2023 #COleg: New #drought task force supports river’s revival: The 17-member task force will provide recommendations to #Colorado’s state legislature in mid-December 2023 — The #Telluride Daily Planet #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

State Capitol May 12, 2018 via Aspen Journalism

Click the link to read the article on The Telluride Daily Planet website (Sophie Stuber): Here’s an excerpt:

Colorado’s legislature recently approved a new Colorado River Drought Task Force that will help provide guidelines and recommendations to manage the state’s water supply from the river as dry conditions continue. The aim of the task force is to give recommendations for state legislation and to develop additional tools to help address drought in the Colorado River basin.

“Since the early 2000s the Colorado River basin has been experiencing an unprecedented drought,” Colorado Representative Julie McCluskie, one of the bill’s sponsors, told the Daily Planet…

The 17-member task force is composed of representatives from local governments, agricultural water users, environmental groups, water management boards and the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes. There will also be a sub-task force to focus on tribal water rights and to provide additional recommendations for state legislation…Members met for the first time at the start of August. The task force will issue recommendations in mid-December…

Seven states are part of the Colorado River compact. Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming represent the Upper Basin, and Arizona, Nevada and California comprised the Lower Basin. The majority of the Colorado River’s water originates in the Upper Basin, but the Lower Basin is currently using more than the river can supply. Along the river, agriculture takes up 80% of the Colorado River’s water. The Colorado River Drought Task Force will focus on the Upper Basin, as it only will be providing recommendations for the state of Colorado…

All of the task force’s meetings are open to the public. People can attend either in person or online. McCluskie encouraged people to be involved.

“There are ample opportunities for public participation. All of us should have interest in the Colorado River,” [Kathy] Chandler-Henry said.

Map credit: AGU

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