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As the Colorado population grows, so does the need for water

Posted at 2:00 PM, Mar 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-10 13:05:01-04

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DENVER -- Experts are saying it's more important than ever for Colorado to make smart water choices.

"I think it's about finding a way to grow cities with less water as well as grow food with less water," said Raegan Waskom of Colorado State University. He's the director of the Colorado Water Center there.

The words are simple, but actually achieving it is the challenge.

"In Colorado, I think, we have some choices to make about water, food and how we grow. We're going to have to make some distinct choices if we want to keep the agriculture industry healthy here in the state," said Waskom.

Irrigation is key to food production, while at the same time more water has to go to the growing population. After years of drought, the recent snowfall has been welcomed. Wascom says it would take four or five years of the same conditions before Colorado is out of the woods.

Denver7 also talked with Steve Malers, the CEO of the nonprofit Open Water Foundation. He wants to see developers become more responsible about water usage.

"Developers come in and plan their development and treat it as just another business cost without looking at the larger regional impact of water usage," Malers said.

Malers says a lot of developers buy water from farms, helping to dry up the land. Malers says one way to curb the growing problem is to build more high density housing in the form of apartments and multi-family residences. That way water isn't used to maintain yards. He also believes in more water reuse.

"The idea is that you treat waste water and re-use it," Malers said.