Governor Hickenlooper: Colorado is still experiencing a difficult drought #COdrought

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Click here to read the Governor’s prepared remarks from the State of the State speech yesterday. Here’s an excerpt:

As the wildfires remind us, Colorado is still experiencing a difficult drought. About 95 percent of Colorado is under severe or worse drought conditions. Our snowpack is well below average. This affects far more than the outdoor recreation industry; it impacts all of Colorado.

That’s why we set a goal of crafting a state water plan by 2015 … and much work has already been done. While expanding reservoir capacity makes sense, and rotational fallowing of agricultural land shows great promise, every discussion about water should start with conservation [ed. emphasis mine].

The Interbasin Compact Committee and Basin Roundtable process affords stakeholders in each basin a forum for discussion. Our water plan will stand on the shoulders of their work. We know that a plan is not a silver bullet, but it is an essential next step if we are to shape how Colorado will look in the future. As farmers and ranchers brace for what could be another hard year of drought, every property owner who lives in the mountains to our west will need to make their own preparations…

Many scientists believe that our severe drought, the bark beetle epidemic and the terrible fire season are further evidence of climate change. While no state can address the issue in isolation, reducing pollutants and promoting sustainable development, ought to be common ground for all of us.

More 2013 Colorado legislation coverage here.

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