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Colorado Water Agreement Set to be Unveiled

Denver Water officials and Governor John Hickenlooper and others will gather in Grand County Thursday morning to announce what’s being billed as an historic water cooperative agreement between the Denver metro area and western Colorado communities.

Front Range water agencies like Denver Water have long been at odds with their counterparts on the western slope; where all the water would flow were it not for a complex collection system of pumps and pipes and reservoirs that send it back over the mountains to the arid eastern plains. 

Details about the agreement set to be unveiled at the Devil’s Thumb Ranch resort in Tabernash are slim.  But officials with Denver Water say the so-called Colorado River Cooperative Agreement will address the water supply challenges of the metro area and the environmental needs of the western slope. 

Conservation groups and anglers there often point out that more than ¾ of the native flows of the Colorado River and its tributary the Frasier don’t even get a chance to reach the western half of the state, and they say that is having noticeable impacts on the ecology of those rivers. 

Kirk Siegler reports for NPR, based out of NPR West in California.
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