Colorado Water: Lots of ‘storage’ in H2O plan, though few ‘dams’

November 28, 2015 - Essential Water

In a just-released Colorado Water Plan, it’s singular to see a word “dam” used.

And yet, dams and reservoirs are during a core of Colorado’s water-supply systems — past, benefaction and future.

The word “dam” does not seem during all, for example, in territory 10 of a H2O plan, that is a “Critical Action Plan” for a destiny of H2O supply in Colorado.

Instead of regulating “dam” or “dams,” a state H2O plan, and many people during H2O meetings in Colorado, use a word “storage,” as in “water storage” or “storage project” to news some form of structure that backs adult and binds water.

In territory 10, where “dam” is abandoned altogether, “storage” merits 14 uses.

In territory 6.5, a word “dam” is used only twice in a 30-page territory about “infrastructure,” while “storage” is used some-more than 160 times.

And in territory 4, “dam” is used 13 times, as one competence design in a territory called “Water Supply.” But “storage” is used 71 times.

In a state like Colorado that can store 7.5 million acre-feet of H2O in 1,953 reservoirs — all shaped by dams of some arrange — a use looks a bit like “dam” avoidance.

There are, however, a few instances in a H2O devise where “dam” or “dams” are used in a slight way.

“While new storage projects will positively play a purpose in assembly a state’s H2O needs, a boost and reconstruction of existent dams and reservoirs will yield some-more options for a trail forward, as ch. 4 discussed,” a devise states, for example, in territory 6.5.

In that context, a use of “dams and reservoirs” sounds appropriate, and not overly damning, one would suppose.

Here’s another example:

“While storage is a vicious component for handling Colorado’s destiny H2O supplies, new storage projects might be quarrelsome and face countless hurdles, including needing and funding,” a devise states in territory 4. “In many cases, it might be some-more unsentimental and fit to reallocate or boost an existent dam and fountainhead than to build a totally new structure.”

Again, a clearly harmless use of “dam and reservoir,” that is to a plan’s credit, during slightest used linguistically.

But “dam” is not a renouned tenure in a H2O plan. “Storage” is a elite word.

In an op-ed square in The Aspen Times on Nov. 23, Gary Wockner of Save a Colorado pronounced a use of “storage” was “an Orwellian double-speak approach of observant some-more dams, diversions and stream destruction.”

Double-speak or not, “storage” is used a lot in a plan, including 4 times in a dual sentences below, that news a priorities of a Arkansas River Basin.

“Storage is essential to assembly all of a basin’s consumptive, environmental and recreational needs,” a devise states in territory 6.2. “In further to normal storage, aquifer storage and liberation contingency be deliberate and investigated as a destiny storage option.”

To be fair, a H2O devise does plead and foster a thought of “aquifer storage,” that does not need dams. It requires pipes and pumps to store H2O underground, though not dams. So aquifer storage is “storage,” though though “dams.”

Beyond “storage”

“Storage” was on a mind of Patricia Wells during a Colorado Water Conservation Board assembly in Denver on Nov. 19, when she told her associate house members that “words matter.”

Wells is ubiquitous warn for and represents a city and county of Denver on a H2O board. She suggested that “storage” might have ragged out a utility as a substitution for “dam.”

“We keep observant ‘storage,’ and what that connotes for people is a large fountainhead that takes a H2O out of a stream and sends it down a siren to a metropolitan diagnosis plant, and that’s what storage is,” Wells said. “But in fact, maybe we should call them ‘water-management facilities.’ Because, as we all know, if we can store a water, we can conduct a water. And that might be for low-flow releases in a summer. That might be for a vessel competition by a whitewater park. So ‘storage’ doesn’t only meant to accommodate a supply gap. It can also meant to accommodate all a other goals in a state H2O plan.”

Wells done her thought during a “basin directors’ report” territory of a Colorado Water Conservation Board meeting, after a Colorado Water Plan had been authorized and presented to a governor.

Earlier in his director’s news Russell George, who represents a Colorado River Basin on a board, also pronounced denunciation was critical in moulding perceptions about water, generally about “reuse” water.

“Because right now, when you’re carrying a review with anybody about reuse, it’s a negative,” George said, observant reuse was infrequently called “toilet to tap.”

“That arrange of picture isn’t helpful, though it’s real,” George said. “The thought is, let’s see if we can urge a tinge of that conversation. we consider we positively have to do that. It’s a informative thing, and we know that reuse will increasingly be partial of a solutions in a future, so we need to start to change a denunciation and a impact of language.”

“Reuse” water, by a way, is “water used some-more than once or recycled,” according to a WateReuse Association, that records it is already a common metropolitan practice.

Multipurpose PR

Other difference with layered meanings are also used in a H2O plan, including “multipurpose,” “balanced” and “education.”

“Multipurpose,” as in “multipurpose projects,” has a halo over it, and a H2O devise seems to advise as prolonged as a devise is “multipurpose,” it’s good to go.

“Those projects and methods that intentionally aim consumptive and nonconsumptive advantages are categorized as multipurpose,” states territory 6.5, with an importance on “multipurpose,” as if defining a term.

But a judgment in territory 4 says “multipurpose” projects “take into comment mixed users and mixed benefits, and different interests turn concerned during a formulation process.”

But that could news roughly any “storage” devise in Colorado.

Then there is “balanced,” that is mostly used by Front Range H2O providers and seems to advise a use of Western Slope H2O to assistance accommodate a state’s H2O demands.

In territory 6.5 for example, a devise says a “primary message” of a South Platte and Metro dish roundtables was support for “water supply solutions that were ‘pragmatic, offset and unchanging with Colorado H2O law and skill rights.’”

Joe Stibrich, a H2O resources process manager during Aurora Water, and a member of a Metro Basin roundtable, told a Colorado Water Conservation Board on Nov. 19 that ”the growth of additional storage was also identified as an essential apparatus for implementing these offset solutions.”

And Joe Frank, conduct of a South Platte River Basin roundtable, told a house that his roundtable wants to see “a offset module to investigate, safety and rise Colorado River supply options.”

“Education” is another heavily used word in a H2O sector. Sometimes, “education” means training students about water. But often, it means “public relations.”

“Education” mostly is total with “outreach” in a H2O plan, as in territory 9.5, that is called “Outreach, Education and Public Engagement.”

“‘Outreach’ creates open recognition of policies and processes, since ‘education’ promotes a deeper bargain of these topics,” a H2O devise states. “Both are prerequisites to ‘public engagement.’”

The word “public relations,” however, is not used in a territory about “Outreach, Education and Public Engagement.”

But that doesn’t meant PR is absent from a plan; it’s only called “outreach and preparation activities.”

“With execution of a dish doing skeleton and Colorado’s Water Plan in 2015, it will be needed that a Colorado H2O village means movement for overdo and preparation activities, and that appropriation for such activities boost as a village implements H2O supply solutions,” a devise states in territory 9.5.

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