One of the ongoing local political struggles is something called the Southern Delivery System, an ambitious project to pipe water from the Arkansas River up to Colorado Springs. The city has the water rights, but the not the means to deliver it – yet. A backup route was approved yesterday by Fremont County that makes it more likely than ever that it will happen, effectively keeping the city of Pueblo from having a veto over the project.
In a climate that yields less than 16 inches a year of precipitation, water is important. Our water supply is primarily melting snow from the mountains west of here, and the Arkansas River happens to drain some very high snow producing terrain. Battles over water rights have waged for decades all over the west, and the competing interests of growing population centers, recreational users and agriculture all have merit. My hope is that this settles out with a good balance that preserves something for everyone, and does not end up as a big “win – lose”.
The dry warm weather we are having this winter here in the Springs (it was 65 yesterday, and will be over 60 again today) is not helping the water supply. People are going to be watering their lawns if we don’t get some snow!
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