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H_ALW_2022A 02/03/2022 09:35:37 AM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK, & WATER
Date 02/03/2022
Attendance
Holtorf X
Lindsay X
Lontine X
McLachlan X
Pelton X
Roberts X
Titone X
Valdez D. E
Will X
Catlin X
McCormick X
Time 09:35:37 AM to 11:21:07 AM
Place HCR 0107
This Meeting was called to order by McCormick
This Report was prepared by Alexa Kelly
Hearing Items Action Taken
Presentation on Colorado River Districts Committee Discussion Only
Presentation on Current Water Policy Issues Committee Discussion Only
HB22-1022 Referred to the Committee of the Whole

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.



Presentation on Current Water Policy Issues - Committee Discussion Only


10:42:08 AM  

Representative McCormick introduced Travis Smith.

10:42:35 AM  
Travis Smith, National Wild Turkey Federation, introduced himself and gave an overview of his background and experience working on water issues in Colorado. He told the committee the different topics he wants to discuss with members during his presentation.
10:51:45 AM  
Mr. Smith outlined what he thinks are the most pressing policy issues around water policy, including drought, population growth, and demand management.
10:52:39 AM  
Mr. Smith responded to questions from the committee.
10:59:17 AM  
Mr. Smith spoke about the rural-urban divide on water and how to engage in conversation about the needs and the role of each side.
11:02:20 AM  
Mr. Smith continued to respond to questions from the committee.
11:02:38 AM  

Mr. Smith told the committee about post-fire impacts and how they are tied to water supply. He replied to questions from the committee.

11:12:02 AM  
Representative McCormick thanked Mr. Smith for his presentation.



HB22-1022 - Referred to the Committee of the Whole


11:12:47 AM  
Representative Roberts,
bill sponsor, presented HB22-1022. The State Auditor completed a performance
audit of the Colorado State Fair Authority (authority) in 2019.  This
bill includes recommendations from the audit that require legislation to
implement.  These recommendations include:

- clarifying that the Commissioner of Agriculture, in consultation with
the authority board, will appoint and employ a manager for the authority;

- requiring the authority board to establish a process for approving industry
displays; and

- allowing the authority to collaborate with a state agency or industry
representative in developing an industry display.




He passed out
a fact sheet to the committee (Attachment C).
11:16:14 AM  
Representative Roberts responded to questions from the committee.
11:16:40 AM  
Scott Stoller, representing Colorado Department of Agriculture - State Fair, testified in support of the bill.
11:19:05 AM  
Representative Roberts responded to questions from the committee and gave final comments on the bill.


11:20:54 AM
Motion Refer House Bill 22-1022 to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Roberts
Seconded Titone
Holtorf Yes
Lindsay Yes
Lontine Yes
McLachlan Yes
Pelton Yes
Roberts Yes
Titone Yes
Valdez D. Excused
Will Yes
Catlin Yes
McCormick Yes
Final YES: 10   NO: 0   EXC: 1   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


11:21:07 AM   The committee adjourned.






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