Goosing the West Slope

“The Western Slope needs to be goosed,” says Chris Treese, of CRWCD. “Frankly, the Front Range has led most of the water-conservation efforts in Colorado to date.” In an effort to rectify this, numerous mountains towns in Colorado are devoting more attention to water conservation and efficiency. Altogether, Colorado is talking more about efficiency and conservation and in Denver; three separate bills were introduced into the Colorado Legislature this winter. One that Governor Hickenlooper signed into law, SB103 (known as the toilet bill), requires that beginning in September 2016 only those toilets certified under the federal government’s WaterSense program can be sold in Colorado—and not just in cities. The other two pieces of legislation were SB 23 and SB 17. SB 23 related to West Slope agricultural efficiency improvements and was passed, but was then vetoed by the Governor. SB 17 related to lawn-size legislation and passed (albeit in a much amended version), but directed the Interim Water Committee to examine the issues of land use and water use/water conservation. Taken together, the new initiatives were designed to encourage efficiency and conservation.