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199BCDC3E759460F87258A14006F914F Hearing Summary


Date Aug 23, 2023      
Location Off-site

Colorado River Update - Committee Discussion Only

02:19:05 PM  

Amy Ostdiek, Colorado Water Conservation Board, introduced herself and discussed the Colorado River Compact.  She spoke about the importance of the compact, what the compact entails, and the relationship between the Upper Basin and Lower Basin states.  

02:24:37 PM  
Rebecca Mitchell,
Colorado Commissioner to the Upper Colorado River Commission, spoke about
the various processes for addressing issues on the Colorado River. She
told the committee about her role and how she advocates for Colorado, the
use of the river in the lower basin, and the hydrology of the river. She
also disccused efforts to keep Colorado from needing to curtail water under
the compact, the water rights held by tribes, and the coordination between
the state and the federal government.  
02:36:14 PM  

Commissioner Mitchell continued to talk about how the General Assembly has invested in staff focused on the Colorado River and how that staff is working on Colorado River issues across the state.

02:38:39 PM  
Chuck Collum, Executive
Director, UCRC, introduced himself and spoke about his background working
on the Colorado River. He told the committee about the makeup of the UCRC,
which includes representatives from each of the Upper Basin states. He
told the committee about how the four states interact with each other,
and the requirements of the Upper Basin states as outlined in the Colorado
River Compact.  
02:44:58 PM  
Mr. Collum continued
to discuss the strengths of the Upper Basin states when it comes to managing
the water available in the Colorado River. He directed the committee to
the handouts provided (Attachments A-C) and discussed the variance in water
usage displayed in the handout graphics. He told the committee about the
water conservation programs that exist in the Upper Basin.
02:50:24 PM  

Commissioner Mitchell answered a question about the current interim operating guidelines in place on the river and what happens when the guidelines expire in 2026.  Mr. Collum answered a question about the drought response.  

02:57:19 PM  
Discussion regarding
drought response continued.
03:02:45 PM  

Commissioner Mitchell answered questions about system conservation in the basin.

03:04:28 PM  
Mr. Collum spoke
about the tools that can be used to be more water efficient, including
drip irrigation and turf replacements.
03:10:36 PM  
Commissioner Mitchell spoke about how conservation and water rights interact.

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details