From KREXTV.com (Emily Fredrick):
he Colorado River District traveled to Montrose and Palisade Tuesday to speak with irrigators about the possibility of a water bank on the Western Slope.
The new concept would increase security for the Upper Colorado River Basin water supplies and reduce the potential negative impacts of persisting drought conditions.
“We live in a desert and all the fruit and actually all the houses and lawns and everything that are here in the Valley are here because of the water in the Colorado River essentially,” said Palisade farmer, Guy Parker.
“If Colorado is ever in a situation where we have to curtail our water usage in order to meet our obligations to our downstream neighbors under the compact, under our existing agreements that we could use those pre-compact water rights for post compact critical uses, health and human safety uses,” said Colorado River District’s Chris Treese, “When we go to them and say it’s time, we’d really like you to consider, and we’d like to compensate you, how much compensation will that take what does that market look like and will we have enough water if we put a marketplace out there. We’d like to sign people up on an option basis that you are willing to forgo either in complete or in part your historical irrigation in order to prevent a less attractive situation,” said Treese.
“I think it’s a really good idea to be very proactive because we do live in a desert and there’s not enough water to go around, we really have to be proactive and really have to be creative in our solutions to what we’re going to do,” said Parker.
More Colorado River Basin coverage here.