From The Pueblo Chieftain (Tom Autobee):
My concerns about future water availability in Colorado, as a whole, relates to the Colorado River Compact because I feel the Colorado River is overappropriated, with the upper basin states compromising their water rights so the lower basin receives its entitlement. Something has to give. As the population in our state grows, there will be more pressure on the Western Slope and on agriculture to provide more water on the Front Range because that is where our state is growing.
I believe that the most critical part of our future water availability in Colorado is storage. Unfortunately, the issue of storage is caught up in various political circles. The politics of storage is softening, so hopefully storage will become a reality in the near future. What is interesting now is the issue of agriculture surface irrigation which requires augmentation. The challenge will be the source of the augmentation and prepare for its side effects.
Fortunately, there is more collaboration now than there has ever been regarding water issues on a state wide basis. Unfortunately, to accomplish meaningful change in the world of water takes 10-30 years.
More Colorado Water 2012 coverage here.