Inspectors at Ruedi Reservoir reel in highest number of vessels in state this season.
While policy across Colorado is still catching up to the dry conditions today, models for the upcoming year indicate that the state may need to brace for another poor water year in 2021.
But as western Colorado continues its shift to an outdoor-recreation and tourism-based economy, supporters of 7A agree with Mueller that the River District’s focus is shifting with it.
Comparing consumption with non-drought year shows less-dramatic reduction.
Water utilities report higher than average consumption.
But even after Rio Blanco reduced the amount of water it’s asking for by more than 23,000 acre-feet, a report from Colorado’s top water engineers indicates the district still largely has a project in search of a need.
“Residents of the valley are concerned that future negligent or illegal actions taken by this company may put both Yule Creek and the Crystal River at additional risk,” the letter reads.
But even with shepherding, it’s unlikely the entire 1,800 acre-feet will make it to the state line because of this year’s dry conditions.
Ely, the Pitkin County representative on the River District board, was the lone “no” vote against the ballot measure in July, saying that the district’s fiscal implementation plan — where it outlines how the tax money could be allocated — is not directly tied to the ballot language, so there’s no commitment on how exactly the money will be spent.
“We hope these actions help alleviate the depth and severity of ranchers being curtailed and allow some of them to turn their pumps back on to grow more forage before winter,” says a Colorado River District official.