Reliable Insight on our eco issues of the day
By Tom Koehler
Water provides health, life, and economy and yet as vital as this precious resource is, we are staring at a serious supply demand deficit in the coming years in the Colorado River Basin. This has prompted officials through a multi-basin collaborative approach to come up with the Colorado Water Plan in 2015 and with renewed attention, it is time to become educated and involved.
The increase in population and climate change has the Colorado Basin in a precarious position as it will be asked to deliver more as it has less as time goes on. We recreate, reside, and use the water directly and indirectly here in the Lower Blue River Valley. This magnificent river corridor is home to abundant wildlife, avian and aquatic species as well as robust agriculture and ranching. It runs elegantly from the Dillon Reservoir to the Colorado River Headwaters in Kremmling, CO. We are a vital link.
The call on this areas’ ecological power for water reliability and health, extends as far as California. Indeed, how we treat our water assets has immediate and far reaching impact.
Encouragingly, this plan has some real objectives across various implementation themes. They include conservation, land use, agriculture, watershed health, recreation, and the environment to name a few. Since we are in arguably one of the most critical forested watersheds in the west with high recreation visitation and a unique agricultural heritage, it is imperative that we understand this plan and formulate local and regional solutions consistent with this plan.
“Notably, it calls for 80% of the locally prioritized lists of rivers with stream management plans, and 80 percent of critical watersheds with watershed protection plans, all by 2030. According to American Rivers, projects Coloradans value most, those that protect rivers, enhance urban water conservation, and encourage flexible water sharing, have been difficult to measure.”
Colorado’s Water Plan sets a new path to secure a water future that protects our state’s rivers, secures clean, safe, reliable drinking water for our communities, and preserves our agricultural heritage according to American Rivers.
The problem is that even in reasonable to good times, there is a significant underinvestment in our natural resources including water. At less than 1% of state budget, this is a serious problem given estimates are that 100million annually is needed for the next 30 years.
We encourage all our members to sign up for the upcoming listen series on the Colorado Water Plan. See below the schedule and the Eventbrite free ticket signup.