For more than two years, there have been meetings, hearings, conferences, events and news announcements about Colorado’s first-ever state water plan.
The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), which is responsible for developing the plan under Governor Hickenlooper’s executive order, has heard from virtually every corner of the state. In all, 30,000 of you – yes 30,000! – have made your voices heard to the CWCB in the form of public comments, letters and emails.
But the Colorado Water Plan isn’t finished yet.
While the public comment period has closed and we expect the final draft of the plan to be released later this fall, we need to keep this effort in the forefront.
In addition to our four essentials, the final plan needs a firm commitment to protect Colorado’s rivers by:
- Providing specific review criteria so that projects move forward only if they benefit our communities and, rivers
- Providing enough funding for stream management/restoration and urban water conservation
- Avoiding large new trans-mountain diversions due to their tremendous cost and controversy, since we have better alternatives to meeting new demands
- Ensuring the permitting process maintains long-standing and critical protections for rivers while becoming more efficient
We must continue to be committed to river health, water conservation and intelligent water use so that we can turn the water plan into action.
And once the plan is released, we must work together to achieve its conservation goals.
Securing Colorado’s water future is a long-term commitment by those of us invested in this state. We are hopeful, but watchful, that the CWCB will listen to the tens of thousands of Coloradans who have rallied around smart water conservation and use and will include these important elements in the final plan.
We must continue to make our voices heard as they prepare the final draft. We urge you to continue to discuss the plan with your friends, neighbors and colleagues and continue to support keeping Colorado’s rivers healthy, and maintain our Colorado lifestyle.