Group seeking more Northwest Colorado representatives
The Wednesday meeting of the Yampa/White/Green River Basin Roundtable brought in government and industry representatives from Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties to Craig’s American Legion Post 62 to discuss, among other things, the Basin Implementation Plan for the region.
Officials say the near-term forecast for the Steamboat Springs area is free of water and fire restrictions, and most of Routt County is not experiencing any drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. In Moffat County, a majority of the county is experiencing just abnormally dry conditions.
Opponents of Senate Bill 23 have warned that transfers to the Colorado Water Conservation Board could harm upstream users.
Senate Bill 23 is on its way to the Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk thanks to some legislative maneuvering, but the bill dealing with changes to water law on the Western Slope has divided interested organizations and prompted warnings that its consequences could be much broader than intended.
The nearby White River, flowing out of the Flat Tops, is No. 7 on the list because of the amount of energy exploration taking place along it length, an American Rivers spokesman said Wednesday.
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.