There is an old Colorado saying that adequately defines the true gold of Colorado. It has withstood the test of time: “Whiskey is for drinking water is for fighting.”
These words are as relevant today as they were in the 1800s to the miners, cattlemen and the whiskey distillers. As a headwaters state, Colorado needs to capture mountain runoff water to sustain future water needs.
Without question, water is today’s gold. Colorado and the world are facing the increasing threat of drought and population growth. It is becoming clear that Colorado must increase its water storage capacity to ensure that the state can continue to meet the demands of agriculture, recreational and municipal water users.
Recently, Villager publisher, Bob Sweeney and I were invited by Aurora Water to tour some of the city’s proposed new water storage reservoir sites—the Wild House and Box Creek reservoir in southwestern part of the state.
Currently, Aurora has more than 156,000 acre feet of water storage capacity, which will supply the city with water for three years.
Given the changing weather patterns and the population growth, Aurora needs additional storage capacity to meet the increasing demand for water. Future capacity will help ensure enough water for many more decades.
Colorado and Aurora understand the need to long-term planning in water conservation and increased water storage capacity. But another benefit from these thoughtful efforts in water conservation planning is the significant increase in land conservation, recreational opportunities and the preservation of plant and animal habitat.
We must strike a balance between our agriculture and urban water needs while improving and protecting our natural environment.
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