Water use projections are still just a draft

Denver Post Opinion - by Jennifer Gimbel, executive director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board

Re: “Front Range trims water use,” Dec. 21 news story.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board agrees that conservation is critical to meeting the needs of a growing population, and we appreciate The Denver Post’s close attention to the serious issues facing the state’s future water needs.

However, it’s important to remember that the State of Colorado 2050 Municipal and Industrial Water Use Projections is a draft report. It includes data that we believe needs refinement, and we are working with local entities throughout the state to refine the data. Therefore it is premature to attempt to draw conclusions about differences in water use rates between the Front Range and elsewhere in Colorado.

The draft report relied on data that was supplied to the CWCB. We believe the Pitkin County water use data, which was cited in your story, may be overstated. Pitkin County water providers are in the process of providing us with a more accurate reflection of their service area population and overall water use. This updated data appears to indicate that Pitkin County’s per capita water use rates are similar to those from the rest of the state.

CWCB will be incorporating this and other public feedback on the draft report, and release a final report in 2010. In addition, reports on agricultural water needs, and those for environmental and recreational needs, will be provided during the same time frame.

In the meantime, we want to continue to encourage The Denver Post to help provide Coloradans with information we all need to make responsible decisions about our water future.

Jennifer Gimbel, Denver