We can’t let this weekend report from the Summit Daily News slip away unmentioned:
With demographers forecasting 35 percent more people in Colorado by 2035 and climate scientists predicting 15 percent less water available in the Colorado River Basin by mid-century, something has to give.
More and more, public officials, business groups and environmental organization have been talking about additional dams and reservoirs to augment those built in the mid-20th century.
“The water inheritance is running out,” said Josh Penry, the minority leader in the Colorado Senate, in a speech at the summer meeting of the Colorado Water Congress, a consortium of water providers. “Colorado needs to embark on a new round” of storage construction.
“We study too much. We analyze too much,” added Penry, who is from Grand Junction and a Republican candidate for governor…
Well, we can understand why gubernatorial candidate Josh Penry feels like we “study too much.” Penry probably felt that way when the numbers he used to throw around showing that the state new drilling rules were “driving business out” were proven to be false. And giving a speech before the Colorado Water Congress of all places, calling for a “new round” of water projects, one can certainly imagine why Penry would not want what he said ‘analyzed.’
Amendment 52 diverts money that would help meet Colorado’s rapidly growing water demand and maintain its aging water supply system. Half of the money shifted to highway projects under this measure would be available under current law to provide loans and grants for water projects, water conservation, and other programs. A recent study indicated that current and planned water supply projects are likely to meet about 80 percent of the estimated new demand between 2004 and 2030. By shifting over $100 million in the next four years from water projects to transportation projects, Amendment 52 hurts the state’s ability to meet long-term water supply needs.
If the two facts cited above appear to make no sense whatsoever in tandem, almost as if you can’t possibly imagine the same person so plainly straddling both sides of such an important issue in so little elapsed time…clearly, in Josh Penry’s view you “study too much.”