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Top 5 Problems With Draft 2 of the Colorado Water Plan

From: Save The Colorado
To: Colorado Water Conservation Board
Re: Comments on Draft 2 of Colorado Water Plan
Date: September 15, 2015

1. We disagree with the premise put forward in Governor Hickenlooper’s Executive Order, and carried forward in Draft 2 of the Plan, that agriculture must be protected. If farmers want to sell their water, that’s their business. Further, transferring water from farms to cities – whether by traditional or alternative methods – is always a less environmentally damaging and more practicable alternative as opposed to further draining and destroying rivers. The Colorado Water Plan should support transferring water from farms to cities in order to meet new demand.

2. Draft 2 of the Colorado Water Plan focuses too much on meeting new demand by building more dams and diversions on Colorado’s rivers. The Plan should solely focus on water supply alternatives including conservation, efficiency, reuse, recycling, growth management, and transferring water from farms.

3. Draft 2 of the Colorado Water Plan focuses too much on “streamlining” permitting processes. These permitting process were enacted by our forefathers and foremothers to make sure due public process and environmental protection were guaranteed as a public right and responsibility when large-scale environmental damage is proposed by new dams/diversions. The Plan should protect and enhance permitting so as to better protect and restore rivers.

4. Draft 2 of the Colorado Water Plan does not focus enough on protecting and restoring Colorado’s rivers (including dam removal), nor enough on providing funding for stream and habitat protection.

5. Draft 2 of the Colorado Water Plan proposes to “fully develop compact entitlements” to Colorado’s water supplies by making sure not one drop leaves the state in a river that is not required by federal law. This policy proposal is anti-environmental, unethical, and provincial. Rivers across state boundaries also need water to be healthy – the Colorado Water Plan should protect rivers in Colorado and across state lines.

Thank you for considering our comments,

Gary Wockner, PhD, Executive Director,Save the Colorado
PO Box 1066, Fort Collins, CO 80522

The mission of Save The Colorado is to protect and restore the Colorado River and its tributaries from the source to the sea. Save The Colorado focuses on fighting irresponsible water projects, supporting alternatives to dams and diversions, fighting and adapting to climate change, supporting river and fish species restoration, and removing deadbeat dams. Save The Colorado has thousands of supporters throughout the Southwest U.S. from Denver to Los Angeles and beyond.

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