Interim Water Resources Review Committee Recommendations
Water Resources Review Committee Recommendations
The Water Resources Review Committee recommended four measures to be introduced as interim committee bills (two bills, two memorials to Congress):
Bill A - to adjust the boundaries of the Republican River Water Conservation District (Eastern Plains) to more equitably allocate the costs of complying with the Republican River Compact to address depletions from groundwater pumping from the Ogallala aquifer.
Bill B - to change the distribution of severance taxes in the State's Operational Fund (DNR portion) to rely on funds received rather than relying on projected revenues and increases the required statutory reserve for DNR grant-related programs to assure more stability for those programs.
Memorial B to Congress - to carry out its commitment to fund the construction of the Arkansas Valley Conduit to provide safe drinking water for people in the lower Arkansas Valley.
Memorial A to Congress - calling on the Corps of Engineers to dredge the lower Arkansas River to alleviate flooding.
Additionally, the Wildfire Matters Committee recommended two bills intended to incentivize fuel reduction to prevent catastrophic fires and their impacts:
A Bill directing the state forest service to solicit applications for grants to fund fuel reduction projects from groups of landowners (HOA's or similar organizations) with property in the wildland-urban interface where risk of fire is moderate to high and land is covered by a community wildfire protection plan. Grant applicants must match any money received dollar-for-dollar; grants may not exceed $2,000 for any one application. Grant applications shall be evaluated by a technical advisory panel.
A Bill establishing a Fire Commission in the division of fire prevention and control in the department of public safety. The Commission would consist of 18 members which include (as drafted) representatives of counties, special districts, fire chiefs, professional firefighters, emergency managers, volunteer firefighters, county sheriffs, and others. (The membership and focus of the Commission were heavily debated and it is likely that some amendments will be offered when the Bill is formally introduced in January).
In response to the impact to local government revenues caused by the Gallagher Amendment which has been in the State Constitution since the early 1980's, the Alternatives to the Gallagher Amendment Committee has recommended bills to deal with the problem. Among them are:
A referred measure to voters to repeal Gallagher in its entirety in 2019.
A bill to authorize regional residential assessment rates in the event Gallagher is repealed.
Upper Colorado River Basin Water Forum
Save the Date for the 8th Annual Forum!
WHAT: Bridging Science, Policy & Practice
WHEN: November 7-8, 2018
WHERE: Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, Colorado
On October 16th, the State of Colorado and Compact of Colorado Communities will co-host a meeting in Westminster to kicoff the Colorado Communities Cooperative.
The Cooperative is being established to facilitate collaboration among state/local governments, infrastructure organizations, NGOs and higher education institutions to advance clean energy and climate preparedness in Colorado. In particular, a number of working groups will be formed at this meeting to tackle action items identified by participants at the 2018 Colorado Communities Symposium.