Rules to roundtable by
Basin roundtables are at the heart of water management in Colorado. It’s not an easy job, nor would the meetings be mistaken for friendly get-togethers at the neighborhood pub, but the work is critical. Each of the state’s eight major river basins, plus the Denver metro area, has a roundtable, created in 2005 via state statute, made up of volunteers with interest in water management and policy. Their work flows up to the Colorado Water Conservation Board where it has the potential to affect us all.
Covering the roundtables has long been central to Aspen Journalism’s mission and Water Desk Editor Heather Sackett filed a story this week about an interesting new development. As they represent constituencies with sometimes-competing interests, and with ongoing aridification and climate change promising to make water management even more contentious going forward, the CWCB has been shopping a “code of conduct” and best practices document to the various basin roundtables, urging its adoption. The short list of guidelines states that members shall communicate in a professional, respectful, truthful, transparent and courteous way.
The guidelines have generated pushback and it comes, generally, in two flavors. One is that the bodies are already doing the things the document suggests so it is therefore an unnecessary intrusion. Another thread holds that some of the guidelines are too onerous for a volunteer group, including the stipulation that all meetings be properly noticed with minutes shared with the public and that the boards adhere to “all federal and state laws and policies, executive orders, public health orders, policies and procedures.” The Southwest Basin Roundtable adopted the code of conduct minus this best practices session in May, while other boards have tabled the resolution or have yet to take it up. Read Sackett’s story linked below for all the details.
As we head into Memorial Day, the kickoff to summer and runoff season (however diminished) thanks for reading and supporting Aspen Journalism’s work. Keep an eye out for two new stories set to publish this weekend, from our Connie Harvey Environment Desk concerning a unique conservation play in Marble, set to run in Saturday’s Aspen Times, and the latest volume from our resident historian Tim Cooney, who’s piece about the significance of the Hunter Creek area to Aspen’s history will run in Aspen Daily News Sunday and Monday.
— Curtis Wackerle, editor
By Heather Sackett | May 24, 2021
The CWCB director said that with important and potentially contentious discussions on the horizon for water-short Colorado, it’s important to have a set of conduct standards in place to guide those discussions. Continue reading…
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The Roundup | May 21, 2021 Edition
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