Grand County Town Hall Meeting

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  • Issues that provoke thoughts about the larger basin – take self interests and expand to regional opportunities
  • Water is in short supplyIn the upcoming decades there could be a Gap between water supply and demand – as much as 500,000 acre-feet or more per year.Entire state is put at risk by this scenario, especially threatening to Colorado’s rural communities.
  • Population is in the south platte, metro and arkansas roundtables
  • 86% towards agriculture, 7% municipal/domestic, 3% recreation/fisheries, 2% industrial/commercial, 1% augmentation, 1% rechargeAs you are probably aware, we are entering an era of increasing competition for water. Agriculture is currently by far the largest user of water in the state. Municipal use is where the largest growth is expected. Water to sustain the environment and provide recreation don’t deplete streams, but water rights to ensure those functions can limit other uses. “out here on the Western Slope, oil shale will always be the fuel of the future,” Spehar said.Energy
  • All areas of the state have projected gaps, but the size of the gap is the largest on the Front Range.Current (Colorado Basin) demand 62,000 acre-feet which can increase to ~120,000 acre-feet in the futureThis graph just shows the urban water gap – many argue that we also already have substantial gaps in meeting agricultural and environmental needs. In the Colorado Basin: Shortage of 100,000 acre-feet of water to support irrigated agricultureThere is also a non-consumptive gap in the Colorado River Basin, although it hasn’t been quantified.
  • The Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Inter-Basin Compact Committee (a Roundtable of Roundtables) have identified these “four legs of the stool” for filling the gap. None of these tools are without costs: to achieve ambitious conservation goals is difficult without new regulations and addressing touchy land-use issues; “buy and dry” has devastated some eastern plains communities;the headwaters are already suffering from transmountain diversions. 100,000 AFY shortageIncentives to encourage ag to continue production – reimburse ag for things beyond instream flow programMinimize taxes, improve farm economicsIdentify things you could do with no injury to other localized benefitsColorado basin 268,000 acres 8% of state total584,000 AFY current Consumptive Use of acreageEstimated that 40,000 to 58,000 lost to urbanization
  • Grand County Town Hall Meeting

    1. 1. Colorado Basin Implementation Plan Grand County Town Hall Meeting
    2. 2. Agenda  We Are Glad You Came  Colorado Water Plan Overview  Gap - Colorado River Basin Challenges  Grand County Challenges  Breakout Sessions
    3. 3. Thank You!  Your ideas and input  Included in the final report (appendix)  Merge common themes, ideas, concerns and suggestions with other Town Hall input  Online survey found on website  http://coloradobip.sgm-inc.com  Entrance questionnaire  Interviews with water professionals, managers
    4. 4. Colorado Water Plan Overview –  Governor’s Executive Order  Compilation of 9 Basin Roundtables Plans  How can we meet the “Gap”?  Planning horizon-2050  Draft due July 2014
    5. 5. 9 Basin Roundtables
    6. 6. Governor’s Executive Order-Why?  The “Gap” between future demand and future projects is real….500,000 acre-feet per year  Population  Drought  Transfer of water rights from agriculture is unacceptable  Water quality  Interstate issues pressing  Front Range new supply project
    7. 7. Your Opportunity  Transition in thinking  Individual  Regional  Statewide
    8. 8. Colorado River Basin Challenges Lake Powell Elevations
    9. 9. Colorado River Basin Challenges Drought Anthony Artusa (NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC)
    10. 10. 0 2,000,000 4,000,000 6,000,000 8,000,000 10,000,000 12,000,000 Low Medium High 2008 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2050 Population Arkansas Basin Colorado Basin Gunnison Basin Metro Basin North Platte Basin Rio Grande Basin South Platte Basin Southwest Basin Yampa Basin Population Increasing…No New Water
    11. 11. Many uses compete for a scarce and limited water supply Municipal & Industrial 9% Agriculture 86% Recreation Environment Graphics provided by the Colorado Foundation for Water Remaining 5% - recreation/fisheries, augmentation and recharge
    12. 12. What is the “Gap”?
    13. 13. How can we fill the Gap? Already planned projects (Windy Gap firming, Moffat Collection System+) Conservation Ag to Urban Transfers New Projects (Colorado Basin development) Graphics provided by the Colorado Foundation for Water
    14. 14. Population County 2000 Population 2030 Population Increase in Population 2000 to 2030 Percent Change 2000 to 2030 Percent Annual Growth Rate Eagle 43,300 86,900 43,600 101 2.3 Garfield 43,800 119,900 76,100 274 5.2 Grand 12,900 28,800 15,900 123 2.7 Mesa 116,250 220,600 104,350 190 3.8 Pitkin 15,900 27,200 11,300 71 1.8 Summit 25,700 50,400 24,700 96 2.3 TOTAL 248,000 492,600 244,600 99 2.3 Colorado River Basin – double by 2030
    15. 15. Grand County – Upper Colorado River Basin Study (UPCO)  Investigated water quantity/quality in Grand (and Summit counties)  Developed tools needed to understand impacts of diversions  Supported negotiations among stakeholders  Current/future water supply  Reservoir level  Instream flows  Water quality  Need for additional water supplies for existing and future municipal demands  Instream flows to support recreational uses and maintain low-flows for water quality
    16. 16. Grand County – Stream Management Plan  80 miles of the Upper Colorado River  Frame work for maintaining a healthy stream system in Grand County - protect and enhance aquatic habitat  Also protect local water uses and retain flexibility for future water operations  Identified  Target flows  Restoration opportunities  Monitoring recommendations
    17. 17. Grand County  Colorado River Cooperative Agreement  Denver Water and West Slope partnership (34 parties)  Framework for numerous actions to benefit  water supply  Environment  Denver Water to provide Grand County  Provide 375 acre-feet (ski areas)  920 acre-feet Clinton Bypass Water  Grand County Mutual Ditch and Reservoir Company – Vail Ditch shares  Denver Water will not undertake any future water development activities w/o prior approval of Grand County and Colorado River District  Assist in investigation/acquisition of Shoshone Power Plant by Western Slope parties
    18. 18. Grand County Challenges  Diverse water supplies (groundwater/surface water)  No reservoirs (fens, permitting)  Reliance on instream flows  Water quality  Future population  Large fluctuations in demands – seasonal  Complex water rights (exchanges, pumpbacks, etc.)
    19. 19. Agriculture
    20. 20. What are Others Saying?  Need for multi-use/multi-benefit reservoirs  Educate on true cost of water  Land Use Policy  Preserve urban boundaries  Limit water use/outside irrigation  Depletions not just demand  Water Law Policy  Address evaporation in municipal reservoirs  "Use it or lose it" doctrine  New water right should have to prove long term supply
    21. 21. What are Others Saying?  Forest health and water quality  Conserve water use in agriculture on a basin level  Assess savings within the whole ditch system  Incentivize agriculture  Limit development
    22. 22. Breakout Sessions  What are your top 5 biggest concerns?  Consumptive  Environmental and Recreational (Nonconsumptive)  Agricultural

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