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J_WRARC_2023A 03/08/2023 07:48:34 AM Committee Summary

Date 03/08/2023
Bridges *
Catlin *
Hinrichsen X
Lynch X
Martinez *
McLachlan X
Pelton B. X
Simpson X
McCormick X
Roberts X
Time 07:48:34 AM to 09:09:31 AM
Place SCR 357
This Meeting was called to order by Roberts
This Report was prepared by Alexa Kelly
Hearing Items Action Taken
Discussion on Stream Restoration Committee Discussion Only
Update on Interstate Water Compacts Committee Discussion Only

Discussion on Stream Restoration - Committee Discussion Only

07:49:24 AM  
Kelly Romero-Heaney, Director for Water Policy, and Daphne Gervais, Director of Legislative Affairs, with the Department of Natural Resources, introduced themselves and their presentation (Attachment A).
07:50:33 AM  

Ms. Romero-Heaney spoke about the value of healthy natural stream systems, including for wildfire resilience and recreation.  She discussed the impacts of wildfire and mining disasters on natural stream systems, water quality, and vegetation.  

07:54:54 AM  

Ms. Romero-Heaney told the committee about what stream restoration entails and the types of streams that need restoring. She spoke about the challenges associated with stream restoration projects, including with water rights.

08:00:29 AM  
Ms. Romero-Heaney
discussed potential legislation on stream restoration coming from the Department
of Natural Resources, which would allow for registered stream restoration
projects to be implemented without being subject to administration by the
State Engineer.
08:02:59 AM  

Ms. Romero-Heaney answered questions from the committee about conflicts related to stream restoration, policies in other western states, downstream impacts of these projects, proposed legislation, federal funding opportunities, and locations where stream restoration could take place.

Update on Interstate Water Compacts - Committee Discussion Only

08:17:39 AM  
Kevin Rein, State
Engineer, Division of Water Resources, introduced himself and his presentation
(Attachment B).  He spoke about how Colorado stays in compliance with
the different river compacts.
08:21:28 AM  

Mr. Rein spoke about compact administration across Colorado's different river basins.  

08:34:39 AM  

Andy Mueller, General Manager, Colorado River District, introduced himself and his presentation (Attachment C). He spoke about the district's role in compact compliance.

08:37:55 AM  

Mr. Mueller spoke about the conflicts among the states using Colorado River water.

08:43:54 AM  

Becky Mitchell, Colorado Commissioner to the Upper Colorado River Commission, introduced herself.  She spoke about her efforts to talk to stakeholders across Colorado and in other states to manage the Colorado River.  She told the committee how Colorado has never been out of compliance with the Colorado River Compact.  

08:48:36 AM  

Ms. Mitchell told the committee about the proposal submitted to the Bureau of Reclamation, in conjunction with five other basin states.  She discussed the shortages being taken by Colorado River water users and how she communicates the challenges in Colorado to other states.

08:51:56 AM  

Mr. Rein answered questions from the committee about water rights administration on the Colorado River.

08:56:25 AM  

Ms. Mitchell answered questions about the releases from Blue Mesa Reservoir.

08:57:37 AM  

The panelists continuted to respond to questions from the committee.

09:07:08 AM  
Questions for the
panelists continued.  

09:09:31 AM   The committee adjourned.

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