High groundwater is resulting in damage to private and public property and agricultural land in certain areas of the South Platte River Basin. This is caused by a combination of natural geology and hydrology, average to above-average precipitation, increased recharge for augmentation purposes, decreased groundwater pumping and changes to how surface water is used on the South Platte. HB 15-1178 established the Emergency Dewatering Grant Program, which directed the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to administer funds for emergency dewatering of areas in and around Gilcrest and Sterling. After several projects under this funding source, it was determined that the area of concern needed to include the entire South Platte Basin. Section 10 of HB17-1248 provided this expansion to include the South Platte River Basin and opened up project types for construction, maintenance, and monitoring of dewatering infrastructure. SB 18-218 provides additional funds for these purposes.
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