Two regional newspapers have published extensive takeouts on the water supply situation – increasingly tenuous – in their respective states.
The Portland Oregonian points out how water demand, and groundwater extraction, has increased dramatically in the last half-century, and how it is expected to continue that way in the next few decades.
The supply difficulties are not limited to the relatively dry portion of the state east of the Cascades, much of which is desert or highly arid country. on the westside, demand has increased heavily, most notably in Washington County (rapidly-growing, and the state’s second largest, located just west of Portland) and Clackmas County (just south of Portland).
Said the article: “In a state that boasts about webbed feet, access to water is increasingly contested. The state estimates that in the coming years, demand will grow by 1.2 million acre-feet; we use about 9 million acre-feet now. Whoever controls the limited supply will control new housing and industry and how farming expands.”
Also today, the Denver Post reports that a mass of Front Range water projects, with a combined estimated price tag of upwards of $3 billion, are putting a squeeze on water supplies there.
Among the concerns: So-far limited cooperation among the various water developers, which include Aurora Water, cities including Denver, Greeley and Fort Collins, the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and Northern Colorado Water. And despite all the development, some estimates suggest that water still will be in shortfall a few decades out.Share on Facebook