Colorado River Basin: ‘Basin leaders hope to create an understanding of…the range of water left to develop’ — Jim Pokrandt

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Here’s the latest installment of the Valley Courier’s Colorado Water 2012 series. Jim Pokrandt (Colorado River District) gives an update on the efforts of the Colorado Basin Roundtable. Here’s an excerpt:

the Colorado Basin Roundtable is watching and waiting for the results of the Colorado Water Availability Study, and for that matter, the Bureau of Reclamation’s Colorado Basin Study, the state’s compact administration study and the multi-party study of a West Slope Water Bank.

Basin leaders hope they create an understanding of:

• the range of water left to develop,

• the variables that could be caused by climate change and long-term drought,

• what methods that could be employed to forestall the day of compact administration and

• what compact administration might look like.

Leaders believe that if they can develop this body of knowledge, they can develop a better understanding of the risks associated with future water development…

Denver Water and 39 West Slope entities in the Colorado River mainstem negotiated the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement to open the door for the Moffat Project, which still must be permitted. In return for taking more water from the peak of the hydrograph, Denver offered significant funding for environmental projects, environmental water during low-flow times and consumptive water for the West Slope.

Northern Water (through its Municipal Subdistrict) is attempting to reach a similarly styled agreement with the West Slope to facilitate its project. Nothing is final, but it is worth noting that there could be a new paradigm being developed that goes a long way toward balancing consumptive and nonconsumptive needs.

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

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