|On Thursday, February 13th, the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee passed SB14-115 approving the state legislature’s role in developing the Colorado Water Plan, which is a massive, multi-year effort to secure the future of our state’s most critical natural resource.
Senator Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass, and Senator Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, worked with the Governor’s office and listened to other stakeholders to amend SB14-115 achieving consensus on: the role the legislature, commitment to protecting Basin Roundtable Plans (BIPs) and the opportunity for statewide public comment on the plan.
Any discussion of our future water needs always spark statewide interest. The Governor’s executive order creating the Colorado Water Plan process did not include a role for the legislature. As a state, we need to be assured that the long term planning for water incorporates as many voices as possible, including the elected officials representing their constituents. SB14-115 is intentionally bipartisan and has sponsors that represent geographical diversity across the state.
“Every year, the Colorado General Assembly considers numerous water-related bills – placing lawmakers at the center of Colorado’s water policy conversations,” said Sen. Schwartz, D-Snowmass, Chair of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy Committee, and the Water Resources Review Committee. “The goal of this bill is not to have the legislature take over the process of creating the Colorado Water Plan. Instead, it’s intended to broaden the scope of participation and ensure that all voices are heard in this planning process including the legislature. Bottom line, SB14-115 will allow for more input and affirms the countless hours of effort put into the plan by Basin Roundtables, the Interbasin Compact Committee, stakeholders at the grassroots level, and reaches out to all Coloradans.”
Elements of the Bill: