Metro Roundtable Reception: Water providers, hydrologists, engineers, conservationists, CWCB staffers, farmers and interested citizens gather to learn and inform each other

A picture named cityparksunrise.jpg

I’m not good at estimating crowd numbers but I think it’s safe to say that billions of brain cells showed up at the Sherman Events Center in Denver for an update on the progress of the Interbasin Compact Committee, Metro Roundtable and the Colorado Water Conservation Board towards solving Colorado’s long-term supply challenge. According to IBCC director John Stulp it’s going to take all those brain cells and a few billion more to find and implement solutions.

Stulp set the theme of the meeting asking, “Is there enough water?” Of course that depends on who you ask and in what context. Yes, there is enough water, but can the state manage it as an economic driver without mangling the rural economies that depend on agriculture, sportsmen and tourists? Stulp reminded everyone that water is a high priority in the Hickenlooper administration and that the governor is experienced and knowledgeable and hopes to see a plan come out of the IBCC/Roundtable process that is built on consensus with no one feeling like their views have been ignored or marginalized.

“The baseline is we’re all consumers of water,” and, “In the arid west water is a very limiting thing,” he said.

He quoted Ben Franklin saying, “You don’t really realize the value of water until the wells runs dry,” emphasizing that water supply has challenged civilization throughout history.

“Water is the resource we need to take the most care of,” he said, adding, “Water is the lubricant that makes the economy work,” and, “What we do here in the Front Range has an impact on the rest of the state.”

The meeting was part of the IBCC strategy to increase outreach in 2011 to get more people at the table who understand the data and the challenge that comes from the specter of the expected increase of five million more Coloradans by 2050. Governor Hickenlooper favors bottom-up consensus based solutions and Director Stulp is driving that strategy.

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.