(Nov. 19) – Rep. Ed Vigil, vice chairman of the bicameral Water Resources Review Committee, welcomed the formal presentation of the Colorado Water Plan today.
“I want to thank the thousands of Coloradans, including the hundreds who attended WRRC hearings around the state, whose input helped create this plan,” said Rep. Vigil, D-Alamosa, who is also chairman of the House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee and the Capital Development Committee, which would review any proposals for public works projects. “The decisions we will make as we implement the water plan are critical to Colorado’s future. Numerous actions by the General Assembly will be required, and that process will begin in the 2016 session. I look forward to getting started.”
More than 30,000 comments were submitted by the public during the drafting of the Colorado Water Plan, which was commissioned by Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2013 and formally delivered to him this morning.
The plan emphasizes conservation, including the first-ever conservation targets for cities and towns. It also proposes expanded water storage capability as part of a multi-pronged approach to meet the needs of agriculture, maintain healthy rivers and streams and serve a Colorado population that is expected to nearly double by 2050 while honoring our state’s compact or treaty obligations to 24 downstream states in the United States and Mexico.
The objective: to eliminate a projected 2050 annual water deficit of 560,000 acre-feet, or 182 billion gallons, while realigning our water policies so they better reflect shared water values, including a productive economy, vibrant and sustainable cities, productive agriculture and a robust recreation economy.