Originally Published by: Common Sense Institute (CSI) on November 1, 2022

Today, Common Sense Institute (CSI) released a new study, “Adapting Colorado’s Water Systems for a 21st Century Economy and Water Supply in Fort Collins at an event hosted by the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado and the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce with more than 170 attending. The study is part of a year-long effort to examine the impact of factors that indicate less water in our future including climate change and increased population growth.

Though the legal framework governing water, including statutes, compacts and decrees, presents some barriers, the study explains how it also provides stability and flexibility to make needed changes.

Authored by Terry J. Stevinson Fellows Jennifer Gimbel and Eric Kuhn, the study provides recommendations to meet the competing challenges to Colorado’s water supply with specific information and actionable recommendations for each major river basin in Colorado. The fellowship brought together two dynamic and sometimes differing regional perspectives on water policy; one fellow with expertise in the Front Range and the other from the Western Slope.

“The number one thing we all have to understand is we have to do more with less,” said Kuhn. “How do we preserve the things that make Colorado the Colorado we recognize today? To save attributes like outdoor recreation and our agricultural economy, we simply have to do more with less.”

“We need to think creatively,” said Gimbel. “To move forward successfully, we have to seize on innovative ideas. Regionalization of projects has already delivered innovation and we have to build on those examples.”

The study included feedback and review from an impressive advisory group that includes, Eric Wilkinson, Formerly General Manager of Northern Water, Harold Smethills, Founder of Sterling Ranch, Jill Ozarski, Environmental Program Officer at Walton Family Foundation, Jim Yahn, General Manager of North Sterling Irrigation District, Karen Kwon, Associate Project Director at Colorado River Sustainability Campaign, Mark Pifher, Formerly Executive Director of Aurora Water, 2018 Wayne N. Aspinall Recipient, Mary Gearhart, Senior Manager of Policy and Strategy at Denver Utilities, Mike King, Formerly Executive Director at Colorado Department of Natural Resources and Chief External Affairs Officer of Water Resource Strategy at Denver Water, Russ George, Former Director of Compact Negotiations of the Interbasin Compact Committee, and Sonja Chavez, General Manager of Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District.

Read the full report: https://commonsenseinstituteco.org/


Congratulations to the City of Fort Collins Economic Health team and Rich Werner, President/CEO of Upstate Colorado.  Both were recognized at the Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) 2022 EDIE awards.  These awards recognize economic development excellence.  The most recognized award in economic development in Colorado, the EDIE represents outstanding achievements by its members, organizations, communities, companies, individuals, and legislators for their outstanding achievements in economic development in the State of Colorado. Since 1989, EDCC has celebrated the achievements of over 200 award winners.