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Colorado's Business Future: State's H2O Seen as Key Ingredient

Photo: Coloradans enjoy the quality of life afforded by the state's large number of rivers and streams. Courtesy: Fishpondusa.com
Photo: Coloradans enjoy the quality of life afforded by the state's large number of rivers and streams. Courtesy: Fishpondusa.com
May 22, 2014

PUEBLO, Colo. – If the Colorado economy were a glass, water makes the glass half full.

That was the message heard on Wednesday by the Colorado Water Conservation Board in Pueblo.

Business leaders across the state spoke on behalf of the state's water plan and its importance to business development.

John Le Coq, co-founder and co-owner of the Denver-based companies Fishpond and Lilypond, said water has everything to do with his business plan.

"I see it as more of an economic driver that's pulling people to the state because of the playground we have in our backyard,” he said. “It's bringing quality people. "

Le Coq delivered a letter on Wednesday to the Water Conservation Board signed by more than 100 Colorado companies that share his opinion.

They want to make sure the state and the governor prioritize Colorado's rivers and streams because of their economic benefits.

According to the business coalition, Protect the Flows, the Colorado River supports $26 billion in recreation and 240,000 jobs in six states.

Craig Mackey, Project the Flow’s co-director, said with the state's population projected to double by 2050, Colorado should commit to reducing municipal water usage by 35 percent in that time period.

"If we want to have a healthy, diverse economy in the state of Colorado, we need to make sure that we have ample, healthy, natural resources, including water and rivers," he stressed.

Mackey said because more than 80 percent of water diverted from area rivers goes to farms and ranches, an investment in agricultural infrastructure is key.

"We certainly don't want to see our farms dry up and go away,” he explained. “We certainly don't want to see that part of the ranching and farming tradition of Colorado dry up and blow away, and we need that part of our economy. "

Maximizing water storage systems is also seen as important to protect water supplies when record snowfall – as seen this season – creates an excess of the precious resource.


Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - CO