Metro Aurora

Aurora may sell $9.5 million in water to oil and gas company for drilling across Colorado

Controversial "fracking" operation has opponents; city says water unusable and sale will benefit customers

AURORA | Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will purchase $9.5 million worth of “used” water from Aurora for its oil and gas drilling operations across the state, pending Aurora City Council approval July 9.

The Houston-based company would pay Aurora Water over five years to use 1,500 acre feet of “effluent” water per year, according to city officials.

  • Fracking Protest

    George Saum, Elbert County resident, signs a petition for Laura Avant on June 23 near 11th Avenue and Sherman Street in Denver. The petition was to protect drinking water, a national ban from Food and Water Watch. (File photo Heather L. Smith/The Aurora Sentinel)

Greg Baker, spokesman for Aurora Water, said this is the city’s first foray into selling water to an oil and gas company and the revenues will ultimately help to keep water rates low for customers.

He said the company will be paying four times the market rate for the city’s “effluent” water, or water that has already been used and treated that would otherwise flow downstream and out of the state. The water is sanitary but not potable or made available for public use.

That equals to about $1,200 per acre foot, whereas the market rate is about $350 per acre foot, Baker said.

“That’s a great deal for our taxpayers,” he said.

The city has virtually no use for the water that Anadarko wants because it doesn’t have the capacity to store it, and there is no need for it, Baker said.

“We have enough water to meet our city’s needs,” he said.

The water deal has the potential to be controversial, especially in anti-fracking circles.

“We know that some of these are contentious issues,” Baker said. “But frankly, when you look at this, it’s water that we absolutely cannot use and the financial benefits will go back directly to the rate payer either through a rebate or through a sustained rate.”

Members of the city council’s Management and Finance Committee will meet Wednesday to decide how the city should use the $9.5 million generated from the sale of the water.

One idea, according to city documents ahead of the meeting, is to use revenue to partially pay off debt from Prairie Waters, a $650 million project that was completed in 2010 to ensure the city’s residents had enough water during droughts. The city borrowed more than $540 million and raised water rates to pay for the project.

According to the documents, Aurora’s top water officials are recommending that option, which they say would ultimately lower rate increases for water customers in the future.

A second option would be to use the money to reimburse taxpayers for helping to foot the bill to construct the project.

The rebates would range between $60 and $150 per customer over the five-year term of the city’s contract with Anadarko.

The full Aurora City Council will decide on July 9 how to use the revenue.

John Christiansen, a spokesman for Anadarko, said the company is looking for water from several sources for its Colorado drilling operations.

From Aurora, Christiansen said the company is looking to lease water for it’s drilling operations in the Wattenberg field, a sprawling oil and gas field along the northern Front Range.

Anadarko will likely get about 30,000 barrels of water a day from Aurora, Christiansen said. Statewide, fracking operations make up less than 0.13 percent of total water used, Christiansen said, and Anadarko’s operations account for just a fraction of that.

The water sale comes just a few months after Aurora agreed to sell potable water to Niagara Bottling Co., and amidst growing concerns among residents about the potential environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing.

Aurora resident Pat Dunn said municipal water should belong to the city’s residents and no one else. Dunn is an anti-fracking activist in Aurora and Arapahoe County.

“With large portions of the state on fire, and the act that we often times experience a drought, I find it very troubling that the Aurora City Council would even consider selling our precious water to oil and gas operators,” she said.

Dunn, a retired business owner who has spoken against hydraulic fracturing at Aurora City Council meetings, doesn’t think the plan to sell water to Anadarko will go over well with the public.

“I think the answer you’d get from most people is that we’re asked to conserve water here in Aurora and you can only water on certain days, and here we are, going to sell water to frackers,” she said.

Reach reporter Sara Castellanos at 720-449-9036 or sara@aurorasentinel.com.

Staff writer Brandon Johansson contributed to this report.

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  • Cammy

    If “we have enough water to meet our city’s needs” then why are Aurora residents under water restrictions year after year?  Does Aurora need money so badly? 

    • Parched

      Perhaps, among other things, Council is concerned about having “enough” money in their own Pension Fund — into which they contribute nothing.

