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Garfield County wants unified West Slope message about water

May 21, 2015

The Colorado Water Plan's second draft will be released later this year, for public comment. Elected leaders on the Western Slope want to make it clear they don't support new transmountain diversions that take water west to east.
Credit Creative Commons/Flickr/TheBoyFromFindlay

The Garfield County Commissioners are working to send a powerful message that they’re against new transmountain diversions. 

The commissioners are organizing a meeting of Western Slope elected leaders to draw up a unified message ahead of the completion of Governor Hickenlooper’s statewide water plan. Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky:

"You take Pitkin County and Garfield County - they’re miles apart philosophically on how things should be done. But, when it comes to transmountain diversions, we have the same mindset: no more water to go to the east slope."

Some water officials in the state have endorsed what’s called the “7 points of consensus." It includes consideration of new transmountain diversions that would move Western Slope water east. Already, 13 major diversions move water through the mountains.

Jim Pokrandt chairs the Colorado Basin Roundtable, one of nine groups involved in shaping the statewide water plan. It’s meant to find solutions to future water demand. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen spoke with him Wednesday.

Jim Pokrandt chairs the Colorado Basin Roundtable. A second round of public comments will be taken after another draft of the statewide water plan comes out in July. The plan is scheduled to be finalized in December.