Polis comes to the YC to sign bill

Governor Jared Polis made the trip to rural Yuma County last Saturday morning for a bill signing.
Dave Blach hosted the event on Blach farm land five miles north of Yuma on Highway 59. Blach, a farmer and rancher, also is on the Colorado Agriculture Commission.
Attendees stayed out of the steady drizzle under canopies set up by the Blachs.
Several attended, including several members of the Republican River Water Conservation District Board of Directors, and staff, and a Yuma County Commissioner.
Unable to attend was state Rep. Richard Holtorf of Akron. He was the architect and prime sponsor of House Bill 23-1220, the Republican River Water Study bill.
It will allow the Colorado State University’s Water Institute to study the economic impact in the tri-state area of the Republican River, which includes Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. This will allow the Republican River Water Conservation Board and the state of Colorado to plan for future fiscal outlays required to complete the large irrigated acre retirement plan over the next six years.
The three-state agreement of the Republican River compact mandates for reduction of the consumptive use of water by requiring the retirement of 25,000 irrigated acres by 2029 to meet a key interstate compact agreement set forth and signed by these three states.
This bill will now become law and the information will be used to further determine what critical economic requirements will be needed, to meet interstate compact compliance. This will ensure the longevity of farming in the Republican River Basin and the conservation district to meet full compact compliance in the three-state region.
Polis briefly gave a speech.
“It is important at this time for Colorado to come together for the water we need not only to survive, but to thrive,” he said, recognizing Holtorf the bill’s co-sponsors for the hard work they put into it.
RRWCD Board President Rod Lenz gave a short talk, noting there remains a lot of work to be done in terms of conservation in the Republican River Basin. Yuma County Commissioner Adam Gates stressed the importance of eastern Colorado being included in any conversations about water.
The governor then signed the bill, which luckily remained dry.