Wednesday letters: Water, socks, noise, ‘enabling,’ yay, no potholes |

Wednesday letters: Water, socks, noise, ‘enabling,’ yay, no potholes

Water action

It is an unfortunate fact that there is now less water in the Colorado River Basin than has been legally granted to various entities, which range from individual ranchers in Colorado to municipalities and irrigation districts downstream all of the way to and including Mexico. This is a national emergency that needs to be addressed by the federal government, relying upon the objective advice of economists and engineers rather than the cacophony of claims by lawyers and politicia representing the thousands of different owners of conflicting water rights.

My recommendation would be, first, to declare all water rights to be reduced by the same fraction, to equate the total claims to the actual water supply. Then, a basin-wide market for water rights should be established, with the Bureau of Reclamation acting as an intermediary for enabling water users in the lower basin to purchase water rights from water users in the upper basin. This would require federal legislation overriding the Colorado River Compact. That agreement no longer addresses the physical reality of a diminished supply of water, and that reality will probably become ever more serious with a heating climate.

An engineering adjustment that should be considered is to modify Glen Canyon Dam to allow Lake Powell to be drained, at least temporarily. This would raise the water level of Lake Mead, which is more critical for water supply, hydropower generation, and recreation, and reduce the loss of water to evaporation by perhaps 500,000 acre-feet per year.

The demand for large quantities of water is much greater in the lower basin than in Colorado, due mainly to the ability there to grow higher valued irrigated crops year round, and also the higher population. Therefore, if given the opportunity, water users in the lower basin will purchase water from owners of water rights in Colorado. Not only would that produce greater economic efficiency in the use of water, but would have the environmental benefit of sustaining flows in the Colorado River and its tributaries here in western Colorado.

Carl Ted Stude, Carbondale

Sock drive

High Country Volunteers, formerly High Country RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), is celebrating our 50th anniversary. As part of this year-long celebration, we’re asking people to join us in completing 50 acts of kindness — because we believe that even the smallest act of kindness will help make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.

As part of this celebration, we are hosting our “Warm Hearts, Warm Soles” sock drive now through Feb. 15 to collect new socks (children and adult sizes) to help those in need. We will distribute sock donations to local nonprofit organizations and schools. Please drop off socks at any of our donation sites located at the Basalt Regional Library, Pitkin County Library and all branch locations of the Garfield County Library.

For more information, please contact Maria Langen at 970-947-8441 or

Jennifer Weis, Glenwood Springs

Air noise

As a Carbondale resident I have recently noticed increased flight noise beginning around 8:30 p.m. As someone who watched a local airport (Teterboro) in New Jersey become the busiest, noisiest and largest private jet flight destination, I implore you to recognize the noise impacts that will occur and once approved will never go back! 

Silence in nature is golden. Preserve what you can. This serves a certain population of a certain income. Say “no.”

Maureen Brennan, Carbondale

‘Quiet desperation’

“… you make bad choices and then society pays for it, right?,” asked Garfield County Commissioner Samson, responding to a proposal to make clean needles and opioid antidote naloxone more available to drug users.

Commissioner Jankovsky said he guessed he would “call it enabling. You don’t think harm reduction encourages the use of opioids?”

Sure, it’s clearly a lifestyle choice often made by those with unlimited opportunities and strong support systems. That’s why ODs are universally known as “deaths of despair.” What have we come to when we fail to ask why these deaths are mounting, along with homelessness and medical bankruptcies and every form of quiet desperation?

Surely, reducing harm shouldn’t be a controversial goal? After all, surviving an overdose of a lethal drug doesn’t land you in a bed of roses. What comes after is not exactly enviable. Or do some of us actually envy the ones who die?

Laurie Raymond, Glenwood Springs

Great drive!

As I drove on South Midland the other day, I realized what a smooth, safe drive it is now despite the cold, ice and snow. What a different experience from prior years when at this time of year we’d be dealing with the large potholes that perennially appeared in the winter. 

I want to thank the city of Glenwood Springs, its council members and staff for all their work bringing the South Midland project to completion and also to thank Gould Construction, its crew and sub-contractors for their skill and commitment in giving us a smooth, safe road to on which to drive. 

Kudos to you all.

Ellen Doyle, Glenwood Springs

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