Taylor joins Rippy, White on water resources committee | PostIndependent.com

Taylor joins Rippy, White on water resources committee

State Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, has been named to the state Legislature’s Water Resources Review Committee.

The committee, newly established this year as a permanent fixture to the Colorado General Assembly, is charged with monitoring the conservation, use, development and financing of water resources in Colorado. The committee will also review and introduce legislation concerning water law.

“The current extended drought conditions, punctuated by wildfires, have finally brought Colorado’s water problems to the forefront in many of our citizens’ minds,” Taylor said. “I hope we can use this new awareness to effectively find and implement some solutions to Colorado’s water storage and conservation problems.”

In a normal year, there are about 800,000 acre-feet of water in Colorado’s water allocation under the 1922 Colorado River Compact that are not used and leave Colorado downstream.

“That portion of our allocation is used by downstream states such as California and Nevada,” Taylor said. “We need to correct this problem.”

Taylor said he has long believed that a series of smaller reservoirs, like Wolford Mountain near Kremmling, could capture that 800,000 acre-feet of water and put it to beneficial use in Colorado.

Taylor served on the 2001 Water Legislation Review Interim Committee, which drafted the bill to create this permanent Water Resources Review Committee, a bill Taylor successfully carried through the Senate. Taylor also served on the Special Legislative Water Committee in 1998 and 1999, as a member of the House of Representatives.

Taylor will join House members Gregg Rippy, R-Glenwood Springs, and Al White, R-Winter Park, as representatives from northwest Colorado on the water committee.

The committee is allowed to meet up to six times during this interim, and eight times during odd-numbered years. At least four members of the committee must be from or have a majority of their constituents in the Western Slope. The committee is allowed to introduce three bills in the next year’s legislative session, but can introduce more if the committee votes to do so.

Taylor represents Senate District 8, which includes the counties of Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt.

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