Our View: The weight of water
Water, sometimes taken for granted, is our area's most important natural resource.
It’s a staple of life and has ramifications on all that surrounds it.
We’re talking about water – and the necessity of our community having a big enough supply of it.
The argument can be made that energy, agriculture or wildlife is our community’s most important natural resource. And that argument isn’t far off the mark.
Energy, agriculture and hunting are important, economic engines that propel our community in positive directions.
However, the Editorial Board contends that water, which often is taken for granted, is our most important resource.
Nothing happens on any of the most important fronts without water. No economic development, no residential growth, no feeding needed supplies into existing homes and businesses, nothing.
It is a feather in the cap of our local officials, at least to the Editorial Board, that is, that the importance of water isn’t lost on them.
The topic is a common item of discussion for the city of Craig and Moffat County, both of which have representatives on the Yampa/White/Green Waterbasin Roundtable.
In December 2008, Shell Frontier Oil & Gas filed for an extensive water claim on the Yampa River, which could potentially use all of the river’s water remaining for development.
This is one example of how Colorado and the nation’s water resources are becoming more and more sought after.
Moffat County is concerned certain aspects of Shell’s filing could adversely affect county residents in the future. The county has been involved in every step of the claim process with the water court in Steamboat Springs.
The city, like the county, also has shown its concern for water issues.
The city recently completed a $9 million upgrade of its water plant that will give the city enough capacity to handle water demands for the next two decades.
This comes on top of its recent expansion of Elkhead Reservoir.
The actions of these two governing bodies – actions that are both wise and necessary, the Editorial Board believes – are for good reason.
If our community is to expand in the future – and it must grow to thrive – it will be the availability of water rather than rules, regulations, taxes and population that has the final say.
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