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James Eklund, the Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, joins The Water Values Podcast to discuss Colorado’s Water Plan. James takes us behind the scenes for a look at why Colorado needed a water plan, how the State went about developing the water plan, which is in draft form now, and where the State is in the process of finalizing the water plan. James also engages in a discussion of how water and funding water projects fit in with the rest of the State’s fiscal requirements. Finally, he touches on the notion of one day integrating Colorado’s water plan with the water plans of other states.
In this session, you’ll learn about:
- Why Colorado needed a water plan
- Why Colorado didn’t have a water plan previously
- The background on why some in Colorado are resistant to a State water plan
- The responsibilities of the Colorado Water Conservation Board
- How Colorado decided to develop its water plan in draft form
- Why Colorado decided a de-centralized plan development process provided the best chance of successful plan development
- The timeline for finalizing the draft water plan
- Colorado’s “open source policy-making” stance for input into the water plan
- How conservation fits into Colorado’s Water Plan
- The interplay between Colorado’s prior appropriation doctrine and the policy goals set forth in Colorado’s Water Plan, i.e., how private property rights in water are affected by government policy goals
- What “Buy and Dry “ is
- How water project funding relates to the rest of the State budget
- The potential for integration of Colorado’s Water Plan with the water plans of other states
Resources and links mentioned in or relevant to this session include:
- The Colorado’s Water Plan website
- James Eklund’s Twitter handle
- The Colorado Water Conservation Board website
- Bio of Carlos Rubenstein, Texas Water Development Board Chairman
- Primer on Colorado’s prior appropriation law
- TWV Podcast #034 What’s an Augmentation Plan? further describing elements of Colorado’s prior appropriation law
Click here to download the Transcript for Session 55 of The Water Values Podcast.