  • Mark Jacobson

    Ok, sell the water to help the city…fine. But don’t give away the farm. Other cities are getting $0.50 (or more) per barrel and we’re selling for $0.16 per barrel?!?! There must be more to this story, because this is a bad deal for Aurora and a very got deal for oil and gas.

  • gofastgo

    ‘water and fracking don’t mix’  Geez, didn’t know that.  How well do water and oil mix?  How about water and chemicals used by farmers?  How about fertilizer and water?  Who’d a known.

    • Bigreddog1934

       Please research the toxicology of fracking and get back to us about the differences you are missing here. Benzene, by the way, is not used by farmers and their use of water return it to the water table. Fracking loses water, at best, forever. It turn it into industrial, carcinogenic waste.

  • Anonymous

    Something just isn’t adding up.  We little people are mandated to use our tiny quantities of water only during certain days and hours, but Aurora City Council says we have more than enough water so they are selling “unusable” (I’d like a much clearer definition, Sentinel) water to frackers to add chemicals and poison our “usuable” water and our air?  Sounds like the City Council cares a whole lot more about the money than about the people they are supposed to be representing.  Aurora: Land Where the City Council Doesn’t Care About the People; land where police can hurl us to the ground and handcuff us whenever they feel like it; land where the city attorneys say that the City Council cannot tell the big oil and gas concerns they must protect our land and water (though many other Colorado city councils have done just that!); land where we are told to conserve precious water but the City Council can sell the water – the people’s water – at will.  Disgraceful.   

  • Lsickle

    When you take water out of the water cycle, any elementary student knows that you can’t recreate it.  I find it troubling that our city governments who are there to protect the citizens are selling this resource to oil and gas companies. Wake up Colorado check out the droughts and fires.  We will start looking like the moonscapes.

  • Burch0561

    OMG can you all not read…..the water is non-potable which means it will flow downstream and out of state!!!! Why not collect some revenue!!! 

  • Cammy

    Aurora’s golf courses are water using non-potable water . .   tertiary water is also used for things other than drinking and bathing.  Perhaps a better explanation of the water that is being sold (or is it given away?) would keep readers’ anger down. 

  • Beasbyte

    TThe water Aurora plans on selling to the profit greedy oil companies is NOT unusable, but after they get through with the water it will not only be unusable, but  TOXIC!!!

  • David

    I agree with Cammy that a better explanation of where the non-potable water would be helpful. Also, to Mark’s point the city of Erie is selling water at 48 cents / barrel. Wonder why Aurora thinks selling for 1/3 the price is a good deal? http://www.dailycamera.com/erie-news/ci_20903599/erie-oil-and-gas-companies-pay-twice-much. I think this deal has some merit if this water truly is being wasted by Aurora at the moment.

  • DeskEditor

     Anonymous said:

    What is happening in Aurora?  If this water is unusable, untreatable, and totally without value, then how can  the Aurora City Council (without consulting the people of Aurora who I believe are the real owners of the water) sell it (how can you lease something you’re never getting back?!) for $9.5 million?  There is something very fishy going on here.  When our trees and lawns turn to brittle death because of lack of water, and the fires come to our community and there is no water with which to try to contain them, and when Aurorans have no water to drink or bathe in, then will The City Council members still be joining the Oil and Gas bigwigs (who have no government regulations) as they go laughing all the way to the bank at our expense?  Let us stop this madness before it’s too late!  We Aurorans should be filling the City Council chambers to remind our elected officials that we actually exist.  

    • Parched

      IF YOU ARE NOT A FOOL, show yourself MONDAY, JULY 9, in Council Chambers at the Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 E Alameda Pkwy, Aurora, CO 80014, northwest corner of Alameda & Chambers. FREE parking either side of the tall building. BRING your children and Everyone you know who drinks water, bathes in it, eats food grown or raised with water. Your Friends will be in white shirts (join in) and looking forward to seeing you by 7:15pm.

  • Greg Baker, Aurora Water

    There have been a couple of questions of the cost differences, so I’ll try and answer them. Other cities are leasing treated drinking water – Aurora is proposing to lease effluent, which has already been used. Due to its location in the S. Platte River, Aurora cannot use this water again at this time and routinely leases this excess effluent for commercial use, This does not impact our drinking water supply because it’s unusable effluent in the river, not fully treated drinking water delivered at a hydrant or tap.
     
