Colorado Water Plan: ‘We don’t have enough water is the bottom line’ — Karn Stiegelmeier #ColoradoRiver


From the Summit Daily News (Breeana Laughlin):

Governor John Hickenlooper sent an executive order in May calling for river basin roundtable groups throughout the state to come up with plans to resolve gaps in the water supply by December 2014. Each of these documents will come together to form the Colorado Water Plan. “We don’t have enough water is the bottom line,” said Summit County commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier. “Each group has identified gaps and unmet needs for agriculture and municipalities, as well as non-consumptive uses — which includes the environment and recreation.”

Stiegelmeier sits on the Colorado Basin Roundtable, which represents Summit County water interests, among others…

The county commissioner said her group is also working to make sure other roundtable group’s plans don’t infringe on the Colorado Basin Roundtable plan. “Because we are the target, we are also going to try to be productive in resolving the state’s gaps,” she said. “Otherwise, they have the political power to do what is most scary to us — streamlining approval processes — which would take away local control over water projects. That’s our biggest concern.”

In addition to the Colorado Basin Roundtable, the county commissioner sits on the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG) Water Quality and Quantity Committee. This group strives to bring individual governments and agencies together to speak with a unified voice on water issues. It includes members from Summit, Grand, Gunnison, Pitkin and parts of Park County, as well as cities and water sanitation groups within these counties. “It started as an effort to get county and municipal governments on the same page to be a stronger advocate to keep water on the West Slope, and mitigate the damage from trans-mountain diversions,” said Torie Jarvis, co-director at the NWCCOG Water Quality and Quantity Committee. This group has been focused on the implementation of the Colorado Water Plan, and has developed a number of principles to represent the interests of stakeholders on the West Slope.

More Colorado Water Plan coverage here.

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