Small ripples but no big waves from drought |

Small ripples but no big waves from drought

Allen Best
Daily file photo Lewis Atencio fixes the pattern of his lawn sprinkler at his Gypsum home in this file photo from July, 2002.

If the drought of 2002 has yielded no major waves of change, it has produced ripples. Chris Treese, director of governmental affairs for the Colorado River Water Conservation District, points to two of them.First, state legislators passed a law allowing water banking. In essence, this allows water now used for agriculture to more easily be reallocated for use by cities in water-short years.

“It really makes water administration more flexible,” Treese says.Second are interruptible water supplies. Again, the most likely buyers of the water would be cities or towns, and the most likely sellers would be farmers or ditch or reservoir companies.

“So far, they’re just ripples’ from the 2002 drought. They’re largely unproven,” Treese says. “We haven’t seen a lot of water banks nor have we seen a lot of interruptible supply arrangements made.”A third response has been more focus on conservation measures. Again, like the legislative changes, this change lies more in the realm of possible than the real.

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