The Yampa Canyon through the Dinosaur National Monument is prized for its scenery and whitewater.
Credit Photo by Kirk Siegler
Colorado’s Yampa River is one of the last-free flowing rivers in the West and its water has long been eyed by the oil shale industry and by water agencies looking for new sources to tap to feed communities and farms hundreds of miles away. But recently Shell Oil shelved an application to divert water from the Yampa for mining, and a powerful Front Range water utility has put its interest in the Yampa on hold. This has environmentalists looking to seize the moment and drum up support to protect the river.
A new report by a California water think-tank reveals that water users in the seven-state Colorado River basin are getting more efficient and consuming less water. But the study by the Pacific Institute also notes that in the long-term, demand will still out-strip supply in the arid region.
The Yampa River in northwest Colorado is running at record levels. But water managers caution this year is probably an anomaly.
Credit KUNC file photo
Officials with the agency that provides water to scores of cities and farms in northeastern Colorado say they’re close to announcing an agreement that seeks to ease long-standing tensions between water users on the Front Range and the western slope. The pending agreement is expected to be similar to one recently announced by Denver Water.