Statewide Roundtable Summit

The governor’s point man for water issues sees the tempo picking up in the next few months. “For the last five years, we’ve been doing a slow dance, but I think the governor’s message is that time is of the essence, and we need to push forward,” said John Stulp, water adviser to Governor Hickenlooper. “We’re understanding each other better than we did five years ago.” Stulp presided at the first Statewide Roundtable Summit conducted in Westminister in March. Stulp also chairs the Interbasin Compact Committee. About 300 members of the state’s nine basin roundtables attended the summit, sharing their ideas and concerns. “This is nothing new,” Stulp said. “As a couple of the panelists have pointed out, there are concerns going back 75, 80 years or more. I think the governor sees the roundtables as a way to get beyond differences and create win-win situations.”  Some who attended the Roundtable Summit might have expected a statewide solution to materialize, but Hickenlooper said the IBCC’s approach of “no silver bullet” — using a variety of ways to meet water supply gaps is the way to go.
The Roundtable process was established in 2005 along with the Interbasin Compact Committee to wrestle with major water issues. Governor Hickenlooper kicked off the meeting with a strong expression of support for the Roundtables, and told the group that, so far, Water Supply Reserve Account funds are not on the budget balancing chopping block. In turn, the Roundtables and IBCC are being looked to for an increasing contribution to shaping Colorado’s strategy for meeting water needs, and educating our own communities on what is a stake, and what our options are. Throughout the day, which was intensively interactive, Summit participants expressed readiness to accept these responsibilities.