WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
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04:44 PM -- Public Testimony
04:45 PM -- John Taylor, Hinsdale County resident and member of the Southwestern Water Conservation District, discussed how unused or abandoned water rights might be used to meet compact calls. Representative Curry asked if the Southwestern Water Conservation District Board has discussed the concept of water banks and whether pre-1922 water rights have been quantified. Mr. Taylor indicated that, to his knowledge, they had not done either.
04:47 PM -- Chris Treese, Colorado River District, commented that the state already uses pre-1922 water rights and that the legal mechanism for protecting those water rights has only been looked at preliminarily. He mentioned that a current study on the Colorado River is considering ways to meet increased demand and protect senior water rights.
04:51 PM -- Senator Whitehead discussed the importance of protecting pre-1922 water rights. He emphasized that abandonment must be approached with caution because this water may already be used by other water users.
04:52 PM-- Mike Preston, Dolores Water Conservancy District, discussed the importance of money appropriated to the Division of Wildlife that has been used to address invasive mussels. He explained that this money has funded the division's boat inspection program aimed at preventing the introduction of invasive mussels into new waters. He asked for the legislature's continued support of the division's program.
04:53 PM -- Win Wright, Mancos Water Conservation District, offered comments about the threat of invasive mussels. He explained that there are various water-quality indicators for the potential of mussel colonization, but that these indicators are not complete; some water bodies have a chemical composition that impact mussel survival. He explained that the calcite saturation conditions that exist in Jackson Gulch should cause mussel shells to dissolve. He recommended that funding should be prioritized for water bodies that have the chemical composition that allow mussels to survive. He answered questions from the committee.
05:00 PM -- John Whitney, Congressmen John Salazar's Office, provided an update on Jackson Gulch rehabilitation legislation. He explained that $2.6 million was secured in the U.S. House of Representatives, however the Senate Bill did does not yet have an appropriation for the project.