Annual Water Conference discusses severe impacts on the Colorado River and proposed solutions
GRAND JUNCTION, Col.
There is 30% less water in the Colorado River than in the 1920s and this trend is expected to continue according to the Colorado River District. CRD CEO Andy Mueller said, “We are facing a moment in time here that presents unprecedented challenges on the Colorado River. “
Record-breaking temperatures, extreme drought conditions and declining stream flow are just a few of the impacts discussed at the annual water seminar called, Clock on the Colorado River. “We must all work together to reduce our consumption in order to preserve the quality of life here in western Colorado,” Mueller said.
72% of voters adopted the River District tax hike, generating $ 4.2 million to fund Western Slope water protection projects, but the best solution may be simply conservation. Mueller says, “Not necessarily how much you take from the river, but how much you take and never come back.”
The Colorado River District covers 15 counties in western Colorado, 29,000 square miles and 28% of the Colorado landmass, but at the water seminar, a Western Slope lawmaker said many of the problems had been presented with few solutions. State representative for District 54, Matt Soper (right) said: “It looks like I’ve heard a lot of experts talking about how we get less snow, less rain. We still have our obligations under the 1922 pact, so it was a bit frustrating. It’s more like presenting reality, and I guess it’s up to policy makers to talk about what we actually do from here. “
Interior Ministry Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo is the morning keynote speaker at the seminar on Federal Perspectives on Major River Issues. Trujillo said, “It can be the efficiency of irrigation, it can be more efforts of reuse and recycling, it could be the development of new technologies. “
This unique water seminar comes at the end of a particular water year, but adjusting to a new future will require teamwork. State Representative Soper said, “I think it’s very important that we look at everything and try to protect as much water as possible here on the West Slope. Because if there’s one thing we’re stuck between, it’s the frontline greedy interests and the downstream greedy interests that would all like to use more than their fair share.