     
    Greg Baker, Aurora Water

  • Happyfeet3

    It seems to me that Aurora is being short sighted in allowing fracking to continue/increase here. I understand that municipalities are financially strapped but our representatives owe it to us to insist that the oil and gas industry prove the safety of their operations and presence in our community. Its track record in other communities has been far from satisfactory and yet I haven’t heard a single council member address this in city council meetings – just polite Q & A’s to “what if” scenarios to the COGCC and oil and gas reps. Past behavior is the best predictor of future performance.Now our water is up for sale to the same interests. Are other municipalities selling water to these companies too?   I’m confused, have we been storing this water in the past or letting it flow downstream to other states. If it is so unusable, have we been polluting the waters of other states? Doesn’t Aurora have uses for this effluent water that would not involve hauling it great distances throughout our state adding to taffic, wear and tear on our roads, additional pollution from trucks and exposure to accidents and spills – this, in addiiton to the additional truck traffic from fracking operations?

    Sounds like we are being sold on something. No thanks, keep my “$60 to $150 in rebates over 5 years”.

  • Anonymous

    MAYBE WE SHOULD OUTSOURCE OUR LOCAL GOV’T OFFICIALS, TOO!

  • Erik

    those anti fracker groups should try living without oil maybe then they will get thier heads out of thier asses

    • Beasbyte

      I’m not anti fracking, I’m PRO LIFE and poluting our environment won’t save your

      Derrière

    • Gouko787

      All those Pro-Fraker idiots should be forced to trade homes with those being forced to deal with this in their backyards.

      • Lighthouse2

        AGREED !

        And when it comes to new housing in Aurora, the majority of Aurora City Council is sniggering at future buyers who, according to Aurora’s new oil & gas ordinance, will not be told that there’s been any oil & gas development nearby, or even on their property. Oh yes, the first buyer will be told, but no one down the line! Council Member Renie Peterson questioned this in committee; I was there listening and appalled.  Hmm, I’m basically an honest person, perhaps even naive; and even I know these money-hungry developers could easily set up or work with a company that FIRST buys these sad houses, for immediate resale to unknowing, trusting SECOND buyers. 

    • Person

      We can live without oil, Erik.  We have legs with which to walk.  We cannot, however, live without water.

      • Trevor

        Lol @ person.  Are you even aware how many things are made from petroleum??? Are you aware that nearly all the fertilizer that is ever made comes from the haber process which requires vast amounts of natural gas?  How are you going to eat????

        • Parched

          Are you aware that fertilizer comes from animals? That Heifer encourages world-wide use of this economical, renewable fertilizer?

          Are you aware that many petroleum products last forever? So we have plenty of resin yard furniture to pass around and pass down; no need for more. We have plenty of beetle-kill wood thanks to climate change heating caused by VOCs in the air from polluters, including an awful lot from oil & gas development’s newer processes (including fracking and tar sands).  That wood can be sold in the form of furniture, without using petroleum.

          We have way too many plastic bottles — even the #1 and #2 are being shipped (using oil) to India and end up in a mountain of trash. How about you, Trevor, encouraging people to use a thermos, re-use forever those hardy old plastic bottles?

          All of our efforts could be put to better use in support of a sustainable, renewable, life-giving lifestyle. 

  • Beasbyte

    To Greg Baker,
    Just because the water doesn’t come out of the hydrant or water tap doesn’t mean it’s unuseable water, just that it’s gone past our “deversionary system”. But after Anadarka finishes with it , IT’S TOXIC, POLUTED, AND DEFIINTELY  u n u s a b l e  !!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Greg, thank you for the clarification on pricing. What I’m gathering is that companies like Anadarko don’t necessarily care about water quality and can just as easily use a filtered or non-filtered water supply to frack with. That makes sense.

    My question as a citizen of Aurora is why we’d sell our water at such a discount (filtered or non-filtered) if the alternatives are all so much higher?

    I also have to comment that the Platte River is virtually empty right now and it would seem that this would not be the year we would want to remove any water from the system. Setting money aside, I can’t see this decision as a good one for those communities downstream from Aurora that this water will never make it to if Anadarko gets it.

