Letter: Support Colorado Proposition DD
As Colorado’s population grows and the climate changes, we face an imbalance between water supply and water demand. By 2060, Colorado’s population is projected to double, bringing huge increases in demand for water. At the same time, the amount of water available in the state will remain consistent or even decline as a result of changing climate patterns. Unless we address this imbalance, Colorado’s economy and its rivers and streams will be at risk.
The Colorado Water Plan offers a balanced approach to meeting the state’s future water needs while protecting Colorado’s waterways. Finalized in 2015, the water plan emphasizes water conservation, flexible water-sharing arrangements, multi-use water projects, and other environmentally-sensible tools for delivering water to our growing population. Likewise, the plan calls for projects that improve river and stream health for the benefit of Colorado’s natural environment and our recreation-based economy. The plan also seeks to preserve Colorado’s farms and ranches and agricultural heritage.
Fully implementing the Colorado Water Plan is expected to cost at least $50 million annually, and likely much more. Unfortunately, these dollars are not currently available. Proposition DD, on the statewide ballot this November, would legalize sports gambling with a tax of up to $29 million per year on the proceeds allocated towards implementing the water plan. Sports gambling would be limited to casinos in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek and online platforms operated through those casinos.
Proposition DD is a step in the right direction towards protecting Colorado’s rivers and streams and the quality of life we enjoy here.
Drew Peternell, Colorado Water Program Director, Trout Unlimited