National Water Resources Association conference recap: Governor Hickenlooper cites the need for cooperation amongst stakeholders


From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“A lot of what we’ve done in water is to focus on public sentiment,” Hickenlooper told the National Water Resources Association. “So often we get into a fight over the legalities, rather than make sure people understand the facts.”[…]

Environmental and agricultural water interests are “joined at the hip” with the municipal water interests in Colorado, Hickenlooper said…

In Colorado, he outlined a three-pronged approach to water, based on the Interbasin Compact Committee’s work over the past six years:

Innovation. This includes alternative ag-urban water transfers and working relationships between water providers and irrigators that stay within the boundaries of Colorado water law.
– Conservation. Denver has cut back per-capita water use 20 percent. Hickenlooper said conservation is needed, but can’t be the basis for future growth.
– Storage. “New water projects are an important tool to deal with the water deficits we observe,” Hickenlooper said.

The Colorado River Cooperative Agreement among Denver and 30 Western Slope communities, negotiated mainly during the years he was Denver mayor, is a new model for negotiating water issues within the state, he said…

“If I could get all the other governors to agree, we’d sign an agreement that we don’t recruit each other’s businesses by offering incentives,” Hickenlooper said, adding that he formed a similar pact between Denver and its suburbs while mayor. “If we invest in infrastructure, then that’s the way to compete. All of the opportunity to lift up the last and the least comes from successful business.”

More Colorado water coverage here and here.

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