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Phase 2 more money
Colorado Water Conservation Board will be discussing the issue of transbasin water diversions, as they make planes to move forward with the second phase of a statewide water study. The possibility of running out of the $2.8 million of state-allocated funds by the time staff members finish assessing state water needs next summer, has been raised by the board. The board agreed Wednesday to consider asking the legislature to allocate an additional $500,000 to finish the work staff members started more than a year ago.
Colorado's main water supplies fall in the form of snow on the Continental Divide's west side. 80 percent of the population lives east of the Divide. Massive construction projects to fulfill the populations needs, required shipping water from west to east - usually by means of tunnels carved deep beneath the mountains. Residents from the Western Slope worry that new transmountain diversions will dry up the streams and lakes essential to their recreation economy and quality of life.
The Water Conservation Board plans to release first-phase results of its study on Tuesday, which will predict how Colorado will use water and where it will come from. Funded by the legislature in 2003, the study will be given to state lawmakers by Dec. 1 to help them develop a plan to fill the gaps between supply and demand.