Augmentation water is a supply of water used to replace depletions of an out of priority (junior) diverter in order to keep the affected stream system whole and prevent injury to the water rights of other users. The Upper Gunnison District has three sources of augmentation water available. These sources are Aspinall Unit augmentation water for those water users downstream of the East River No 2 Ditch; Meridian Lake Reservoir augmentation water for those water users upstream of the East River No 2 Ditch, and Lake San Cristobal for those water users downstream of Lake San Cristobal to Blue Mesa Reservoir.
An individual purchasing augmentation water is leasing or buying the right to have such water released to protect their use – they are not directly buying water rights. It is the responsibility of the party purchasing augmentation water to determine the amount of water that is required to protect proposed uses. Both the Aspinall and Meridian Lake Reservoir augmentation plans have exceptions in areas of coverage. The District can provide individuals with information about these areas and to assist them in the determination of the amount of water needed but will not provide any type of legal or engineering advice relating to the purchase of augmentation water.