SWSI

The Statewide Water Supply Initiative (SWSI) projects that Colorado’s population will nearly double by 2050, reaching between 8.6 million and 10.5 million people. According to the Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC), population growth coupled with agricultural demand and potential oil shale production could force Colorado to face a water supply gap of between 200,000 and 600,000 acre-feet. That’s as many as 456,000 football fields covered in one foot of water—water that Colorado would need, but wouldn’t have on hand. But the IBCC, created by the 2005 Water for the 21st Century Act, is determined to change the nature of the fight, turning disagreement into cooperative discussion. In a December report to then-Governor Ritter and Governor-elect Hickenlooper, the IBCC outlined a four-part approach to creating a statewide framework for solving Colorado’s water gap.