    I’m not opposed to fracking and I know perfectly well our economy in Colorado has benefited substantially from the recent oil & gas boom. I’m just not convinced this deal is good for Aurora or those who are downstream from us. Maybe it is a good deal, but this article sure doesn’t make me think so.

  • Parched

    Aurora City Council is doing a Great job – if their goal is to drive even further apart the Haves from the Have-Nots. When a resource or commodity is scarce, the price goes UP and someone goes without.  … Without water, we die, all life as we know it dies.  Some might call the destruction of water Ecocide, but it is clearly an Attack on Humanity.
     
    Council is attempting to fool us into thinking that our water is not scarce. Perhaps it is not scarce for industry, but it obviously is scarce for Aurorans who are encouraged to conserve and charged a higher rate for using more water, even though it is re-usable and remains in the water cycle. Meanwhile, water used to extinction by oil and gas heavy industry, that is destroyed Water, cannot be replaced. While Aurora Water Dept. is responsible for “non-potable reclaimed wastewater for irrigation…”, somehow keeping it in the country’s water cycle is apparently not understood by them. It follows that Aurora City Council – and by extension Aurorans – have no moral responsibility either to the rest of Colorado’s people who in fact do have a shortage of water, including farmers’ needs for irrigation.
     
    Providing water to the oil and gas industry WILL SET A PRECEDENT. A precedent is an example, a model, a guide; it is an action that sets a standard, a pattern. The greedy get greedier, and we know that industry will want MORE water. Aurora already has a precedent of leasing water. And just this year set a precedent for selling it for bottling (promising Aurora a total of 36 jobs) to be sold in California; although this water will remain in the water cycle of the United States. When something is leased, it is returned in good condition. But contracting with industry for oil and gas development amounts to SELLING, as OUR WATER WILL NOT BE RETURNED IN GOOD or even cleanable CONDITION. In fact, as conscionable Americans, we should want assurance that the water will not be returned to us because it will be Poison.  (And don’t even run with that because the 7-8 pending permits in Aurora for storage of these poison liquids in class 2 Injection Wells – known to be a contributing cause of earthquakes and that will leak to poison underground water in time – are another topic.)
     
    Perhaps Aurora City Council is truly simply seeing the glitter of the gold from the sale of the public’s water. But Fools Gold isn’t worth much. So IF YOU ARE NOT A FOOL, show yourself MONDAY, JULY 9, in Council Chambers at the Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 E Alameda Pkwy, Aurora, CO 80014, northwest corner of Alameda & Chambers. FREE parking either side of the tall building. BRING your children and Everyone you know who drinks water, bathes in it, eats food grown or raised with water. Your Friends will be in white shirts (join in) and looking forward to seeing you by 7:15pm.

  • reader

    Greg Baker, spokesman for Aurora Water Dept., was quoted as saying in a Denver
    Post article on April 3rd that he worries that a hot, dry 2012 would drain reserves
    and other water sources so much that not much would be left for 2013.  It is
    really next year we are concerned about.  We need the water, every little bit
    helps.

    This sure doesn’t “square” with what the public relations department of the
    aurora city council is saying. 

    Citizens of aurora have the right to be concerned.  The Colorado constitution states
    the water of colorado belongs to the people.

    Guess the Aurora City Council thinks the most important “people” are the oil and
    gas industry.

  • OldPatriot

     
    Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees (and, by the way, the trees are on fire):

    Colorado is a dry state where water is our most precious and rare resource.  Farmers are having a hard time securing water to grow crops and raise livestock. Colorado is experiencing record high temperatures.  The best available science tells us that Colorado is in for continued raised temperatures and increasing water scarcity over the forseeable future. Colorado’s mountain pines have been devastated by the increased  temperatures and have succumbed in large number to the pine beetles that can now thrive in our new warmer climate.  Colorado is a tinderbox.  Colorado  is on fire.
     
    Where, in this context, is “excess water” a plausible concept, except in the paperwork of water bureaucrats?

    How, in this context, can any Colorado city consider selling water to an industry that will not only render the water permanently contaminated (actually “unusable” and untreatable), but will also permanently remove about half of it from our parched Colorado climate and water supplies by entombing it underground (in deep wells known to cause earthquakes)?  Don’t we have any informed local and state leadership?

