Trouble below the surface
Gov. John Hickenlooper wants a state water plan in place by next year that addresses the anticipated gap between statewide supply and demand.
As a result, roundtables for each of Colorado’s nine river basins are developing their own basin implementation plans, which reflect discussions about in-stream flows, conservation measures, increased storage capacity and diversions (or opposition to them), to name just a few themes.
Basically, Colorado is pulling together a picture of how water flows from mountaintop to the state line in all directions. These basin implementation plans will then be incorporated into Colorado’s Water Plan so that water managers and residents can understand at both the basin and statewide level how Colorado’s water needs will be addressed.
Meanwhile, as the Sentinel’s Gary Harmon reported Friday, a satellite study indicates that the multi-state Colorado River Basin has lost nearly 41 million acre-feet of fresh groundwater since 2004, mainly due to unregulated drilling of water in California.
That’s a staggering sum. It represents more than half of the upper basin’s obligation to deliver 75 million acre-feet to the lower basin over 10 years. Meeting that obligation provides little, if anything to divert to the Front Range. Which means Denver can thank Los Angeles for its water woes.