From TheDenverChannel.com (Justin Adams):
On Friday, Hickenlooper told the Colorado Water Congress that the status quo approach to water is threatening agriculture. Thirsty Denver suburbs have often looked to supplement their supplies of nonrenewable groundwater by buying farmers’ water rights.
From the Colorado Independent (Scott Kersgaard):
In brief remarks on the third and final day of the conference, HIckenlooper said Colorado needs to be every bit as diligent in handling its water budget as its fiscal budget. He said water plays a huge role in everything from recreation and agriculture to economic development. “Our water policy is linked to the economic vibrancy of the state.” He said future development of Colorado will rely heavily on the people here now securing our water supplies for the future…
While campaigning for governor, he said he visited all 64 counties, and that in every county “eventually the conversation got around to water.”
He joked about the adage that “whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting,” but said in the end the West is known more for barn-raisings than it is for shoot-outs and that it will be that collaborative spirit that enables Colorado to forge water policies that allow the state to move forward in an era of climate change.
More coverage from Joe Hanel writing for The Durango Herald. From the article:
In his first address as governor to the Colorado Water Congress, Hickenlooper called for quick action. “My goal is in five years, we get to a sustainable plan that’s got some meat on the bones, that’s got definite and accurate final outcomes on how are we going to have a long-term, sustainable solution to this,” Hickenlooper said…
“A status quo approach to water threatens our agricultural uses,” Hickenlooper said. “We have to be very careful to resist balancing our water budget on the back of agriculture.”[…]
Hickenlooper wants to see both farms and cities do better with conservation, a value he said he learned from his mother. “In our house, you didn’t waste anything,” Hickenlooper said. “It’s striking to see how casual water waste is, not just in urban areas but in every area of the state.”
“If we are willing to put aside partisan divides, Republican versus Democrat or urban versus rural, we can get this done, and what a gift that would be to give to future generations of Colorado,” Hickenlooper said.