September 2, 2016--Agriculture plays key role in water plan (Montrose Press)

The state’s population is growing. Its water supply is not. This reality is the driving force behind the Colorado Water Plan, which aims to conserve what we have against a 560,000 acre-feet gap between supply and demand projected by 2030. “That’s water that has to come from somewhere else,” John Stulp, director of the Inter Basin Compact Commission, said Thursday. “ … most likely, from agriculture and the Western Slope. We’re trying to avoid that.” Stulp, who is also a special advisor to Gov. John Hickenlooper and a rancher, was in Montrose for the Uncompahgre Valley Water Forum, hosted by the Shavano Conservation District. Stulp addressed how agriculture fits into the Colorado Water Plan. Agriculture “has the preponderance” of first use of water in the state — about 80 percent of Colorado water use begins in agriculture, he said. The plan’s measurable outcomes address the projected supply-demand gap by 2030, plus the conservation goal of 400,00 acre-feet per year by 2050. Colorado is expected to add 5 million people in the coming decades, a number that includes native-born residents. Conservation must be done on all levels, not just in agriculture, Stulp said, but also industrial and municipal. To view the full article visit the Montrose Press.