Water district backs referenda C and D
The Colorado River Water Conservation District has decided to back two state tax measures.The district’s board put its unanimous support behind referenda C and D. The board believes they are reasonable and responsible measures to address the state’s current fiscal troubles and prevent further erosion of state programs, including those affecting water management and water quality.Noting that “water rights are only as good as their administration,” the board expressed its concern over more than $1 billion in state budget cuts from 2001 to 2003 and the effect the cuts have had on state agencies that administer water resources and that are in charge of ensuring water quality.The board also appointed representatives to two of the “basin roundtables” that will be convened as a result of legislation passed by the state’s General Assembly this year. The law resulting from passage of House Bill 1177 aims to initiate dialogue between the different river basins within Colorado to resolve disputes and enter into agreements about use of water resources.The enabling legislation requires the river district to make appointments to three of the nine roundtable groups representing the interests of the major river basins within the state. The board appointed two of the district’s senior staff members to fill open seats. Dan Birch will serve as a representative to the roundtable in the Yampa, White and Green River basins in northwest Colorado. Dave Merritt will have a seat on the mainstem Colorado River roundtable. A third appointment for the Gunnison River Basin roundtable is pending further consultation with potential representatives.In other board action, the board approved a new policy regarding enforcement of the Colorado River Compacts. It also updated policies concerning opposition to interstate water marketing, continued support of the Colorado River Storage Projects Act and continued opposition to transmountain diversions without adequate mitigation.
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