Counties craft stance on water

CCI provides unified strategy on legislation

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— Local governments are working to develop a cohesive strategy to address the 30 to 70 water bills expected to come before the Colorado Legislature this current session.

Colorado Counties Inc., an organization that represents the interests of counties in Colorado, is well on its way to crafting guidelines on how to address water legislation.

"It's a big step forward for CCI," County Commissioner Doug Monger said.

Monger sits on the steering committee that has been trying since last fall to iron out a water policy that meets the interests of all county governments.

He represents the organization's Western District, which includes 16 counties that stretch from Moffat County in the north to La Plata County in the south. Four other county commissioners sit on the committee and represent four other regional districts in the state.

Consensus is a difficult objective when committee members hold contrasting views on water, he said.

But the committee came to a consensus last week and agreed on a proposal that outlines CCI's position on water.

"It was a great thing that we actually got the thing passed," Monger said.

Colorado Counties Inc. hires lobbyists to push its agenda in the Legislature. The lobbyists asked CCI to outline its position on water so they would know how best to represent counties' position on proposed water legislation.

The proposed water policy emphasizes conservation, local control and the protection of Colorado's water supply.

Future efforts to address the state's water supply and conservation measures must respect and not impair existing water rights and should enhance the state's capacity to secure its entitlement to the Colorado River under the 1929 Colorado River Compact, the proposed water policy reads.

County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak applauded the committee for reaching agreement on a contentious issue.

"It's a landmark," she said.

The proposed water policy calls for consideration of the state's diverse water supply. It acknowledges that some regions may have smaller water supplies and directs those regions to enhance their reservoirs before looking elsewhere for water.

"The development and utilization of existing water supplies in the basin of use is deemed necessary and prudent for the protection and security of the state's water supply and shall occur before water is sought from other basins," the proposed water policy reads. "Water transfers should be minimized."


Colorado Counties Inc., an organization that represents the interests of counties in Colorado, is well on its way to crafting guidelines on how to address water legislation.

"It's a big step forward for CCI," County Commissioner Doug Monger said.

Monger sits on the steering committee that has been trying since last fall to iron out a water policy that meets the interests of all county governments.

He represents the organization's Western District, which includes 16 counties that stretch from Moffat County in the north to La Plata County in the south. Four other county commissioners sit on the committee and represent four other regional districts in the state.

Consensus is a difficult objective when committee members hold contrasting views on water, he said.

But the committee came to a consensus last week and agreed on a proposal that outlines CCI's position on water.

"It was a great thing that we actually got the thing passed," Monger said.

Colorado Counties Inc. hires lobbyists to push its agenda in the Legislature. The lobbyists asked CCI to outline its position on water so they would know how best to represent counties' position on proposed water legislation.

The proposed water policy emphasizes conservation, local control and the protection of Colorado's water supply.

Future efforts to address the state's water supply and conservation measures must respect and not impair existing water rights and should enhance the state's capacity to secure its entitlement to the Colorado River under the 1929 Colorado River Compact, the proposed water policy reads.

County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak applauded the committee for reaching agreement on a contentious issue.

"It's a landmark," she said.

The proposed water policy calls for consideration of the state's diverse water supply. It acknowledges that some regions may have smaller water supplies and directs those regions to enhance their reservoirs before looking elsewhere for water.

"The development and utilization of existing water supplies in the basin of use is deemed necessary and prudent for the protection and security of the state's water supply and shall occur before water is sought from other basins," the proposed water policy reads. "Water transfers should be minimized."

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