Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Monday, March 13, 2006

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Here's an update on cloud-seeding efforts by the Colorado River Basin states from the Arizona Daily Star. They write, "Needing more water to keep up with growth, Arizona and the six other Colorado River Basin states are looking to the sky. The states plan to hire a consultant this spring to evaluate cloud-seeding and make recommendations for whether, where and how to pursue it. The purpose is to create more snowfall in the Upper Rockies to feed the Colorado and its tributaries.

"In three years, officials hope to launch the first phase of a regional cloud-seeding program. Most likely, the seeding would be done in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, where it snows more.

"Today, cloud-seeding is a popular but still-controversial practice. Four Western states have major programs - Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Nevada - but many experts are divided about its effectiveness, 60 years since seeding experiments began. If seeding worked, it could nourish an over-allocated Colorado River. The states and Mexico have the rights to far more water than runs down the river in a typical year."

Category: Colorado Water

6:36:09 AM    

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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

6:25:06 AM    

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