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Southwest Basin water plan update seeks public comment

A comment period is open for the Southwest Basin Implementation Plan update.
Plans outline water management in Southwest Colorado

The updated Southwest Basin Implementation Plan is open for public comment through Nov. 15.

Each of Colorado’s nine river basins are undergoing updates to their implementation plans. Each river basin has its own roundtable made up of members of that region.

The public comments help shape the content of these plans, which inform how water is managed at a local level.

To review the plan and submit comments visit engagecwcb.org.

“There’s no one better suited to inform local planning than our local citizens, who live, work and recreate in the basins, and understand the critical role that water and healthy rivers play in our economy, environment and everyday lives,” the Water Information Program said in a news release.

Basin implementation plans are developed and reviewed by roundtable board members to help frame regional issues as part of the overall creation of Colorado’s statewide water plan.

While the Colorado Water Plan seeks to address statewide water concerns, specific basin plans are more focused on local needs, plans, projects and goals.

The basin implementation plans are developed by roundtable members for that region with support from the community. The updated plans help inform the statewide water plan as well as direct spending priorities for the roundtables.

Before the pandemic Southwest Basin Roundtable meetings were held at the Dolores Water Conservancy District meeting room. For the time being, they are being held virtually via Zoom. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal file)

Basin roundtables and the Colorado Water Conservation Board offer grant funding for water projects in the state’s nine river basins.

The roundtables were developed by the Colorado Water Conservation Board in 2005 to “facilitate discussions on water management issues and encourage locally driven collaborative solutions,” according to the CWCB Basin Roundtable website.

They are made up of local volunteer members who represent a variety of interests, including agriculture, environment and recreation. Monthly meetings are open to the public, and are where funding and other strategic decisions are made. There are 35 members on the Southwest Basin Roundtable.

“You, and others who care about water conservation, can participate and help influence the decision-making process,” the news release says. “The first step toward responsibly managing water is working to ensure the public helps shape these plans.”

The next Southwest Basin Roundtable meeting is at 3 p.m. Oct. 28 via Zoom. For more information and the agenda, visit the Southwest Basin Roundtable website.