Arkansas Basin Roundtable meeting recap

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“There seems to be the attitude that we’re getting over the hump,” said John Stulp, the new head of the IBCC and Gov. John Hickenlooper’s point man for water issues. “We’re starting to talk about solutions.” Stulp made his first visit to the roundtable, and urged members to attend a summit of all nine basin roundtables March 3 in Denver

The IBCC has gone from being a roomful of people who were wary and distrustful to a group seeking common ground, Stulp said during brief remarks to the Arkansas Basin Roundtable. “They’ve gotten out of the attitude of going to your corner and come out fighting,” said Stulp, a dryland wheat farmer from Lamar who just ended a term as Colorado’s agriculture commissioner. “They still have their corners, but there’s not as much fighting.”[…]

Roundtable members spent the last month doing their homework by reading the report, then were asked to evaluate it in an electronic poll at the meeting. Three-fourths of the roundtable members said the report was good or very good, but that it needed changes. Most felt the most neglected area was finding a new supply, and the group spent most of the afternoon talking about that issue. The group liked balancing the needs of all basins involved in water transfers, having multiple benefits in water projects and protecting agriculture and the environment. Some felt the report didn’t go far enough in addressing the real problems, however…

Dan Henrichs, superintendent of the High Line Canal, said more storage and ways to divert water are needed. “You can have all the alternative methods you want, but what we lack is the infrastructure to move the water from Point A to Point B,” Henrichs said.

SeEtta Moss, of the Arkansas Valley Audubon Society, pointed out that all nonconsumptive uses should not be given the same weight as mitigation for water project impacts. “Water in a reservoir for boating is not a substitute for water in a mountain stream for trout,” Moss said.

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

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