    As our state burns, selling water for fracking in our state is a travesty to all of Colorado. It is an auctioning off of our future, for pennies today.

    The water Aurora is considering auctioning off for fracking is treated wastewater that would otherwise be sent down the Platte as “effluent”.  It is not “unusable” by any stretch- it could be used for irrigation, sold to farmers, further cleaned for drinking water, or just let to flow downstream and continue to be a part of Colorado’s parched water cycle. 

    Selling viable effluent off for fracking, in order to pay off the Prairie Waters Project, is auctioning off water for permanent destruction, in order to to fund a water project!  Is Aurora that desperate for dollars? That myopic? Are Aurorans on board with careful conservation of water for their lawns and personal use while their city auctions off large quantities for destruction?
     
    Apparently the second most rare resource in our state (next to water)  is informed leadership, rooted in larger reality, and dedicated to our common good over the longterm.   
     
     

  • reader

    94 cents.  That is how much each Aurora citizen would receive monthly on their
    water bill for selling our water to Anadarko oil and gas.

    So the MF (Management and Finance Committee) has decided to put the
    9.5 million dollars they will receive over a 5 year period into the Prarie
    Water Project.

  • Debby Gebhart

    I agree and so very much appreciate ms Dunn’s efforts to BAN fracking in Colorado, completely.

  • dascodger

    My oh my, Greg Baker says this is absolutly water we cannot use. City Council spent 750 million dollars on the Prairie Waters Project and we cannot use the water, because we do not have adequate storage.

    When will city staff or the city council be held responsible for a water policy gone awry? At least, according to Mr.Baker Aurora’s residential water users will be givin a 94 cent per month rebate on their water bill.

    When will Aurora’s citizens hold incumbant council members responsible for a nonsensical water policy that caused water rates to increse for five years, recoverd effluent water, built a new treatment plant to make the effluent water “useable”, only to find out that we absolutly cannot use this water.

    Lordy ,Lordy, please give me more council members whose crtical thinking skills not only rewards staff for poor planning but expects the voters to see the infallibe logic in selling  of leasing reuse water for fracking.

  • A. Citizen

    FRACKED
    BY OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS – YOU CAN’T PUT OUT FIRES WITH GASOLINE, AND YOU CAN’T
    DRINK OIL. WHEN THE OIL AND GAS WELLS RUN DRY, WE’LL FIGURE OUT ANOTHER WAY TO
    HEAT & LIGHT OUR HOMES AND TRAVEL, BUT WHEN THE WATER WELLS RUN DRY, WHAT
    WILL WE DRINK? EVEN SODA REQUIRES WATER… CROPS REQUIRE WATER, AND YOU CAN’T
    EAT MONEY, SO MY QUESTION IS HOW MUCH IS THIS MONEY-GRAB MADNESS WORTH???

    PS - FYI, THIS ISN’T ABOUT ENERGY SELF-SUFFICENCY, IT’S ABOUT EXPORTING TO CHINA & OTHERS, AND A FUTURE MARKET SQUEEZE - YOU THINK THE MORTGAGE CRASH WAS BAD???  THE WORST IS YET TO COME IF WE DON’T PUT A STOP TO GREED STAMPEDE. WAKE UP AURORA AND THE REST OF COLORADO!

  • Frack Files

    What about the class II injection wells where they are supposed to dispose of the water. Is anyone monitoring if the flowback is being disposed of properly? Also is the industry going to return it when done as they are renting it? I hope not as municipalities have no known process to clean the toxins from it. Are they going to use it to extinguish fires from hydrants? Lets hope not. Has the Aurora city council considered doing something intelligent like perform a “Health Risk Assessment” to determine the risk to its citizens allowing the gas & oil industry to continue their recklessness in search of profits for the few? 

