State of the Rivers raises issues with the Colorado

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Colorado Mesa University's Water Center teamed up with the Colorado River District to host a State of the Rivers meeting Monday night.

One outcomes was a discussion about the yearly draining the Colorado River endures and the possible consequences thereafter.

“The river for the last 13 years has been fully used," says General Manager of the Colorado River District Erik Kuhn, "not a drop of water that has started as snow or rain in Colorado or any of the other states has actually made it to the gulf of Baja California or the Pacific Ocean."

With each draining, the reservoirs fill a little less, and pretty soon we could be looking for alternative sources of water.

One possible solution to this problem could lie in a water bank, which essentially is an insurance policy for water.

“We would have water available to help either prevent a compact shortage or curtailment," says Deputy Manager of the Colorado River District Dan Birch, "or in the event of a compact curtailment to try and protect certain critical, essential uses of water on the Western Slope”.

Water advocates at the American Rivers group call the Colorado "America's Most Endangered River," and although Kuhn takes exception to the word "endangered," he knows there is most certainly a threat to the river as a whole.

“We are using more water than the river is providing for the last 10-15 years," says Kuhn. "If that continues, and many people believe it will continue, then we’re going to look at conservation and we’re going to have to look at some innovative solutions”

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