Letter to the Editor: State Senator Crowder on Water Wants and Wastes

Letters to the Editor (3)


Like many western states, Colorado faces a looming water shortage. Front Range cities have been especially vocal about it, saying they need more water to meet the demand of their growing populations. However, these cities are literally drowning in water. It’s just being delivered irresponsibly.

Rather than fixing the true problem, water from Southern Colorado’s San Luis and Arkansas valleys is seen as the solution to the water crisis. Earlier this year, Gary Boyce, a Saguache County rancher, proposed selling 35,000 acre-feet of water annually from the San Luis Valley to buyers in cities like Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Littleton, Fort Collins, and Douglas County.

Diverting this water would significantly impact Southern Colorado’s economy and our residents’ livelihoods. Our farmers and ranchers consistently coax life out of the arid soil using this precious resource. Without it, our melons would wilt. Our potatoes would wither away, and our grains and produce would never have a chance to grow.

First and foremost, Southern Colorado farmers and ranchers need the water for agricultural operations. But I also I have concerns about how our Front Range cities would use our water. Based on an assessment by Colorado Legislative Services, I can’t in good conscience believe our precious commodity will be used responsibly.

Here’s why: In 2013 alone, more than 13,500 acre-feet of water was lost in Denver, Aurora and Colorado Springs due to faulty infrastructure. Broken water mains, leakage, malfunctioning meters and waste caused nearly 4 billion gallons of water to be lost before it ever reached these cities’ 2.1 million residents. And this loss represents just three cities. Factor in the amount of water lost in Fort Collins Littleton, Douglas County and the number will certainly increase.

Therefore, it is my strong belief that upgrading the metro areas’ antique water delivery systems is the better way to ensure urban residents have an adequate water supply. With improved and responsibly managed public works infrastructure in place, metro residents would have access to water for daily activities and there wouldn’t be a need to poach Southern Colorado’s water.

Not only would upgrading metro areas’ infrastructure protect Southern Colorado’s agricultural economy and the livelihoods of thousands of residents, but it’s simply the responsible thing to do.

State Senator Larry Crowder
Southern Colorado
District 35




Filed Under: Letters to the EditorProwers County


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