i_wrrc_2016a_2016-09-20t10:00:14z4 Hearing Summary
Implementation of Colorado Water Plan
WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
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02:34 PM -- Implementation of Colorado Water Plan
Anne Castle, University of Colorado Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment, introduced herself to the committee. Committee members received a copy of her presentation (Attachment H). Ms. Castle discussed recommendations for the committee to consider, including integrated land and water planning. Ms. Castle discussed House Bill 08-1141, which required that building permit applications for developments of greater than 50 single-family equivalents must include specific evidence of an adequate water supply. As part of the legislation, local governments were able to choose to require adequate water supply for developments smaller than 50 single-family equivalents. Ms. Castle discussed the Colorado Water Plan's requirement that all basins and roundtables consider water conservation in their planning. Ms. Castle explained that the current land use approval process, as created by House Bill 08-1141, does not require a water conservation component, despite the growing need for conservation in the state. She explained that some local governments do have these requirements, but it is inconsistent throughout the state. Ms. Castle provided examples of water conservation requirements in Arizona and New Mexico.
Ms. Castle explained some discrepancies between requirements in cities and in counties in the state. She described several solutions in order to make the inclusion of water conservation into land use planning easier. Some solutions include eliminating those discrepancies for counties and other local governments and giving guidance to land use planners on how to accumulate water supply information. Ms. Castle explained some items to consider in moving forward with integrating water conservation into land use planning and responded to questions from the committee.
Ms. Castle discussed alternative transfer methods (ATMs) and water banking in the state and why the current water banking system has not been successful. She explained that the current water banking system is limited to stored water and there are other mechanisms, such as substitute water supply plans, that may be better than water banking. Ms. Castle presented suggestions to the current water banking structure in order to improve the system. Ms. Castle further discussed ATMs, and the concerns surrounding that method of water efficiency. Ms. Castle provided examples of different water efficiency models in other states that Colorado can look to in implementing the requirements of the Colorado Water Plan (water plan), and she responded to questions from the committee regarding these models.
Ms. Castle discussed the requirement in the water plan concerning watershed protection plans, and how that requirement can be accomplished.