Water Lines: Learning about Colorado’s water plan
Free Press Weekly Columnist
For several years, Colorado water managers have been worrying over projections that the state is facing a looming gap between projected water needs and developed water supplies. There have been many meetings, studies, and conversations.
The governor kicked all this into a much higher gear, however, when he issued an executive order last May requiring a draft plan by December 2014 and a final plan by December 2015 to address the imbalance. Now, it’s not only the usual water managers and geeks that are talking about water plans — the word has gone out that this plan is in the works, and anyone who wants to influence it had better get moving.
If you, too, are concerned about how Colorado is planning for our water future, want to learn more, and put in your own two cents, there are several opportunities coming up on the Western Slope. These meetings will focus on both the statewide plan and more local river basin plans that will feed into the larger document.
Details on all of these events, as well as other water education opportunities, can be found at http://www.coloradomesa.edu/watercenter/events.html.
NEW CASTLE — JAN. 29
The Annual Ag Day — sponsored by the Bookcliff, South Side and Mount Sopris Conservation Districts — will be heavily focused on water this year. The Ag Day is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the New Castle Community Center. Discussion of the Colorado Water Plan will begin at 10:15 a.m. Pre-registration is requested.
GRAND JUNCTION — FEB. 2, 10 & 17
The Water Center at Colorado Mesa University is focusing this year’s annual Water Course for water professionals and interested citizens on “What Citizens Need to Know about the Colorado Water Plan.” The course will be held Feb. 3, 10 and 17 from 6-9 p.m. at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. The Feb. 3 session will focus on Colorado’s hydrology and the Colorado Basin Plan; the Feb. 10 session will focus on Colorado Water Law, the Colorado River Compact and the Colorado Cooperative Agreement; and the Feb. 17 session will focus on Colorado’s statewide plan and the Gunnison Basin plan, and it will feature a panel with diverse perspectives. There is a fee for the course, but scholarships are available.
GRANBY — FEB. 12
The Grand County Town Hall Meeting on the Colorado Water Plan and the Colorado Basin Plan is set for Wednesday, Feb. 12, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Granby Town Hall.
AVON — FEB. 26
The Eagle River Watershed Council will focus its February “Waterwise Wednesday” program on the Colorado Water Plan. The program will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Beaver Creek Room at the Avon Library.
If you care about water for irrigation, recreation, the environment, community development, or all of the above, come out to one of these events and learn and make your voice heard!
For background information on the plan and to complete a survey on your water priorities, you can also check out the Colorado Basin Implementation Plan website at http://www.sgm-inc.com/coloradobip.
This is part of a series of articles coordinated by the Water Center at Colorado Mesa University in cooperation with the Colorado and Gunnison Basin Roundtables to raise awareness about water needs, uses and policies in our region. To learn more about the basin roundtables and statewide water planning, and to let the roundtables know what you think, go to http://www.coloradomesa.edu/WaterCenter. You can also find the Water Center on Facebook or Twitter.
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