March 5, 2012--Report focuses on value of water to headwaters counties (Summit Voice)

Equitable water policies in Colorado must weigh the economic benefits of nonconsumptive water uses in headwaters counties, a recent report from the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments concludes, pointing out that transmountain diversions are 100 percent consumptive from the standpoint of the basins of origin. The report, released in January at a Denver water conference, takes a fresh look at the critical importance to the economy of water in West Slope rivers, and why Colorado leaders may want to take careful thought before making future transmountain diversion policy decisions. Visit the NWCCOG website for the full 95-page report. “This report makes  an important contribution to the on-going dialogue about adverse economic impacts associated with losing water by focusing attention on Eagle, Grand, Gunnison, Pitkin, Routt and Summit counties,” said Jean Coley Townsend, the author of the report.  “This has never been done before. The report provides an important counterbalance to earlier studies that show economic impacts of losing water from the Eastern Plains.” Balancing the supply and demand of water could be the State’s most pressing issue.  The report does not take issue with Front Range municipal or Eastern Plains agricultural water users — all parties have important and worthy concerns and points of view — but is meant as a thorough review of water as an economic driver of headwaters economic development.

To view the full article, visit the Summit Voice. For a copy of the original article contact the WIP at (970) 247-1302 or stop by the office at 841 East Second Avenue in Durango, Colorado.