  • R.R. Peters

    In spite of industry lies and propaganda, fracking cannot be done safely and the current practices are especially unsafe because companies are using some of the most toxic chemicals known to humans as they are cheaper than less toxic alternatives available. The water + toxic chemicals has the potential to ruin drinking water permanently and case after case is showing up in Colorado where it has. Thats not just our generation, but as far out as we can conceive the water is not drinkable. And the failure of the well casings increases over time, though a high percentage will fail immediately and that is what we are mostly seeing today, the immediate failures, not the ones over time. The industry is not watched, not accountable to environmental standards (oil and gas industry was exempted from environmental laws in 2005 energy policy act) and it is covering up massive pollution of the water and spills and accidents as it is currently. Even if this out of state Houston company pays 1000 times the price of water, it is still not worth it to the residents who have live with the pollution of fracking while those making the $billions  can afford any environmentally clean location to live in the world they would like. Its not fair to families, especially the children of Aurora, this selling out of their health for profit. Its just plain wrong!

  • Candice

    Colorado needs every drop of water it has. We are experiencing a fire season like non other. What about the farmers. Please let’s step away from from oil and gas they do not have Colorado’s best interest in there minds or hearts. Do you?

  • Gouko787

    It is time we start an initiative to reduce the role of the city council in city decisions.
    We need to re-write the charter and structure our city more like Centennial in which the council and mayor serve more as advisors than legislators.

    Regardless of which way the voters, readers and citizen may lien politically, the council and mayor are “non-partisan.”   That is joke.  Politics and partisan issues have corrupted the council and all parties are guilty. 

    Why is south Aurora so tuned out and uninterested in their government?

  • Gardener’s Delight

    Aurora citizens-wake up and smell the GREED! When Aurora’s source of water is so low due to this sucking sound of precious, life-giving water leaving you, what will you use to bath in, drink, grow your flowers and gardens, keep your lawn from burning up along with the forests? Will your elected officials recognize their folly and send themselves to jail for misrepresenting the truth and leaving you dry? Take up your democracy and say NO, the water must stay for citizen’s use.  We paid for it. There is no such thing as unneeded water in a semi-arid state where we are on watering/drought restrictions.

  • Rfr2success

    Please, please do not sell our precious water. It can be treated and used for many purposes. We do not have enough water in Colorado, And the fires and drought have made all of it worse.

    No amount of money is enough to buy and sell our much needed resources, especially to those who care nothing about the future of our city and state.
     
    Aurora City Council, when will you start representing “the people”?? Remember us: your neighbors and friends, your constitituents; and your duty when elected to preserve the health and general welfare of our lovely city and its residents?

    If you are unable to remember and care about our future, please resign and let someone else make the decisions to preserve the city and our water for future generations. My children and grandchildren live here, too.

    BE leaders. Care more about the people than the money. That is what you promised to do when you were elected. We care!

  • Jrkassel

    Greg Baker from Aurora Water says:”great deal for taxpayers”and later states that we could get $60-$150.  WOW!  What a windfall  Now I can pay for 1 more hour a week for 2 months of watering my parched garden.  While I have struggled to conserve water all these years the water board and Aurora City Council have, cavalierly sold out,one more time, to gas and oil. Whose in whose pocket?

    As many have pointed out, this is not the best year to talk about selling off our most precious resource.  The fires, the dried up rivers, the crops, the decimated ski season.  We are all suffering from one environmental disaster or another.

    We know and you know at this point in the fracking debate that there is no accountability even when there are regulations in place……and THAT is well documented! How dare you put our health, our environment, and our way of life in Jeopardy.  I think I hear”recall” in the coming conversations.

  • Josh Joswick

    I am not telling the people of Aurora anything that anyone with a wit of sense does not already know. Again the industry is dangling its purse to see who jumps. It appears as though your city council is considering taking that course of action. That would be a huge mistake. Once that water is used for fracking purposes, it is out of the system and will not return.  Are we in this state so water rich that we can say good bye to to that water for good and not even blink?  Fight this as much as you can.

  • Bud

    Doesn’t the city have to “augment” that portion of water that will be taken out
    of the hydrological cycle?  The portion that is not put back into the South Platte actually belongs to someone downstream.

  • Showart419

    Sounds to me like Baker sold out to Big Oil! Is saving Aurora residents money on their bill really worth the health risks? These are not mythical risks, just ask anyone on the western slope.

  • Therese

    Once the water is used for fracking, it is deemed “solid waste” by the industry – not able for reclamation due to heavy metals, etc. and is therefore effectively removed from the hydro cycle.  This is 100% consumptive use – even allowing them an ounce is too much. The fracking industry doesn’t just use water, it permanently destroys water.

