The shortage of water in key areas of the state, the unpredictable reliance on precipitation from year to year, and our growing population have led to concerns about the effects of drought on urban water demands, agriculture, and fire danger as well as minimum stream flow, fish and wildlife health, and other water related matters. We supported the creation of Colorado’s first State Water Plan and continue to support implementation efforts. We believe that state and regional leaders need to facilitate a civil, productive dialogue among key water users that will allow water to be allocated for maximum productive use, while protecting regional agriculture, natural resources, tourism, and consumer interests.
For many years, the Forum’s primary focus was the resolution of Native American water rights issues in the San Juan Basin through the federally sponsored, state supported Animas La Plata water project. The Forum was a tenacious advocate for this project which is now completed and serving an important purpose in the San Juan Basin.
Recently, we have provided input on the development and implementation of the State Water Plan. The Forum created an informed, experienced, and diverse working group of individuals to focus on how the powerful elements of the State Water Plan might be implemented going forward. This group was able to agree on a series of concepts that have been presented to the parties best able to move forward with an implementation strategy.