Front Range Water Council: Colorado’s Front Range uses 19% of the state’s water and generates 80 – 86% of the economic activity and tax revenue

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It wasn’t always so but nowadays Colorado’s economy is centered on the Front Range. Here’s a report from Cathy Proctor writing for the Denver Business Journal. From the article:

The report, titled “Water and the Colorado Economy,” was commissioned by the Front Range Water Council, made up of the major water suppliers along the Front Range between Fort Collins and Pueblo. The report will be formally presented to the Colorado Water Congress on Thursday, during its annual meeting at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center…

The draft report indicated that the state might be able to get up to 900,000 acre feet of new water supplies from the Colorado River, and still meet its supply obligations to downstream states. But if climate change impacts are more severe, leading to less water tumbling down from high mountain snow banks, there might not be any extra water in the Colorado River available for the state’s use, according to the draft report.

“The Western Slope, we know the target’s on our back,” said Jim Pokrandt, spokesman for the Colorado River Water Conservation District in Glenwood Springs. “The Front Range water users, they make a very good point. People have to live somewhere and work somewhere…

The Front Range Water Council’s report cost $62,400 and was divided among the council’s seven members — Denver Water, Aurora Water, Colorado Springs Utilities, the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, Pueblo Board of Water Works, Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, and the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Canal Company. The study was done by Summit Economics LLC and The Adams Group Inc., headed by Tucker Hart Adams, a former regional economist for U.S. Bank. Both companies are based in Colorado Springs…

For every acre foot of water withdrawn, the Front Range generates $132,000 in sales of goods and services. This is 11 times more than the next most productive region, which is the Central Mountains.

More Colorado water coverage here and here.

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