Colorado Currents - Summer 2015
Water Protection Priorities for Colorado
“Every conversation about water ought to begin with conservation.” Those were the words of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper in his 2013 State of the State Address. In May 2013, Governor Hickenlooper issued an executive order directing the Colorado Water Conservation Board to develop a “State Water Plan” that would create a roadmap for water use.
For many years, Colorado cities and towns have pulled water from the state’s rivers to meet growing demand. Colorado’s rivers cannot sustain this demand on a long-term basis. Water conservation and healthy river flows should be across the board priorities in Colorado. As little as a 1% reduction per year in water use across Colorado could conserve enough water to serve more than 1.8 million Colorado families. At a minimum, this should be adopted as a goal through 2050. Read more.
Fracking Front Lines: Oil & Gas Development’s Community Impacts
Earlier this year, Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund launched www.FrackingFrontlines.com to make sure policy makers and lawmakers across Colorado saw the real impacts of lenient regulation of oil and gas development across Colorado. The website profiles Coloradans and their communities, living near oil and gas development, making the case for stronger regulations to protect water, health and community safety. Read more.
Historic Victory to Protect Our Water
After ten years the US EPA has restored protection under the Clean Water Act to 60% of our stream miles and millions of acres of wetlands. These are waterways that used to be protected from pollution, but those protections were called into question a decade ago, putting the sources of drinking water for 1 in 3 Americans at risk. Thank you EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and President Obama for fixing this problem and protecting clean water.
Colorado Legislative Report
A deeply divided Colorado Legislature adjourned on May 6. The anti-environment State Senate majority and narrowly pro-environment House created a ground zero for radical anti-environment legislation.
Extreme measures introduced in 2016 would have undermined compliance with the Clean Power Plan and extended state eminent domain claims over federal lands in Colorado. Clean Water Action and allies helped to block bills to undo the state’s renewable energy standard and climate change legislation. Read more.
Turning the Focus to Municipal Elections
This spring, Clean Water Action endorsed Kristin Stephens, Carl Wangsvick, and Nancy Tellez for the Fort Collins City Council, and Ward Luthi for Mayor of Fort Collins. Fort Collins has been a stronghold of environmental activism and sustainability for many years. In 2013, the City of Fort Collins passed a ban on fracking within the city. Read more.