Pitkin County meets to talk water in Colorado | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County meets to talk water in Colorado

Staff water

Pitkin County is seeking public input on a plan to help the state meet water needs at a meeting on April 10.

With Colorado’s population expected to double from 5 million to 10 million over the next 40 years, enough water to quench demand over time has become a statewide concern. Gov. John Hickenlooper has spearheaded a series of water basin “roundtable” meetings in each of the state’s eight major river basins plus an additional roundtable focusing on the Denver metropolitan area. Public input gathered at these meetings will become part of the plan to help meet statewide water needs now and into the future.

Glenwood Springs-based civil engineering and surveying firm, SGM, has been tasked with developing the Colorado River Basin Implementation Plan, which will become part of the statewide water plan.

“These town hall meetings are targeted at the average water user. We want to document concerns around agricultural needs, water obligations to other states, energy production, development, drought, climate change and endangered species,” said SGM Project Manager Louis Meyer. “There has been a lack of collaboration among people involved in land use and water planning. They need to hear from the public on these issues.”

Meyer will make a short presentation at the meeting describing the details of the Colorado Water Plan and how it impacts Pitkin County. The audience will then have the opportunity to engage in interactive dialog to express their viewpoints and concerns. All the information gathered at the Town Hall meeting will be documented.

“The (plan) is an extraordinary opportunity for the public and all stakeholders in the Colorado River Basin — communities, citizens, farmers, ranchers, recreationalists, water providers, industry, and watershed organizations — to work collaboratively on a vision for the future. By taking action now, we can ensure a secure water future for our state,” Meyer said.

The meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Rio Grande Room, 455 Rio Grande Place, in Aspen. Refreshments will be provided. For more information call SGM Assistant Project Manager Angie Fowler at 970-384-9027 or email angief@sgm-inc.com.