Club 20 Annual Meeting recap

George Washington addresses the Continental Congress via Son of the South
George Washington addresses the Continental Congress via Son of the South

From The Colorado Statesman (Ron Bain):

A panel of seven Western Slope legislators — six Republicans and one Democrat — discussed diverse issues they’re working on in the state legislature at the Club 20 annual meeting on March 28, focusing on water, energy, the economy, TABOR and federal lands…

Preventing the Front Range from taking more Western Slope water was a popular theme during the panel discussion.

“We’re protecting West Slope water,” said Sen. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction. “This is your front line of defense.”

Rep. J. Paul Brown, R-Ignacio, called for the Front Range to impound and store more of its own water.

“We keep sending more and more water to the Front Range,” Brown said. “I think water storage is important. The study of the South Platte is important.”

The last time the Front Range considered building a dam was 25 years ago, when the proposed Two Forks project was vetoed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Denver Post recently called for water storage to be added to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s draft Colorado Water Plan.

“Our water infrastructure was dramatically cut back,” Roberts said. “You can’t build towns on air. You have to have water.”

“I’ve always been an advocate for storage,” Baumgardner said. “We must have storage or we’re going to have a huge problem.”

Coram said 400,000 acre feet of water could be conserved if “water thief” non-native species such as tamarisk and the Russian olive were eliminated.

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