The best way to meet Colorado’s growing water demand and still protect irrigation water rights is probably a combination of increased surface storage and underground, or aquifer storage. But even that combination won’t bridge the gap between water demand and supply. That’s the good news and the bad news from the recently-completed South Platte Storage Study Final Report, released Dec. 15. The report was written by Stantec, a Canada-based design, engineering and construction firm, and Leonard Rice Engineering of Denver. The study, authorized by the Colorado General Assembly in House Bill 16-1256, looked at the stretch of the South Platte River between Kersey and the Nebraska state line in an attempt to find water storage to fill a crippling water gap that is just 12 years away. According to the 2015 Colorado Water Plan, by 2030 the need for water in Colorado will exceed supplies by 560,000 acre feet, or 182 billion gallons per year, and most of that is here in the South Platte River Basin. Experts already have said that water conservation alone won’t bridge the gap as thirsty Front Range cities continue to grow; even legislators have made it clear that they want to see proposals for storage as much as for conservation. To view the full article visit the Journal Advocate.