Last May, Gov. John Hickenlooper directed the Colorado Water Conservation Board to hand him a draft plan for managing the state’s water no later than Dec. 10, 2014. That’s a hefty order considering the plan has been in the works for at least a decade and the state is riffed with disagreement, especially between the Front Range – which is the most populous – and the Western Slope, which has most of the water. Progress is being made, however.
As the CWCB nears its deadline, Trout Unlimited, a non-profit conservation organization, is currently working to unite the Western Slope to ensure the region has a strong voice at the bargaining table. The group is asking governments to sign onto the Our Colorado River project, which outlines five “core values” that various stakeholders might agree upon.
“We’re trying to show unity and resolve on matters that have sometimes been points of contention between the agriculture and recreation communities,” said TU’s Colorado River Basin Outreach Coordinator Richard Van Gytenbeek. “By agreeing to these core values, we can provide a united focus on a common platform as we move toward the Colorado Water Plan, which is due in 2014.”