Water report meant to protect resource — Mailbox for Aug. 11 – Colorado News

Water report meant to protect resource — Mailbox for Aug. 11 – Colorado News

Water report meant to protect resource

I am a water expert with Conservation Colorado, and am writing in response to the Tribune’s editorial from July 25 taking issue with components of my organization’s recently released report card assessing the health of Colorado’s rivers.

At Conservation Colorado, we firmly believe that bringing our rivers closer to the way they once naturally flowed will make them — and our communities — healthier and more sustainable for future generations.

In order to do so, we need to have a baseline understanding of the challenges that our rivers face. For example, communities like Greeley with a sustainable water supply should know that this is only possible because we divert water from Western Slope rivers like the Colorado River and empty it into the South Platte basin. These diversions have very real impacts on people, agriculture, and businesses all across our state.

Yes, we have to meet demands from across our diverse economies and growing population centers, but that does not mean we cannot do that in a way that also improves the health of rivers. We can have both a strong economy and a healthy environment.

By informing and engaging the citizens of Colorado in understanding those challenges, this report provides the big picture outlook on the future of Colorado’s rivers. We must all work together for solutions to our water woes, including helping our cities and towns be more efficient with their water use and providing greater flexibility for agricultural water rights, Ultimately, the intent behind our report is to increase public awareness and to spur action in order to enhance, conserve, and protect our most precious…

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