April 8, 2015--West Slope could use own water plan, managers say (Grand Junction Sentinel)

It might not be enough for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to be considering a statewide water plan, said water managers and growers on Tuesday. “Maybe the West Slope needs to have one, too,” said Larry Clever, general manager of the Ute Water Conservancy District. The emphasis on preparation was driven by two major factors: the continuing drought in California that prompted recent mandatory water conservation, including even the threat of fines for overly long showers, and reduced amounts of runoff into Lake Powell. The level of Lake Powell is particularly significant because of the requirement to have enough water in the lake to drive the generators that power much of the Southwest. Revenue from sales of electricity generated at Glen Canyon Dam also fund several federal programs, including efforts to save endangered fish in the Upper Colorado River Basin. It’s also timely because water is flowing into Powell at a rate that is 52 percent of average for the April-June runoff period, Clever noted. West Slope preparations for the possibility of demands on Colorado to deliver enough water to Lake Powell should be homegrown, said Steve Acquafresca, a Grand Junction peach grower and former Mesa County commissioner. “They should not be left to a government agency,” Acquafresca said. Acquafresca and Clever were among 16 people, and several others who attended by conference call, who gathered in Grand Junction on Tuesday to discuss a recent visit to southern California organized by the Colorado River Water Conservation District. To view the full article visit the Grand Junction Sentinel.