire year.
images from AspenGolf FB