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CE4BC970F4DE7806872587DE005B2D78 Hearing Summary


Date Feb 3, 2022      
Location HCR 0107

Presentation on Colorado River Districts - Committee Discussion Only

09:35:55 AM  
Representative McCormick introduced Zane Kessler and Steve Wolff.
09:36:32 AM  
Zane Kessler, Colorado
River Water Conservation District, introduced his presentation (Attachment
A).  He spoke about the challenges associated with the river basins
and spoke about the current water usage across the upper and lower Colorado
River basin.  
09:43:51 AM  
Mr. Kessler continued to speak about the supply issues across the Western Slope and the impacts of climate on water supply. He spoke about the lack of runoff, decreased snowpack, and changes in soil moisture.
09:47:06 AM  
Mr. Kessler discussed the ballot measures that his district passed recently related to sustaining water for farms, legal protections for water supply, maintaining healthy rivers, and drinking water protection. He talked about the funds raised to ensure that the district can complete various water related projects.
09:49:50 AM  
Steve Wolff, Southwestern Water Conservation District, introduced his presentation (Attachment B). He spoke about the history of the district, the water supply projects, outreach efforts, tribal engagement, and its grant program.
09:55:19 AM  
Mr. Wolff discussed the current issues and challenges that his district is facing, including declining water supply, resource planning, infrastructure, maintaining existing water rights, and issues on the Colorado River.
09:58:09 AM  

Mr. Wolff spoke about Lake Powell and Lake Mead and how the two reservoirs are used differently by the upper and lower river basins. He discussed the operation of the reservoirs during drought and the creation of the drought contingency plans. He told the committee about the need to meet compact compliance using Lake Powell and the risks associated with reaching critical reservoir elevations, which would impact the ability to generate hydropower.

10:02:17 AM  
Mr. Wolff told the committee about the Upper Basin drought contingency plan, including the drought response operations agreement and the demand management storage agreement. He showed the committee graphs that display the current and projected elevations of Lake Powell and Lake Mead and the potential shortages in each.
10:05:48 AM  
Mr. Wolff and Mr.
Kessler responded to questions from the committee.  
10:19:18 AM  
Mr. Wolff and Mr.
Kessler continued to respond to questions.
10:27:39 AM  
Questions continued.
10:40:18 AM  
Questions continued.
10:40:29 AM  
Representative McCormick thanked the presenters.

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