July 17, 2014--Colorado's river basin users discuss statewide water plan (KUNC)

For the first time, water users from Colorado’s nine river basins are meeting to discuss their individual basin wide water plans. The users are presenting their assessments in Rangley, Colorado. Their goal is to create a comprehensive statewide water plan. Over the last nine years, more than 800 meetings have been held across the state in conjunction with basin roundtables made up of water stakeholders. In 2013, following years of drought, Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper charged the Colorado Water Conservation Board to create a statewide plan to better manage water across Colorado. The CWCB, which provides direction on state water policy, asked the roundtables to develop their individual assessments which could be merged into a larger, more comprehensive plan. Colorado is one of the last remaining western states without a statewide water plan. Changes in population, as well as recent drought conditions prompted the need. Water conservationist Gary Wockner, head of environmental groups Save the Poudre and Save the Colorado, is concerned the current water plan being developed is wrought with issues. In a statement issued in 2013 and reiterated in a recent Denver Post opinion column, Wockner said the water plan includes projects that are not healthy for the state’s rivers.

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