Vail Daily letter: Focus on water |

Vail Daily letter: Focus on water

Gov. Hickenlooper’s mention of the Colorado Water Plan in his 2014 State of the State address reinforces just how important the issue of water is for everyone in every region of Colorado. Water is critical to our common future. Not just for growing cities but to support Colorado’s traditional economies of agriculture and tourism, the natural environment and recreation opportunities.

Whether you are visiting the state, or a local out there hunting, fishing, skiing, rafting, or just enjoying the scenic views, the health of our rivers and environment is what most determines the great Colorado outdoor experience. And that great experience, enjoyed by so many on or along the Colorado River and its tributaries, generates $26 billion annually for the economies of Colorado, the Southwest — as well as a quarter million sustainable American jobs.

I and other members of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments look forward to working with the governor on the State Water Plan. His focus on conservation and practical solutions will be critical to ensuring a balanced protection of water for our cities, farms and the rivers that sustain our Colorado way of life.

Rachel Richards

Pitkin County Commissioner and Vice-Chair, Northwest Colorado Council of Governments Water Quality/Quantity Committee

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