Rio Grande Basin Roundtable meeting recap

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From the Valley Courier (Ruth Heide):

Members of the Rio Grande Roundtable, a group representing the Rio Grande Basin (Valley) in part of a larger statewide effort, talked about future water challenges during their meeting this week in Alamosa.

“Really this whole effort is about trying to solve the statewide issues,” said Roundtable member Travis Smith, who represents the basin on statewide water groups such as the Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC), comprised of two members from each of the basin roundtables.

“If we do nothing … we will see another 500,000 acres in the next 30 years leave agriculture and go for taps in Aurora,” Smith said. “What does it mean for us as a Valley? Some of these issues are not knocking on our front door, but they are close.”

Smith reminded the group that the roundtables have existed for more than five years now, and the Valley’s roundtable has successfully acquired funding during that time for several important local water projects such as ditch and stream bank repair.

Smith added that last year Governor Bill Ritter asked the IBCC for a report before he left office, so the IBCC compiled a report that outlined some possible water solutions/sources to meet the state’s future needs.

Smith said four areas were suggested: transfers of water from agriculture to municipal and industrial needs, the currently popular method of acquiring water to meet Front Range development; conservation measures; new water supplies, a very controversial water source since “there is no new water in Colorado, in my mind; it’s just a redistribution of water,” Smith said; and “identified projects and processes,” or implementing projects that could help meet future Colorado water demands.

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

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