Water Initiative Meeting Set For Wednesday

Looking to further protect the Grand Valley's watershed from energy drilling, the Western Colorado Congress is asking the public to attend an important meeting later this week.

On Wednesday, Grand Junction City Council members will decide on whether to adopt an initiative that would place tougher restrictions on energy drillers within the watershed, however, if they do not adopt, the initiative will be put onto the November ballot.

This has been an on–going issue for several months and with city council considering the adoption Wednesday, Western Colorado Congress wants public participation to be used to show just how important the issue is to residents.

Supporters of the initiative gathered in front of City Hall in Grand Junction Monday to urge attendance on Wednesday. In July, Western Colorado Congress garnered more than 4,000 signatures over a two–week period to get the initiative onto the November ballot and after submitting those signatures in early August, the Bureau of Land Management dismissed the protests to leasing certain parcels within the water shed the very next day.

If City Council adopt the initiative Wednesday, it will not need to be on the November ballot and with leasing going forward, the initiative looks to place more rigid guidelines for energy drillers, including constant monitoring.

Along with heavy monitoring the initiative will ask company's to provide management practices to further reduce risk to water quality and to post a bond to fully cover potential damages.

But as 11 News has reported before, the initiative does not prohibit drilling, it's simply another step to safe guard the watershed and according to BLM documentation, the agency has been working with local municipalities to alleviate concern and would not allow the extraction in an unsafe, irresponsible or illegal manner.