Logic and Government – Governor, They Don’t Mix

Hickenlooper033114Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper was talking to a long standing Colorado western slope civil affairs group last week about his State Water Plan when he off-handed mentioned that maybe all the dams in Colorado should be raised 10 feet for more water storage.

Ooops!  My response below was copied to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and all my Washington DC so called representatives.



I read with interest your comments regarding water at the Club 20 gathering last week.  As you stated it seems so logical to raise the height of the dams in the State of Colorado so we can retain and have more water available.  I’m probably not the first to point out that would be nearly impossible.

You said your critics about starting a brewery / restaurant were proven wrong.  But had you wanted to expand your brewery / restaurant the first time and been faced with more than nine years and hundreds of thousands of dollars and untold dedicated man hours constantly attempting to comply with mandated federal government regulations – where would your brewery / restaurant be today?

Water companies in Colorado that have infrastructure on federal lands (that’s where most of the water comes from) that wish to expand their facilities (i.e., raise their dams to store more water) face years and years of unbelievable government bureaucracy and red tape attempting to meet federal requirements from multiple federal agencies – and often have to give up because the effort is too time consuming, too costly, and too frustrating to continue.

If your office really thinks storing more water in Colorado is going to add value and substance to your State Water Plan (which of course it would), perhaps you should have your appropriate staff talk to and provide assistance to the personnel at the Overland Ditch and Reservoir Company in Delta County (970-872-4446).  The Overland has been attempting for years and years to raise their dam just three feet to store pre-1922 decree water – which is the most valuable water to the State of Colorado Stakeholders.


Tom Howe

Past President

The Overland Ditch and Reservoir Company



CC:     Senator Mark Udall

Senator Michael Bennet

Representative Scott Tipton

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