MARCH 6, 2014: GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE FRASER RIVER!!!
All our activism, letter writing, educational efforts, hard work and protest have finally paid off. This is the biggest (and best) news in a long, long time about the Fraser! TU has helped broker a deal with Denver Water and Grand County which will actually help to save the Fraser. Several of TU's key demands will be included in the new agreement. Foremost among these are a science-based approach to monitoring the health of the river and inclusion of "learning by doing" in the actual permit. We need to push hard to make sure our proposals are included in the final agreement.
Not all our prayers for our rivers have been answered. TU continues pushing for more mitigation of the impacts of diversion, stronger water temperature control, greater flushing flows and mandatory conservation. We want more water to remain on the western side of the Continental Divide. Significant, mandatory conservation practices on the Front Range could put a huge dent in their demand for West Slope water and should be in place. Other cities, such as Las Vegas, have been far more effective at reducing per-capita water use than we have been in Colorado and we must follow their example. Water prices on the Front Range are the lowest in the west, and should reflect the full costs of that water, including the environmental impacts of diversion.
TU shares many goals with organizations who have adopted the "not one more drop to the Front Range" philosophy, yet we have slightly differing strategies for achieving the best results. We are all trying to save our rivers and environment. At TU, we acknowledge that 80% of Colorado's population (along with their associated political power and money) is east of the Divide and the population of the Front Range will continue to grow and demand more water. Water doesn't flow downhill, it flows to money and power. Ultimately, our task is to keep our rivers as healthy as possible based on the reality here in Grand County.
One key element in the success of the agreement we support is additional water storage. For the agreement to work, Gross reservoir above Boulder needs to grow. Efforts are also under way to find additional storage possibilities here in Grand County.
The proposed agreement does not give TU everything we wanted, but that is the fundamental nature of compromise. We must remain vigilant and can't simply pretend that diverting 60% (or more) of the Fraser has no impact on the river, but THIS IS HUGE and on balance, very positive. Please read more about this important agreement by clicking here. The document available by clicking Save the Fraser is a summary of the proposed agreement. Please note the marked segments in particular.
If you're ready to write your letters or emails to ensure our success, CLICK HERE for some help, addresses and guidance.