Stillwater Resources represents clients in the acquisition or sale of water rights and reservoirs. Our clients include private owners of water rights who want to sell their rights. We also assist cities, companies, state agencies and individuals who want to purchase water. Our areas of expertise include:
• Oil and Gas
• Endangered Species Protection & Habitat Recovery
• Gravel Reservoirs
• New Development
Growing cities in Colorado and other western states rely on the acquisition of water rights historically used for irrigation to meet their increasing water needs. Stillwater facilitates arms-length transactions between willing buyers and sellers in several western water markets.
Stillwater has brokered numerous sales of irrigation water rights to municipal water agencies in Colorado and Nevada. Transactions include surface water, ground water, reservoirs, reusable effluent from water reclamation plants and ditch company shares. We have also helped clients negotiate non-cash trades of water and have been retained by municipal water agencies to acquire targeted water rights. Notable Municipal projects have included:
Represented the Woodmoor Water District in the acquisition of 3,000 acre feet of water and a reservoir to replace its non-renewable Denver Basin Supplies
Selected by the Town of Castle Rock to develop 2,500 acre feet of renewable water
Developed a 4,565 acre feet Prospect Valley water project which was sold to Denver Metro area land developers
Developed and sold 3,000 acre feet of water and reservoirs on the Carson River in California and Nevada, which was sold to municipal and industrial users
Numerous transactions with municipalities around Colorado
Water Sourcing for Oil and Gas
The development of the Niobrara Play in northeastern Colorado has resulted in the need for water supplies for fracking. Water supplies need to be dependable to provide E and P and Service companies maximum flexibility in their operations. Stillwater has leased reusable supplies to E and P companies and joint ventured with service companies to deliver water for fracking. Stillwater and its partners continue to develop water supply solutions to meet the water needs of the oil and gas industry in northeast Colorado.
Endangered Species Protection & Habitat Recovery
Government agencies acquire water to enhance critical aquatic habitat needed for species recovery. By owning water rights and reservoirs these agencies can direct water to key stream reaches when water flows are needed for targeted species.
Stillwater has worked with government agencies, preservation groups and private water owners to facilitate the purchase and sale of water rights and reservoirs needed for endangered species protection and recovery. Notable projects include the sale of Red Lake and a substantial interest in Heenan Lake to the California Wildlife Conservation Board. These reservoirs will be used for the protection and recovery of the Lahontan cutthroat trout in the Carson River.
The mining and power generation industries are large consumers of water. Mine operators use water for production and reclamation. Power plants need water for cooling and to produce steam to generate electricity.
Stillwater has acquired water for mining companies, including the purchase of water for a nacolite mine in western Colorado. (Nacolite is an industrial baking soda that is used to control power plant emissions to avoid acid rain.) We have assisted several power development companies to secure water supplies for proposed coal-fired, natural gas and concentrating solar power plants. We have helped a major industry secure and sell water.
Water storage is a critical part of water management in the western United States, and gravel reservoirs are used to store water in wet years so it can be used during droughts. Reservoirs are also used to store water between seasons to match supply and demand.
During the last twenty years it has become increasingly difficult to obtain permits to construct dams in the west. Reclaimed gravel mines are an innovative way to store and manage water. Gravel reservoirs provide a cost-effective, environmentally sound alternative to constructing dams.
Stillwater has assisted in the sale of $67 million worth of gravel reservoirs, with a combined capacity of over 20,000 acre feet to water users including the Cities of Westminster, Arvada and Aurora in Colorado. We presently have two other gravel reservoir projects under contract.
Public agencies and private clubs need to maintain water levels of lakes and reservoirs used for fishing and boating. Many reservoirs that were constructed to provide water for irrigation and agriculture are also used for recreation. Water levels fluctuate based on withdrawals for cities and farmers. If lake levels drop too far, fishing and boating activities are curtailed. Owners of private reservoirs used exclusively for fishing need water to maintain lake levels and a quality fish habitat.
Stillwater has facilitated the sale of water rights to fishing clubs and individuals wanting to maintain quality fishing and represented government agencies seeking water to maintain high-quality recreation. Notable projects have included:
Facilitating the acquisition of 700 AF of water to maintain the recreation pool at Trinidad State Park
The purchase of water rights, a gravel reservoir and land for St.Vrain State Park
Many water districts and cities have policies that require land owners and builders to dedicate water rights in order to develop. Stillwater helps land owner, home builders and developers cost effectively acquire water rights and negotiate water dedication agreements and come up with alterative solutions to save capital costs.