Letter: Why I’m voting yes on 7A | VailDaily.com

Letter: Why I’m voting yes on 7A

When deciding how to vote on 7A, ask yourself if it is worth a cup of coffee a month to help the Colorado River Water Conservation District keep our water on the Western Slope. 

The River District has been a strong and effective voice on water matters affecting Western Colorado since its creation in 1937. With the ever-expanding population on the Front Range using water from the Western Slope, and a growing population on this side of the divide as well, paired with climate change and drought, the River District’s role has never been more important.

The River District is facing a budget reduction of $480,000 by 2022 — and yet the district is dealing with an unprecedented demand for water in the river. If approved Ballot Measure 7A will cost you $1.90 per year, per $100,000 of market value of your residence, and $7.72 per $100,000 in value of your business. If successful, the district will use 86% of the funds for projects in the 15-county area that will help protect the flow and maintain water quality.

To me, the most important project that an approved 7A would fund is the River District’s efforts to ensure the continuation of the very senior water rights associated with the Shoshone Power Plant in Glenwood Canyon. This 1909 non-consumptive water right commands the flow in the Colorado River from Dillion Reservoir to Glenwood Canyon. This in effect “pulls” water from the headwaters through Eagle, Summit and Garfield Counties and to points west — providing environmental and recreational benefits to all in between while limiting the amount of water that can be diverted to the Front Range.

If 7A fails, the district will continue to cut services, leaving our water in the Colorado River without a voice at the state level. Support the organization that is protecting our Western Slope water. Vote yes on 7A.

Tom Allender

Eagle River Watershed Council, Secretary

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