WA-15-1-Alternative Water Sources to Meet Future Front Range Urban Water Demands

WHEREAS the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC), the Basin Roundtables and others have been and are discussing a Transmountain Diversion (TMD) to divert additional water from the Colorado River Basin to meet the future Front Range urban water demands.

WHEREAS the CWCB released a draft Colorado Water Plan (CWP) in December of 2014 that is scheduled to be finalized in late 2015, and

WHEREAS the IBCC has developed seven (7) points as a framework for further discussion of a new TMD, including “The East Slope is not looking for a firm yield from a new TMD project and would accept hydrologic risk for that project.”, and

WHEREAS the conceptual thinking has been that the Front Range would only divert when conditions at Lake Powell or the Colorado River Basin were above a yet to be determined “trigger” amount based on the conditions in Lake Powell which could make it unlikely that water would have been available for most of the last 15 years, and

WHEREAS it is possible that billions of dollars could be spent on a new TMD without achieving the goal of a reliable supply of water to the Front Range urban areas so that ag dry-up on the Front Range  and Western Slope would be minimized and remove the threat to Western Slope communities, and

WHEREAS a comparative evaluation of alternatives to a TMD that do not use additional Colorado River water supplies has not been conducted as part of the IBCC and CWP processes, and

WHEREAS development of the comparative evaluation is a statewide issue that should be conducted by an entity representing statewide interests, such as the CWCB;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that CLUB 20 recommends that the final CWP include an action item for CWCB to initiate, as soon as possible, a comparative evaluation of alternatives to a TMD that do not use additional Colorado River water supplies including, but not limited to; additional storage for Front Range water supplies; greater reuse of existing Western Slope diversions; imports from the Missouri River, and other potential water sources.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CLUB 20 supports legislation that would direct CWCB to develop such an evaluation.

Adopted 3/27/2015