Denver/Western Slope water talks stalled
DENVER ” Even the intervention of Mayor John Hickenlooper has failed to get stalled talks over water between the Western Slope and Denver Water moving.
Western Slope users say Denver Water, the biggest water utility in the state, has failed to respond to a proposal made a year ago.
“The West Slope is very disappointed in a lack of a substantive response from Denver Water,” said Glenn Porzak, an attorney representing Eagle County water users. “We’ve been waiting for more than 14 months.”
It was the first time Western water users had come together to negotiate with Denver, and it was hoped it would help negotiate ways to share the scarce resource.
“We’re not going backward,” said Chips Barry, Denver Water’s general manager. “We’re now in the process of discussing with our board what kind of things we might be able to put on the table in a renewed, vigorous discussion of all these issues.”
Ed Pokorney, Denver Water’s planning director, says money is the real issue ” who pays for what.
“I think there will be a resolution,” Pokorney said. “I just can’t tell you how quickly it may materialize. It’s so complicated and involves so many parties. So each you time address one, you’ve implicated a dozen others. It just gets so very, very difficult.”
Last month Western Slope leaders met with Hickenlooper to ask for help with the stalled talks.
“We’re trying to identify a leader that could help Denver Water and the Western Slope find a better process,” said Rick Sackbauer, a Vail resident and member of the Denver Water citizen advisory commission. “I am optimistic we can do that.”
Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado
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