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.


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This is an incredibly important issue for Western Colorado, yet when given an opportunity to be briefed on the Colorado Water Plan and the process in the Water Round Tables, my opponent chose to walk out of the meeting rather than stay and get informed.

Ray Scott is an expert in Colorado water law and is extremely well-equipped to fight for our water rights in the State Senate. The urban Front Range, heavy with Democrat legislators, will be at war with Western Colorado over this issue. The last person anyone should trust to fight for our rural concerns is another Democrat.

Marjorie if you believe that Scott is an “expert” on Colorado water law, I have a bridge I can sell you.  The ONLY elected official we currently have that comes close to “expert” is Aquafresca and he has spent years being involved in water issues and yet he STILL attends water forums to learn.  Ray Scott doesn’t even read the House bills that the taxpayers pay him to read and understand.  He ONLY READS the summaries…that is by his own words.  If you and Ray understood the water laws of this state you would know that the final administration of it is dictated by the 1922 Water Compact and not by Democrats or Republicans….but set law.

The Colorado River is managed and operated under numerous compacts, federal laws, court decisions and decrees, contracts, and regulatory guidelines collectively known as “The Law of the River” that the state of Colorado can NOT unilaterally change. Ray Scott, nor Scott McInnis are experts in Colorado River Law (“The Denver Post revealed the former congressman in 2005 and 2006 had presented several articles on water policy as his own work, though they were nearly identical to essays written by now-Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs.”) These guys are too lazy to become learned in the actual complexities and instead try to master ‘talking points’ with the result to appear more than they are.
The real danger comes not from the eastern slope needs, but from oil and gas development. These companies have bought western slope upstream senior water rights for massive use in fracking and the dream of kerogen (oil shale) development, both of which destroys viable fresh water. These same two birds of a feather (Scott and McInnis) are champions of getting this destructive use of water secured despite the needs of junior water rights holders.
Typical of political wannabes that display why term limits were inacted.

And, yes, “inacted” should be “enacted”.

I’m an expert in Colorado water law.  I said it ... does it make it remotely true?  Didn’t think so.

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