Zero Water Available
The demands placed on the Valley’s water resources increased quickly after settlement. By 1900, the courts declared the region’s streams and rivers to be over-appropriated, meaning there are more claims to water rights than actual water. By 2006, Colorado courts also declared both aquifers over-appropriated.
In the case of the groundwater, over-appropriation means the amount of water withdrawn by legally permitted wells exceeds the amount of water refilling those aquifers. As a result, there is no water available that can leave the Valley to the Front Range without disrupting the local economy’s water supply. Exporting water out the Valley means less water for irrigated agriculture and threatens every facet of the local economy.