Thursday, October 9, 2008

Colorado's governor wants to speed up drought planning

Trading (via McClatchy): Policies put into place today to counter the worst effects of climate change will take years to take hold, but could reduce the rate of change and improve Colorado's long-range planning, Gov. Bill Ritter said Wednesday. "At no time has our water been threatened so much by drought, climate change and population growth," Ritter said. "As we assess the impact of climate change, water absolutely has to be a part of the discussion."

Ritter kicked off the Governor's Conference on Managing Drought and Climate Risk, a three-day conference designed to begin planning for possible droughts in a time of climate change. Ritter called for communities to put new emphasis on planning for drought.

…Ritter called for the state to begin building a framework to determine the scope of obstacles facing water users. He called for innovative solutions. "If we fail, we impact the future of our children and grandchildren," Ritter said....

The conference unveiled a new report by the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the University of Colorado at Boulder that projects vast changes for Colorado agriculture, recreation and cities. The Colorado Water Foundation issued its own report on how climate change affects water. The reports predict a new climate for Colorado that will mean less intense winters, less snowpack, more reliance on rainfall, longer growing seasons and higher temperatures.

Harris Sherman, director of the Department of Natural Resources, called for all state municipal water providers to come up with drought plans. "Only 27 percent of the state's water suppliers have drought plans," Sherman said, adding that they are mostly the larger cities in the state. "We need to do better."

Mesa Verde, an earlier civilization in Colorado done in by resource constraints, shot by crazymonk, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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