From the Grand Junction Free Press (Jim Pokrandt):
With this reality in mind, the Colorado Basin Roundtable has spent significant time and money to learn about its own consumptive and nonconsumptive needs — to make sure our economic potential, recreation economy and environmental concerns are properly balanced in the statewide equation.
On the consumptive side, we commissioned a study on the potential demand from the energy industry and developed a placeholder requirement of approximately 120,000 acre feet for a fully developed oil shale industry. This is now being used in model portfolios being developed by the CWCB for the Interbasin Compact Committee and the Roundtables.
We also know from SWSI and other work by the Colorado Water Conservation Board that we have our own agricultural water supply and M&I gaps. The Nonconsumptive Study has identified stream stretches that are environmentally challenged while also evaluating desirable flows for recreational purposes. Recreation in the Colorado high country and downstream on the Colorado is an important economic factor for the West Slope and the state…
The planning currently underway looks at a 2050 horizon, when the state demographer is predicting a statewide population of 10 million people. But life continues after 2050. The decisions we make based on 2050 will dictate what happens afterward. If the policies developed in the next five years (as per Gov. Hickenlooper’s request) result in an overemphasis on new water development in lieu of dealing adroitly and decisively with conservation, reuse, agricultural transfers and land use, we are only putting off until 2050 what should be happening within our lifetimes.