Hickenlooper orders plan for water conservation

Colorado water officials are to draft a state water plan by December 2014 under an executive order issued on Wednesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The plan calls on the Colorado Water Conservation Board to head the planning process, working with other state agencies, river basin roundtables and other organizations to preserve agriculture in rural Colorado and while accommodating population growth.

The water conservation board met Wednesday in Grand Junction.

“Colorado deserves a plan for its water future use that aligns the state’s many and varied water efforts and streamlines the regulatory processes,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “We started this effort more than two years ago and are pleased to see another major step forward. We look forward to continuing to tap Colorado’s collaborative and innovative spirit to address our water challenges.”

Ute Water Conservation District General Manager Larry Clever said the response to the governor’s call was guarded.

“The devil’s in the details,” Clever said.

According to the Statewide Water Supply Initiative, the gap between water supply and demand could exceed 500,000 acre feet by 2050.

The report is to be complete by 2015.

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