Daily Editorial: Happier headwaters | VailDaily.com

Daily Editorial: Happier headwaters

Vail Daily Editorial BoardVail CO, Colorado

Water in the West has a complicated history and an even more tangled future as more and more people populate areas of the country that can barely sustain cactus. As denizens of a headwater county from which much of that water emanates, we have a huge stake in how much of this vital resource is siphoned off to the Front Range and beyond.Last week, a deal came together that helped ensure a good portion of the water in Eagle Countys streams remains here. Weve run a story about it and will explore it further, but its hard to overemphasize how important this is in the big picture. The fact is all-mighty Denver Water relinquished most of the water rights it held in our county, with the end result being we dont have to worry so much about our stream flows being reduced especially in springtime by Denver folks watering their lawns.This was a great effort by the folks at the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority and their legal representative, Glenn Porzak. It was a nifty bit of finagling and creativity on Porzaks part that helped convince Denver Water that, ultimately, their ability to exercise the water rights they owned in Eagle County were limited, at best. By arriving at a settlement, Denver Water headed off a lawsuit they would have stood little chance of winning.Even so, Denver Water does deserve credit for taking a more reality-based view as opposed to their historic record of grabbing and retaining anything they can get. The thirst of the Front Range cities for mountain water will only increase, and historically the headwater counties end up with the short end of the stick. With cautious optimism, its good to see some more enlightened negotiation on the table while recognizing the efforts of our local water stewards.Alex Miller for the Editorial Board

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