South Platte Roundtable: Ag transfers not enough to meet future demand

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Folks on the South Platte Roundtable are trying to get the word out that Colorado needs a major water project to meet the needs of projected growth. They’re also hoping to convince the rest of the state that it is a statewide problem and that Colorado’s economic engine is primarily in the South Platte Basin and the area needs water to continue to generate that prosperity. Here’s a report from Bill Jackson writing for The Greeley Tribune. From the article:

That was the consensus [ag transfers falling short] Thursday when the South Platte Roundtable of the Colorado Water Conservation Board unveiled the findings of its study, Water for the 21st Century. The group is one of eight in the state developed by the Colorado Legislature following the drought years of the early part of the century.

The South Platte group, which has 50 members from Park County north to Larimer County and east to the Nebraska and Kansas borders, has met monthly for more than four years. The group believes that by 2050, the medium demand for Weld, Larimer and Boulder counties alone will require an additional 200,000 acre-feet of water just to meet municipal and industrial needs. An acre-foot of water is enough to supply two families with a year’s supply of water. “We will need another Colorado-Big Thompson Project or most of another Poudre River to meet those needs,” Harold Evans told a group of about 150 people at the meeting at The Ranch in Loveland. Evans, chairman of the Greeley Water and Sewer Board, is vice chairman of the South Platte Roundtable…

Gary Wockner of Fort Collins, with the Save The Poudre Coalition, said the study has serious, “and perhaps fatal, flaws and appears to be rooted in the river-destruction policies of the 19th century rather than the diverse Colorado interests of the 21st century.”

Evans said the roundtables have been asked to develop needs assessments for the future, not control growth. He said that Colorado water law will prevail to the use of groundwater. It looked at demands as of 2030 and on out to 2050.

More IBCC — Basin roundtable coverage here and here.

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