WHEREAS Club 20 leaders participated with sister organizations – ACTION 22 and PROGRESSIVE 15 – and several Denver Metro entities (including the Denver Water Board, Denver Chamber of Commerce, and Metro Mayors Caucus) in the development of a historic set of “Water Principles” to frame future discussions concerning the management of Colorado’s water resources, and
WHEREAS these Colorado 64 Water Principles are consistent with existing Club 20 policies, and
WHEREAS in recognition of the inherent merits of these Principles and the broad statewide support for them, the Colorado Legislature in 2003 overwhelmingly passed a resolution in support of the Colorado 64 Water Principles;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Club 20 restates its support of the Colorado 64 Water Principles as follows:
1. All Colorado water users must share in solving Colorado’s water resource problems.
- The State of Colorado should provide assistance, when requested, for local water supply planning, and assist in the implementation of consensus-based water resource solutions that respect local authorities, private property and water rights.
- During the process of planning to meet future needs, water suppliers and utilities should give preference to development of economically viable local water sources and demand management as they consider other options, including development of new water transfers.
- Additional water storage should be pursued through the improvement and rehabilitation of existing structures and the development of new structures. These activities should be accomplished with local consensus.
- The right of water rights owners to market their water rights must be protected.
- Colorado must fully explore flexible, market-based approaches to water supply management, including interruptible water contracts, water banking, in-state water leasing and groundwater recharge management.
- Those seeking to transfer agricultural water to another use should consider leasing or other temporary arrangements for transfer of water, rather than relying exclusively on the purchase of water rights. Leasing or other such temporary arrangements could allow for reversion of the water to agricultural purposes under certain conditions.
- In the event that agricultural water is transferred, the transaction must adequately address the need for maintaining the existing tax base, protecting the remaining water rights in the area, and maintaining the proper stewardship of the land including revegetation and weed control.
- Appropriate recognition should be given to preservation of flows necessary to support recreational, hydroelectric and environmental needs concurrent with development of water for beneficial consumptive uses.
- Adverse economic, environmental, and social impacts of future water projects and water transfers should be minimized; unavoidable adverse impacts must be reasonably mitigated; all communities involved should commit themselves to identifying and implementing reasonable mitigation measures as an integral part of future water projects or transfers.
- Future water supply solutions must benefit both the area of origin and the area of use.
- Water conservation measures that do not injure other water rights should be aggressively pursued.
- There must be an ongoing, concerted effort to educate all Coloradans on the importance of water, and the need to conserve, manage, and plan for the needs of this and future generations.