2023 #COleg: State legislators recently introduced bipartisan legislation — “SB23-295, #ColoradoRiver #Drought Task Force” — to create a task force to address the historic drought conditions on the Colorado River — Western Resource Advocates #COriver #aridification

The Colorado River flows from its headwaters region, near Parshall, Colo. Credit: Mitch Tobin, The Water Desk, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Click the link to read the release on the Western Resource Advocates website:

Earlier this month, Colorado Senator Dylan Roberts, House Speaker Julie McCluskie, Senator Perry Will, and Representative Marc Catlin introduced bipartisan legislation — “Senate Bill 23-295, Colorado River Drought Task Force” — to create a task force to make legislative recommendations to address the historic drought conditions on the Colorado River. The task force will be responsible for generating legislative recommendations that:

  • Proactively address climate-driven drought impacts on the Colorado River and its tributaries;
  • Avoid disproportionate economic/environmental impacts to any region of the state, ensuring acquisition of agricultural water rights is voluntary, temporary, and compensated;
  • Provide for collaboration among the Colorado River Water Conservation District, Southwestern Water Conservation District, and the State of Colorado in the design and implementation of drought security programs;
  • Explore ways new programs can benefit the environment and recreation;
  • Evaluate sources of revenue for the acquisition of program water; and
  • Establishes the Tribal Sub-Task Force to ensure there is appropriate space and time for their unique consideration.

A three-decade long drought threatens the Colorado River. Just last week, and previous years before, our allies at American Rivers listed it number one on their top endangered rivers in the United States. Colorado’s water security is decreasing as a result. These diminishing supplies are threatening our drinking water, agriculture, and environmental and recreational opportunities.

More flexible tools, that could be recommended by the task force established in SB23-295, can help Colorado communities respond to threats and impacts of drought exasperated by a warming climate and over allocation. Without clear action in the immediate future, these problems will only get worse.

Reach out to your legislator today to let them know you support action to make Colorado more resilient in the face of drought and climate change.

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