Colorado Water Congress 2012 Annual Convention: Colorado’s water planning efforts lag other states


From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Other states have plans that identify projects, such as Texas, or programs, as California does. And some states, such as Kansas, use some combination in their plans and guide by policy. All are locally driven, and have some procedure for implementation. In Colorado, water planning historically has been difficult because of mistrust between the Colorado River basin, where most of the water is, and the Front Range, which has most of the population lives — and where future water demands are expected to escalate.

Since 1956, there has been some sort of document in place to guide the state through water controversies, but they essentially boil down to finding out how much Colorado River water is left to develop, Hecox said. “Colorado Water Resources,” published in 1956, was a small document that covered the same issues as the voluminous Statewide Water Supply Initiative, published in 2004 and updated in 2010. The state plans to continue updating it every six years…

“On the West Slope, we want good choices that avoid future crisis,” said Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River Conservation District. “We understand the Colorado River is part of meeting future needs, but we need to focus on making good choices.” Kuhn said the consequences of overdeveloping water resources can be seen in all of the state’s other basins and must be avoided on the Colorado River…

Fort Morgan dairy farmer Chris Kraft said agriculture must be protected in any future state plans. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the people who went before us,” Kraft said. “Everybody has a stake in this game if we’re going to keep moving forward.”

More CWCB coverage here. More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

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