The Northwest Colorado Council of Governments has released a report about the importance of water to Colorado’s headwaters counties

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From the Sky-Hi Daily News (Tonya Bina):

The Front Range benefits from spending associated with the fishing industry, for example, by as much as 57 percent, even though fishing takes place largely in the streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs of the headwater counties.

The economic impact of fishing in the Colorado River Drainage headwaters counties — Routt, Grand, Eagle, Pitkin and Gunnison counties — equates to about 14 percent of the overall fishing expenditures. The remainder is attributed to other parts of Colorado.

And it’s important to note, the sport of fishing like other river recreation that attracts tourism to the state has minimal consumptive water use (water taken from rivers and never returned), the study emphasizes.

Snow-making for skiing, for example, has about 20 percent consumptive water use; transmountain water diversions are 100 percent consumptive.

“Colorado is continuing to look to the headwaters for growth; our message is you cannot dry up your headwater counties,” said Grand County Commissioner James Newberry, who is the chair of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments Water Quality and Quantity Committee and the vice chair of the Colorado River Water Conservation District.

More transmountain/transbasin diversions coverage here.

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