During Colorado's ongoing drought, the importance of cooperation with our neighbor to the south was highlighted in the Colorado Water Conservation Board press release, "Colorado part of historic water treaty with Mexico," printed in the Delta County Independent on Nov. 26.
A recent agreement between the Colorado River Basin states and the U.S. and Mexican governments addressed the increasing water demands on the Colorado River; Mexico agreed to accept voluntary shortages when Lake Mead reached a low enough level.
This recent treatment of water shortage issues on an international level makes it all the more apparent that global warming is happening, making wildfires, heat waves, and droughts more frequent and more severe. Now more than ever, Colorado needs to move away from carbon-emitting fossil fuels and towards renewable, water-responsible energy sources like wind power.
Wind power is already reducing Colorado's global warming pollution by as much as taking 525,000 cars off the road per year, according to a new Environment Colorado report, "Wind Power for a Cleaner America." Furthermore, wind power directly helps to conserve water. In the U.S., more water is withdrawn from rivers, lakes, streams and aquifers to cool power plants than for any other purpose. In Colorado alone, by displacing production from fossil-fuel-fired power plants, wind power currently saves enough water to meet the needs of 23,300 people.
However, key tax credits for wind power are set to expire at the end of the year. If Congress does not act now to extend these policies, many proposed wind farms will not be built, and we'll throw away the associated water savings that are so important to Colorado, Mexico, and the U.S. as a whole. We thank Congressman Tipton for supporting wind power and urge him to do all he can to renew the wind tax credits — so many of our industries depend on Colorado's water supply.