  • Fellow Aurora Resident

    It’s obvious that the City of Aurora cares more about the needs of the “Corporate Citizen” then their own actual breathing (and voting) citizens.  Industries and corporations are getting increasingly more face time with the council and city officials all whilst trying to keep it from public view until the last minute where they just have to endure a handful of public opinion (3 minutes at a time – what they pitifully consider as public input on issues now).  The difference here is that industry get’s a “lease” (which typically involves returning an item in a still usable condition when the lease is up) to water which in turn they will destroy (never to be returned in ANY usable state).  Effluent water, is by no means the same as destroyed water.  It is just water that goes back into the water cycle to be cleansed through the natural process to be used by us again.  The state constitution says this water belongs to the public to use – not to corporations to destroy and inject into class II injection wells “forever” as the industry would have you believe (which is a whole other conversation). The fact that it will be sold at $0.16 per barrel adds insult to injury.  Polished “waste” is still “waste”.  Destroying one of the few precious commodities on earth that SUSTAINS life for a product that makes life CONVENIENT I.M.H.O. is treasonous to the human race.  Politicians wine and dine us and tell us they will fight for us, represent us, and make the the hard decisions that need to be made for our benefit – yet the current track record of our elected officials weighs in at taking the easy road every time while bidding the needs of lobbiest.  It will hardly be surprising what happens Monday night.  If you are reading this and you don’t plan to show up on Monday night or share this with your neighbor and encourage them to show up on Monday night – shame on you for empowering the City Council to think that Aurora citizens don’t care (well not enough to get out of the comfort of their home until something happens within a few steps of their property)! Get off your lazzy duffs and speak up for all of Aurora and our neighboring cities, counties, and states! 

  • Kirk

    Colorado water is a bipartisan issue. Anyone “selling” it for any use other than that which directly benefits the citizens of Colorado MUST BE daft!

    My hometown in Benton County, Indiana, sold the rights to place 100′s of windmills on top of prime farmland.  Yes, the farmers and the County get residuals, but the power is NOT provided to or even sold to rhe residents of the County!  Great stewardship by the County Commissioners: Only minor gains by the farmers, but certainly a blight on the County landscape and ground temperatures!

    MONEY IS NOT THE ONLY GOAL.  But Quality of Life should be.

    ~ Lifelong Republican

  • Marshall

    Not sure what the big deal is here.  Anadarko gets effluent water and Aurora gets above market rates for their waste water.  Sounds like a good deal to me.

    So much misinformation here in the comment section. The real issue with fracking isn’t with the water, it is with the air quality.  Gov Hickenlooper even said “we can’t find anywhere in Colorado a single example of the process of fracing that has polluted groundwater.”

    Fracking isn’t going anywhere, so let’s figure out how we can do it more responsibly.  This deal is a step in the right direction.      

    • Lighthouse2

      AGREED: A real issue with fracking… is with the air quality.

      BUT, THIS IS NO DEAL at all. Anadarko gets treated wastewater (at a pretty good price), uses it, and most importantly takes it out of the hydrologic (water) cycle forever. THERE IS NO WAY TO REPLACE THIS WATER in the world. Rain, snow, and sleet come from existing water, but frackers kill the water, it no longer exists as water.  HOW IS THIS ALLOWED, let alone encouraged … ever? And especially in the face of FIRES in Colorado, extreme heat in Colorado, drought throughout almost all of Colorado, the farmers we all depend on in dire need of water (with a Gov. who does not know how or want to help the situation). Have you seen the Platte lately? Noticed places where there’s almost NO water flowing at all? And still Aurora City Council is “thinking” about not letting this water – for which they have no storage — flow downstream, where it is needed NOW.

      Concerned that Aurora City Council is gambling with Our Water Supply and against all odds? If so, come to Council meeting this MONDAY, JULY 9. Wear a white top so Council can see clearly that we’re paying attention and want answers. Come at 7pm to get organized and sign up to speak if you like. (15151 E Alameda Pkwy, NW corner of Alameda and Chambers Rd)
      ******* THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE *******

      What about the great detriment to our National Security caused by oil & gas?  Much of the world is looking at the USA more and more as monsters, enemies – due to fracking’s air pollution effecting the globe, factual connection with earthquakes, use and pollution of water to its extinction, death.

