Just something funny I noticed yesterday- both major party gubernatorial candidates spoke to the meeting of the Colorado Water Congress in Aspen this week. Here are two stories from Aspen Journalism:
The Water Congress is the main lobby for entrenched water interests in Colorado- they oppose changes to the prior appropriation doctrine and other attempts to “upset the apple cart,” while having the interesting position of representing water users on both sides of the Continental Divide. This means they support new water projects for their members, while withholding support for really controversial measures like a new transbasin diversion from the Colorado River system to the Front Range. Given the large constituency they represent, they’re also a group you want on your side.
Well, you just won’t believe what the CWC heard from their guest speakers this week.
“I think we need a governor that stands up and says we’ve got to build new storage and I’m going to lead the way to make sure it happens. I’ll promote worthy projects. I’ll be your lead cheerleader on that,” [said Bob Beauprez…]
Given his enthusiasm for new reservoirs, Beauprez was asked by an audience member if he was proposing new transmountain diversions to augment the Front Range’s water supply.
“No,” Beauprez said emphatically.
Bob Beauprez is so supportive of new reservoirs that he wants to exempt them from NEPA requirements, but only where there’s no water to put in them. Meanwhile…
“What we kept trying to say is, the most important part of this water plan is the process we use to create it,” [Governor John] Hickenlooper said…
“Water can either divide us, or unite us,” Hickenlooper said. “In the end, it’s our choice. I think in this state, we generally choose to collaborate and work together to try and find compromises and make sure that it doesn’t divide us.”
He said that by working together and taking a “calculated and conservative” approach to water planning, the state’s various water factions are, in fact, moving forward.
In other words, whatever the state’s various water factions (as represented both in the Colorado Water Plan process and by the CWC) come up with on their own, that’s what the state should be doing.
I don’t do electoral or partisan politics on this site. But I find it amusing (and instructive) that we have one gubernatorial candidate who tells the established water buffaloes exactly what they want to hear, and another who tells them nothing at all.