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B49CA43236B7F1EA8725845D006FEA4F Hearing Summary


Date Aug 21, 2019      
Location Off-Site

Discusson on Colorado's Instream Flow Program - Committee Discussion Only

02:22:33 PM  

Doug Kemper and Chane Polo, Colorado Water Congress, moderated a discussion on Colorado's instream flow program between the committee, Aaron Citron with The Nature Conservancy, Kathleen Curry with the Ute Water Conservancy District, Kelly Romero-Heaney with the City of Steamboat, Drew Peternell with Trout Unlimited, Carlyle Currier with the Colorado Farm Bureau, Jim Yahn with the North Sterling Irrigation District, and Ms. Bassi.  The panelists discussed the changes that people would like to see moving forward with the ISF program.  Mr. Citron discussed the inability to renew loans  potentially changing the limitations of participation from 3-in-10 years to 5-in-10 years.  Mr. Peternell discussed being able to use the loans for both preserving and improving the environment and increasing the areas in which ISFs are eligible.  Mr. Yahn responded to a question concerning the current instream flow eligibility based on existing instream flow water rights.   Ms. Romero-Heaney explained how the ISF program works in Routt County, the City of Steamboat, and the Yampa river, including specific examples.  Ms. Bassi discussed the impact of instream flows on water temperature and fish habitat.  Committee members discussed calls on the river and how downstream calls can help river flow.  Mr. Peternell discussed specific examples.  Committee discussion continued regarding long-term planning for ISFs.  Mr. Currier discussed some concerns of farmers including the possibility of injured water rights and the impacts of the instream flow programs on return flows.  Discussion ensued concerning water rights injury and whether or not data is available to prove injury.   Ms. Bassi discussed current temporary leases held by CWCB.  Panelists summarized their concerns, current and future challenges, and opportunities for the program.

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