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Water saved through upper-basin program unlikely to move needle in Powell

  • Updated
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HEATHER SACKETT/Aspen Journalism

The Grand Valley Water Users Association diversion from the Colorado River, known as the Roller Dam, is near the Collbran exit on Interstate 70. GVWUA is not participating the rebooted System Conservation Program after water managers couldn’t agree on how much farmers should be paid to cut back their water use.

Three of western Colorado’s biggest irrigation districts are not participating on a large scale in a federally funded program to conserve water, and the amount of water saved by the program overall won’t be enough to rescue depleted reservoirs.

The rebooted System Conservation Program was one of the legs of the Upper Colorado River Commission’s 5-Point Plan, announced in July and aimed at protecting critical elevations in Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which have fallen to record-low levels in recent years because of overuse, drought and climate change.

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