Reducing Urbanization and its Effects on Air and Water Quality in North-Central Colorado

Urbanization can have a devastating impact on bodies of water, with millions of people, landscape manipulation, waste material, and the dumping of chemicals and fertilizers all contributing to the problem. Not only does urbanization affect local waters, but it also affects wider regional environments. Regions downwind from large industrial complexes are experiencing an increase in the amount of rainfall, air pollution, and the number of days with thunderstorms. Urban areas generate more rainfall, but they reduce water infiltration and lower water table levels.

This leads to increased runoff with higher peak flows, resulting in more floods and downstream water contamination. To prevent these issues, it is essential to understand how urbanization affects local waters. In order to reduce urbanization and its effects on air and water quality in north-central Colorado, a number of steps must be taken. Wealthy users should not be allowed to obtain a right to water for the purpose of accumulating supplies for sale or use in the future.

Landlords must also modify their use of water rights in the water yard without harming other river water rights. Competition for new industries within city limits has caused cities to compete for water supplies to boost their own economies. To avoid this, municipalities can rent agricultural water to a consortium of companies dedicated to exploiting ditches without permanently selling water rights or drying out the underlying land. This is known as the “supertrench” approach.

Castle Rock and Parker have already implemented closed-circuit systems in which all the water used from within is recovered and reused until it is extinguished. Denver and its immediate suburbs have a water system that provides water to approximately 25% of Colorado's population. This system is based on common law and allows anyone who owns land in a river channel to use that water reasonably. Imports from the Colorado River are essential municipal water sources for cities in the Front Range, from Pueblo to Fort Collins.

The pillars of the law are the Colorado River Pact of 1922, the Mexican Water Treaty of 1944, and the Alto Colorado Basin Pact of 1948. By understanding how urbanization affects local waters, taking steps such as not allowing wealthy users to obtain a right to accumulate supplies for sale and use in the future, changing the use of their water rights without harming other river water rights, implementing closed-circuit systems, and understanding common law rights for those who own land in a river channel, we can reduce urbanization and its effects on air and water quality in north-central Colorado.

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