Here's a short opinion piece written by Gary Wockner, from the Fort Collins Coloradoan, touting conservation over dam building. He writes, "Our elected leaders are proposing to spend around $500 million of our tax money on three huge water development projects. These projects - the NISP/Glade Reservoir, the Halligan Reservoir and the Seaman Reservoir - will wage a war on our natural areas and the Cache la Poudre River. The projects, and the need for them, are firmly rooted in a mindset and in water technology that is 50 years old. All three are short-sighted, will get us absolutely nowhere toward a 'sustainable water policy' and will only dig us deeper into our 'addiction to water.'
"These new dams and reservoirs have three important problems:
"First: Fiscal responsibility. Economic analyses clearly show that using water efficiently and enacting comprehensive water conservation measures can provide drought protection and not impact 'quality of life,' and do both at a much lower cost than building new dams and reservoirs. In other words, you can get more water, cheaper, with conservation rather than with dams.
"Second: Environmental impacts. Fort Collins and Larimer County rivers, natural areas and ecosystems would be severely impacted by the proposed new dams and reservoirs, including the major open-space initiatives in the Laramie Foothills north of Fort Collins, as well as the Poudre River corridor running through Fort Collins. As a citizenry, we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars preserving these natural areas.
"Third: Economic sustainability. Tens of thousands of citizens and tourists including whitewater enthusiasts, fisherman, bicyclists, hikers and recreating families use the river and our natural areas every year. These people provide a large economic stimulus to Northern Colorado's increasingly tourist-based economy. People come here because the area is beautiful; if it's not beautiful, they won't come."
There is a Cache la Poudre National Heritage Area.
Category: Colorado Water