The Road Not Taken

By Julia Gallucci, water education coordinator, Colorado Springs Utilities

roadlesstakenWhen Robert Frost wrote his poem he probably wasn’t plagued by water issues, and neither are most Colorado citizens. While water is our bread and butter, how often do the rest of us think about, for example, the State Water Plan?

Two organizations, Colorado Competitive Council and Accelerate Colorado intend to brief the Colorado business community on Colorado’s Water Plan. These lobbying groups are interested in framing what Colorado Business wants around water, and they hope to use this framework to weigh in on the State’s Water Plan.

This is an excellent beginning to an independent State Water Plan public process, one from which, perhaps, the IBCC can draw ideas. Colorado Competitive Council and Accelerate Colorado have designed a “road show” which they successfully presented in Colorado Springs on April 2nd. In cities across Colorado, they leverage the connections and monthly forum of organizations like Chambers of Commerce to bring together state water experts like John Stulp and local experts like Wayne Vanderschuere to explain local and state water planning and what we are about. Then the organizers present their Water Principles from the Colorado Business Community as the proposed framework for how Colorado Business considers water and what they want from future water planning. After an information-packed session, they ask for input and feedback on their Water Principles and the State’s Water Plan. (For those of us who live within the Arkansas Basin, you also may get involved via the Arkansas Basin Roundtable’s new webpage.)

What were my parting thoughts? A solid, ninety-minute informational session, for the uninitiated, begged more questions than it answered. A State Water Plan public process is the road less traveled. This road will require enormous fortitude if our anticipated result is that citizens of Colorado will volunteer informed feedback. My hat’s off to this effort. It is a good reminder that it will take more than all of us.

Julia Gallucci is the water education coordinator for Colorado Springs Utilities and connects with thousands of adults and children each year.