Charlie Preston-Townsend: Planning the Future of Yampa River

Sep 03, 2014

Yampa River(This post originally appeared in the Steamboat Pilot)

The Friends of the Yampa is a volunteer-run nonprofit based in Steamboat Springs and dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the recreational and environmental integrity of the Yampa River and its tributaries through stewardship, advocacy, education and partnerships.

In response to the Colorado Water Plan, we have four primary expectations for future water planning:

  1. The state of Colorado shall view the Yampa River as a significant and reliable supplier of water to meet Colorado River Compact obligations;
  2. Colorado shall hold non-consumptive needs as a priority and consider the significant conservation work that has been accomplished in the Yampa River Valley as an example for future water planning;
  3. The Yampa Valley and Western Slope water users must be assured that, in the event of a compact call, negotiated equitable apportionment principles will be utilized to protect our many important junior water rights;
  4. Maximum efficiencies through reduction and reuse programs shall be fully implemented before any further trans-basin projects are undertaken in the Yampa River basin and across Colorado. In fulfilling these expectations, Colorado will benefit from a gem of American river antiquity in the Yampa River, featuring a living, flooding, changing and thriving natural system.

The state of Colorado shall view the Yampa River as a significant and reliable source of water to meet Colorado River Compact obligations.

The Friends of the Yampa are grateful for the opportunity to provide input and respectfully urge the Governor, the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Yampa/White/Green Roundtable to take these points into consideration when preparing the Colorado Water Plan.

Read the entire the post here. And let Gov. Hickenlooper and the state water board know that you want to protect our rivers HERE.

Charlie Preston-Townsend is vice president of Friends of the Yampa.

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