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PRESS RELEASE: Colorado Water Plan Survey is Greenwashing Gibberish

For Immediate Release
August 29, 2016
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310

Colorado Water Plan Survey is Greenwashing Gibberish

Fort Collins: On Wednesday, August 24, 2016, the Colorado State legislature’s “Interim Water Resources Review Committee” met to consider bills for the 2017 legislative session. Screenshot (409)One of the presentations at the meeting was from a pollster who displayed results of a survey about the Colorado Water Plan and water supply issues in Colorado.

This survey (link here) is bogus because it completely fails to provide details to poll respondents about any of the negative impacts of new dams and diversions. For example:

Question 3 (slide 3) asks if there should be “more water storage capacity.” This question uses the Orwellian euphemism “storage” instead of saying the reality of “dams, diversions, and pipelines.” The water buffaloes in Colorado began using the word “storage” in 2015 when they realized it was a method to greenwash new dams and river destruction.

Question 6 (slide 6) asks a similar question, again using “storage,” again failing to say “dams, diversions, and pipelines,” and again completely failing to discuss any of the environmental problems caused by dams.

Slide 10 offers a series of questions that are hopelessly lopsided:

10a. Should Colorado store its legal share of water? This question completely fails to note that the entire Colorado River basin is in an extended drought, that climate change predicts even lower river flows, and that by storing its “legal share of water,” Colorado could force the entire basin into a geo-political legal war by causing a “call on the river” which would likely cause a dramatic cutback in junior water rights across the state. In fact, the State is studying the likelihood of exactly that happening should more diversions occur.

10b. “Permitting should be expedited to get projects built.” This question again completely avoids discussing how the permitting process was created to protect the public’s health and environment by Acts of Congress; and fails to discuss that “projects” are dams, diversions, and pipelines that drain and destroy rivers. Further, the question completely fails to say that the “projects” are extremely controversial — as one example, the proposed expansion of Gross Reservoir in Boulder County (called the “Moffat Collection System Project”) is opposed by local residents and environmental groups because it would have dramatic negative impacts on public health and safety, on the environment in Boulder and Grand Counties, and further drain and destroy the Colorado River and its tributaries (see document here). Other projects, including the Northern Integrated Supply Project near Fort Collins, have created an all-out environmental war because it would further drain and destroy the Cache la Poudre River.

10d. This question finally uses the word “dam,” but then suggests that dams “don’t harm the environment.” This statement is ridiculous — there is no such dam on planet earth, or in the state of Colorado. All dams harm rivers.

10e. This question gets to the heart of why the State is doing the poll, where it proposes to “in 2018 ask voters for funds…”

“Much of this poll is anti-environmental greenwashing gibberish, said Gary Wockner of Save The Colorado. “This poll would be like telling people that nuclear energy provides cheap electricity but failing to say that radioactivity causes cancer. If they try to push through a 2018 ballot initiative to further dam and drain the state’s rivers, I predict there will be an aggressive “no” campaign to stop it.”

Save The Colorado has proposed alternatives to new dams and diversions, including water conservation, reuse and recycling, better growth management, and working with farmers (see widely published column here about the Colorado Water Plan) to address the state’s future water needs.

Gary Wockner, E.D., Save The Colorado


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