Wilhelm column: A strong commitment to protecting our water
The Colorado River and its tributaries provide water to 35 million people and more than 4 million acres of farmland in a region encompassing some 246,000 square miles. Our rivers are the lifeblood of the Western Slope and might just be our most precious resource. We use it to live, to play and to sustain our economy.
Your state House of Representatives must lead the way in protecting our watershed.
Currently, our rivers are in danger. The White River has an algae bloom at it headwaters, there is a proposal to divert a huge amount of water to the Front Range from the Green River and we are in the middle of a 20-year drought. Due to the dry winter that we experienced this year, we are headed into a potentially bad summer in terms of water levels.
The federal government has allocated funds to study the algae bloom in the White River. It is unlikely that there is a single cause of the algae bloom; it is more likely that there are multiple causes that will require your state government’s action act to correct.
The state will need to step up and invest more money and action to prevent and mitigate any algae growth and damages while making sure that it does not reach the Colorado.
As for the Green River, a graduate student at Colorado State University named Aaron Million has proposed a plan that would divert 55,000 acre feet from the Green River to the Front Range. This is about half the capacity of Ruedi Reservoir. Mr. Million claims that this project would just be diverting “surplus” water that isn’t being used.
However, amid a major drought, how do we know this water is “surplus”? He filed his claim in Utah, but this project would affect both Utah and Colorado. Colorado General Assembly members on both sides of the aisle oppose this plan. Colorado must work with Utah and negotiate preventative measures to make sure this plan does not come to be.
As your representative, I will lead the fight to protect the rivers of the Western Slope. Our waterways are all interconnected. Our waterways supply our drinking water, our agricultural water and our summer fun. We must fight to protect this precious resource.
Colin Wilhelm is running for House District 57, which includes Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 970-930-1209.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
During the past year, destinations across the nation and around the world have seen a huge decline and in some cases a halt to travel. Although this community took a big hit in terms of…