Colorado Water for the 21st Century Roadmap

The following provides a summary of a May 26th memo issued by Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC) Director John Stulp to roundtable members, the IBCC, and CWCB:
 
Over the last three months I’ve had the pleasure of sitting down with many of you, attending your roundtables and listening or reading your comments on the IBCC framework. What’s amazing is that despite all of the traditional conflicts regarding water, I heard that most people sincerely want to advance the process, develop solutions and build on the great work that’s already been done.
 
In Governor Hickenlooper’s speech at the summit, he laid out several goals for the roundtables to accomplish in the short, medium, and long term. The table discussions at the summit outlined many of the same goals including: 
 
·         Implementation of “shovel ready” projects;
·         Develop water project plans to get them “shovel ready”;
·         Use the roundtables to guide this process from a regional approach.
·         Continue to build trust between basins and stakeholders and increase the level of engagement with the public, permitting agencies, and other stakeholders.
·         Use our current resources strategically and in a prioritized manner.
·         Ultimately develop a statewide water plan that brings together solutions that have come up from the basin roundtables, water providers, environment and recreation focused entities, the IBCC, and the CWCB.
 
The purpose of this memo is to take this general consensus and lay the groundwork for a “roundtable road map” for the next few years, taking into account the input received from each of the roundtable chairs, the CWCB, and IBCC.
 
We have heard and agree that the role of the state is to facilitate the grassroots process by establishing specific steps, objectives and timelines, but letting the roundtables/IBCC control the substance of each step.
 
Below are short, mid, and long-term goals which are consistent with the approach outlined by the Governor and the feedback we have received. Each roundtable will have the flexibility to determine its own method to accomplish these goals and objectives.
 
Short term (Year 1-2) – Complete Basin Reports, Development of Portfolios and Begin Implementation
 
1.      You are already working hard to complete your basin needs assessments in the form of the SWSI Basin Reports by the end of June.
2.      Roundtables should continue to identify which projects and methods meet their nonconsumptive and consumptive needs and that you want to get behind. This should include starting to work with the project proponents to determine if there are ways the roundtable can help move the project or method forward. As part of moving projects forward, the roundtables should look at spending Water Supply Reserve Account (WSRA) funds in a more targeted manner to help implement the consumptive and nonconsumptive projects and methods that meet the needs outlined in your Basin Reports. As part of this work, a joint CWCB and IBCC committee will review the WSRA criteria and guidelines and recommend any changes that are needed to help ensure WSRA funds are targeted. Please send along any ideas for criteria and guideline changes.
3.      To ensure grassroots input in developing statewide solutions, each roundtable will be asked to develop one or more statewide portfolios using the portfolio tool. This should include at least one mid demand / mid supply portfolio, but some roundtables may choose to develop portfolios for other scenarios as well. CWCB will provide technical assistance in this effort, and IBCC members from one or more basins may go to other basins to support portfolio development.
4.      The IBCC will work at combining these 9 or more portfolios into several thematic portfolios for evaluation.
5.      The IBCC is also taking all of the comments and identifying priorities for their future work. The IBCC subcommittees have each identified next steps for their work.
 
Mid –term - Develop Portfolio Specifics, Trade-offs, and Evaluate:
 
1.      The Basin Roundtables will continue to work with their local constituencies to identify ways that the region will meet future consumptive and nonconsumptive needs using a portfolio approach. This can provide a vision for the basin, including how to fill the water supply gap. Roundtables may choose to add more specificity.
2.       The IBCC members will work with their basin roundtables or constituencies to determine the specifics of cross-basin and statewide consumptive and nonconsumptive projects or methods. 
 
Long-term: Resolve Remaining Issues, and Develop more Specificity
 
The Governor asked that based off the portfolios we need a statewide plan with sufficient specificity. To meet this request, roundtables should each facilitate the development of an implementation plan with local entities to meet their nonconsumptive and consumptive needs and identify any barriers that may exist to make those plans a reality.
 
The portfolio work and the specifics of the basin’s implementation plans will become the basis of a statewide plan. This effort will be a partnership between the CWCB, IBCC, DNR, and Basin Roundtables and is a way for us to come together as a state to collaboratively solve Colorado’s water supply challenges.