Colorado’s Formal Water Plan

The final draft of Colorado’s first formal water plan has recently been delivered to Hickenlooper, and it’s being characterized by water experts as a “good first step” toward building state-wide consensus on what can and must be done to meet the needs of growing population.

The plan aims to address the gap in water supplies (estimated to be about 163 billion gallons of water per year, or more) that’s expected to exist by about 2050, when the state’s population will have nearly doubled to about 10 million people.

The draft plan proposes closing the gap through five strategies:
1. Recycling water supplies
2. Conservation
3. Using groundwater
4. Shifting agricultural water to municipal use
5. Shifting more water from the Western Slope to the Front Range

The goal is to meet the water needs of the population, but to do so without harming the environment. It’s aiming to smooth the historic tension in Colorado over water between the sparsely populated, but water rich, Western Slope, and the more populous, but water proof, Front Range by encouraging discussion and consensus building.

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