      FYI:  Gov. Hickenlooper does NOT speak the whole truth. THERE ARE MANY COLORADO EXAMPLES OF POLLUTED GROUNDWATER – and other waters – DUE TO FRACKING and due to one part or another of oil & gas development, extraction, storage…. The COGCC has allowed and even awarded spillers; the Denver Post reported from the State’s own data about 7 spills out of every 5 days AND about 1/3 of those EFFECT GROUNDWATER. – Hickenlooper also brashly claimed he drank frack fluid and is fine — when the whole truth is he must have drunk “green” frack fluid, which per gas & oil and state is used on a case-by-case basis. And by the way,  you don’t even have to be able to count the fingers on one hand to count the number of times “green” frack fluid is used in Colorado.

      How is this a “deal” when selling/leasing water to Anadarko will most certainly set a precedent for them to insist on more, as well as for other oil & gas  companies to insist on buying.  Who will get Aurora’s water next year, 5 or 10 years from now — those corporations with a written lease contract OR the public, who simply relies on Council members to look out for their best interests, beginning with health and lifestyle?  But Council is putting fast-money before life.  Council is ignoring remediation costs and further that this cannot be remediated. We need only look to the Superfund Site at Lowry Bombing Range to hear that the EPA is unable to stop the flow of poisons underground, which put personal wells as risk. 

  • reader

    you might have missed Gov. Hickenlooper’s apology when he found out in fact
    there have been over 1,000 spills in Colorado.  He said they were increasing
    the fines.  I don’t believe a “fine” will undo the damage to the environment.

    It’s not only the air quality that is a huge problem — it’s the one inch casings that
    have failed, it’s the fact that 40% of the chemically treated fracking fluid is left
    unground, it is a concern about what industry does with the remaining 60%
    of this toxic fluid.

    Driller can now store these toxic fluids in open pits for two weeks or longer in
    Aurora.  Just think of it.  A good wind comes along, and yes, the air quality
    is affected.  Sometimes these open pits leak, so there is concern about
    contamination.

    There are so many issues to be concerned about — fracking 350 feet from schools and playgrounds.  The fact that builders can now build a home only 150 away from
    an established well sight.

    So yes, air quality is a concern, but there are many, many other concerns concerning
    horizontal hydraulic fracking.

    And how could “this deal” be a step in the right direction?  Please explain, I don’t
    understand.  Thank you.

  • PE82

    I think most of you are reading this and ignoring the term, “Effluent” in regards to the water Aurora Water is selling as well as Aurora stating, “We have enough water to meet our city’s needs,”.  Why not help out your city and its pocket book?  Is that so bad?

    • Person

       No, PE82, I  believe most of us are NOT ignoring the term “effluent.”  If the water can be made clean for fracking purposes, it can be made clean for drinking purposes.  Period.  If Aurora cannot use this water “at this time” because of storage concerns, the water can be treated and used for people “down the stream” instead.  Taking perfectly good water, adding poisons to it, blasting it down into the earth through pipes that grow old and weak with time, leaking gases and toxins into our aquafers, increasing the risk of earthquakes — is it worth it?  Many of us believe it is not.  We need to be conserving precious resources and investing in wind and solar energy.  We help out our city and its pocketbook plenty, PE82.  We are simply not prepared to be poisoned for a few million dollars and for the sake of greed.

  • Activist in Aurora

    We are selling our water away and draining our lakes to pay water debts to other states.

    Awful decisions. Fracking is yet another bad decision. And the full impact of this is still to be seen.

  • Bill Lemke

    Please don’t sell our water. YOU MAY REALLY REGRET THAT DECISION !!! You may find yourselves asking what on earth were we thinking. I’d much rather have the water resource !!! Increase taxes to offset whatever profit may be realized if you have too but DON’T SELL OUR WATER or trade it for money !!! Its way to precious !!! Thanks !!!

  • Dianne Wells

    Please do not sell water for fracking or allow fracking in Aurora!  Fracking is dangerous for the environment, animals and humans.  Putting poisonous, undisclosed chemicals into any type of water will eventually end up in the water table affecting us all.  Stop this insanity now!

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