Get involved in water plans: Final public comments due Sept. 17


By Denise Rue-Pastin
Special to The SUN

The people of Southwest Colorado have the rare opportunity to participate in a process to help frame the water future for southwest Colorado and the state as a whole for the next 50 years.

The statewide plan, which will be finalized at the end of 2015, is built on a foundation of eight basin implementation plans formulated by basin roundtables created by HB 1177 and active since 2005.

The makeup of the roundtables is prescribed to include representation from water conservation/conservancy districts, counties, tribes, municipalities and at-large members representing: environmental, agricultural, recreational, municipal, industrial and water rights holding interests. In addition to water planning, each basin roundtable was given the responsibility to make funding recommendations out of basin and statewide accounts appropriated by the legislature to address water supply gaps. To date, the Southwest Basin Roundtable has approved over $7 million in water supply grants.

What basin implementation plans do is require each basin to identify their water supply gaps looking 50 years forward and formulate strategies, measurable outcomes and specific projects to meet current and future needs.

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