Action 22 Southern Colorado Water Summit recap: Walking the tightrope between watering a growing population, saving agriculture and preserving the environment


From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“I’ve often wondered what the Anasazi thought when they packed up and left,” John Stulp, water policy adviser for Gov. John Hickenlooper, said Tuesday. “If I could back and tell the chief that Colorado would have a population of 5 million people in 2012 that would double in 50 years, what would he think? Yet today, we have the same water resources as Mother Nature chooses to drop on us.” Stulp was addressing the Southern Colorado Water Summit, hosted by Action 22 at Colorado State University-Pueblo. About 85 people from across Southern Colorado attended.

The Interbasin Compact Committee, which Stulp chairs, is looking at ways to avoid sacrificing agriculture for urban growth, while preserving the environment. At the same time the climate could become warmer, and possibly drier.

When asked whether people in the future might just move to where water was more plentiful, like the Anasazi, Stulp said such a migration would be unlikely. “I think there is enough water if we’re smart about it,” Stulp said. “It’s interesting that as a society, we’ve been able to use the existing supply.”

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

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