Long-Term Excess Capacity Master Contract


The Excess Capacity Master Contract (Contract) allows participants to store water in Pueblo Reservoir when the space is not needed for Fryingpan-Arkansas Project (Project) Water. The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District (District) has a 40-year contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to store up to 29,938 acre-feet of water annually. The space is allocated according to maximum limits requested by stakeholders during the planning process.


Reclamation began storing Excess Capacity water in 1986 annually under what originally were called “if-and-when” contracts – meaning if and when space is available. These are available in Pueblo Reservoir, which is the terminal storage for the Project. In 2005, an Environmental Assessment (EA) determined that an average of more than 130,000 acre-feet historically was not needed for Project water. The EA included a Finding of No Significant Impact for storage of 80,000 acre-feet annually.

The need for long-term contracts, which would reserve but not guarantee space in Pueblo Reservoir, was recognized in the Preferred Storage Options Plan “Future Water Needs and Storage Assessment” by GEI Consultants in 1998.

The first long-term excess capacity contract was issued to the Pueblo Board of Water Works for up to 15,000 acre-feet annually for 25 years in 2000. The city of Aurora received a 40-year contract for 10,000 acre-feet annually in 2007. The Southern Delivery System (Colorado Springs, Fountain, Security and Pueblo West) received a 40-year contract for 42,000 acre-feet annually in 2010.

The Supplement to the Regional Water Conservation Plan was completed in September 2015 for participants who are not part of the AVC. This report built on the AVC Conservation Plan completed in 2013.

 The District’s 40-year Contract was signed in December of 2016.

Excess Capacity Master Contract

Excess Capacity Conservation Plan 


The District’s Contract was envisioned both as a way to provide more certain storage for entities which traditionally requested excess capacity contracts and future storage for Arkansas Valley Conduit (AVC) participants.

During the first year of the Contract, 16 of the potential 37 participants signed up. Four of these are also AVC participants, while the other 12 have no connection to AVC. The total amount of storage contracted is 6,575 acre-feet, which is a “floor,” meaning the amount will be equal to or greater than that amount in every future year. The storage rate for 2020 is $42.23 per acre-foot, and will increases 1.79 percent annually.

Space is reserved for the other 21 AVC participants who will need storage when the AVC is complete.



List of Long-term Excess Capacity Participants

Current Contracts, non-AVC

Canon City

City of Florence

City of Fountain

Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District

Penrose Water District Water Activity Enterprise

Town of Poncha Springs

Pueblo West Metropolitan District

City of Salida

Security Water and Sanitation District

Stratmoor Hills Water District

Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District

Widefield Water and Sanitation District


Current Contracts for AVC Participants

City of La Junta

Town of Olney Springs

City of Rocky Ford

St. Charles Mesa Water District


Future Contracts, AVC Participants

96 Pipeline Company

Beehive Water Association

Bents Fort Water Company

City of Las Animas

Crowley County Water Association

Town of Eads

Fayette Water Association

Town of Fowler

Hill Top Water Company

Holbrook Center Soft Water Association

Homestead Improvement Association

Town of Manzanola

May Valley Water Association

Newdale-Grand Valley Water Company

Town of Ordway

Patterson Valley Water Company

South Swink Water Company

Southside Water Association

Valley Water Company

Vroman Water Company

West Grand Valley Water Incorporated



Click Here for the Final Enviormental Impact Statement

For more information: United State Bureau of Reclamation