For nearly four decades, the city's water superintendent has been a key part of why residents here in Steamboat Springs always have access to some of the cleanest, clearest drinking water in the state.
“It’s important that you participate in this process right here in the basin because this is your future and your children’s future,” Jay Gallagher, Mount Werner Water and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
Steamboat Springs attorney Tom Sharp, who just completed his tenure on the Colorado River District board of directors in 2013, said Colorado’s snowpack is acutely important as the levels of Lake Powell and Lake Mead (below the Grand Canyon) are in steep decline.
The Statewide Water Supply Initiative forecasts that the gap between water supply and demand could exceed 500,000 acre feet by 2050. The capacity of Elkhead Reservoir between Hayden and and Craig is 25,550 acre feet.
Water is a critical resource in Colorado. It is important to all of us in many ways. Over time, there is only a limited amount of water produced by watersheds.
Some water bills temporarily higher than usual as city of Steamboat gets everyone on same billing cycle
Some bills are higher because the city is working to get all of its customers on the same billing cycle, and the latest round of bills included 45 days of service for some customers instead of the usual 30.
Not that water hasn’t already been a major issue in the West, but Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, said, 2014 is the year of the Colorado water plan.
Steamboat Springs nonprofits, including Friends of the Yampa and Protect the Flows, were represented at the summit, which aimed to advance water policy and incentivize conservation.
The city of Steamboat Springs is advising residents to take measures to protect their water meters from freezing or bear the cost of replacing a broken one.
As Gov. John Hickenlooper addressed the attendees of the Colorado Water Congress’ summer conference, some had doubts about the state’s role in water plans. But Hickenlooper stressed there were ways to reach solutions to Colorado’s water worries.
The Yampa River in Steamboat Springs, bolstered by a conservation lease of 4,000 acre-feet of water stored upstream in Stagecoach Reservoir, was flowing at healthier levels Tuesday than it did during the drought of 2012 when a similar lease was in place.
Streamflows have returned to normal levels on Fish Creek through Steamboat Springs with the release of additional water from Fish Creek Reservoir.
On Tuesday morning, the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District began releasing water leased by the Colorado Water Trust into the Yampa River to help bolster flows.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction doesn’t foresee any precipitation in the next six days, but it will be hot. The daily highs could bump 90 degrees through Thursday.
The Yampa River will get another significant boost this summer when 4,000 acre-feet of water leased by the Colorado Water Trust once again starts to flow out of Stagecoach Reservoir.