Western Resource Advocates’ report ‘Filling the Gap: Meeting Future Urban Water Needs in the Arkansas Basin’ may be too optimistic regarding conservation impacts

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

A report, “Filling the Gap: Meeting Future Urban Water Needs in the Arkansas Basin,” by Western Resource Advocates, Trout Unlimited and the Colorado Environmental Coalition states that the projected 2050 urban water demand for El Paso and Pueblo counties can be met by a combination of conservation and the completion of Southern Delivery System and the Eagle River joint use project.

But the 34 percent reduction in per capita demand may not be realistic or desirable, said Alan Ward, water resources director for the Pueblo Board of Water Works. “A 1 percent per year reduction in per capita water use for the next 50 years is a realistic goal that will require a sustained, long-term effort, yet will not entail draconian measures, onerous lifestyle changes or landscaping modifications beyond those already being implemented in many areas across the West,” the Filling the Gap report states.

“At this point we cannot concur with that opinion,” Ward said last week. “Additional study needs to be done to fully understand how a 34 percent reduction in per capita water demand would impact the socioeconomic and quality of life issues unique to the Pueblo community.”[…]

Water Works Executive Director Alan Hamel said the Filling the Gap report errs in applying water savings in Pueblo to the overall gap in the Arkansas River basin, where most of the need will be in El Paso County. Those savings will be applied to Pueblo’s need if they materialize.

More conservation coverage here.

One thought on “Western Resource Advocates’ report ‘Filling the Gap: Meeting Future Urban Water Needs in the Arkansas Basin’ may be too optimistic regarding conservation impacts

  1. “But the 34 percent reduction in per capita demand may not be realistic or desirable, said Alan Ward, water resources director for the Pueblo Board of Water Works.”

    Make it realistic and desirable. That’s your job – to manage water resources for today’s people and those in the future, not to whine about the poliitcal hardship of making pragmatic decisions. If people don’t want to conserve water – if they don’t want to stop wasting in their own households (which we all know happens at an inordinate rate) – then they can go without. Implement water saving policies, higher water rates, and house-to-house monitoring before you go trying to finagle away someone else’s local water source.

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