Those working in the Upper Basin of the Colorado River to break the impasse over future allocations of the river want to accomplish a few select things: They want the upper and lower basins to be treated equitably. They want acknowledgment that the majority of the usage problem is occurring in the lower basin states of California, Arizona and Nevada. They want to preserve the economic vitality of the upper basin states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico.
Using an airplane analogy, Becky Mitchell, Colorado’s commissioner on the Upper Colorado River Commission, said, “You need to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others. That has to be our strategy.” In the 100th year of the Colorado River Compact — which was signed on Thanksgiving Day 1922 — the use of the river remains in high contention. Members of a panel at the Northern Water Conservancy District’s fall symposium Tuesday in Loveland detailed the past, present, and future of the milestone agreement that population growth and climate warming have put into peril….
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