State still struggles with water puzzle

The panel also heard a presentation on the study of a nonconsumptive needs - the water left in streams or added to benefit fish, wildlife and recreation - and learned that not all of the state’s nine basin roundtables are treating the information in the same way.

“I’m a little distressed there’s no quantification of needs in some basins,” said Melinda Kassen of Trout Unlimited, representing environmental interests. “Are you suggesting it won’t be done in every basin?”

CWCB staffers explained the municipal needs were only the first to be addressed and the other needs will be considered as well, as required by the statute that formed the IBCC.

Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, said the CWCB report appeared to be heavily weighted toward traditional water projects that remove water from one area to use in another. She asked if the same amount of study would be devoted to land-use and conservation issues.