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Colorado $2 billion water referendum

Campaign 2003 revisited: Last year's Colorado water referendum looms large in November campaigns

Candidates John Salazar, D-Manassa, and Palisade Republican Greg Walcher, are vying to take over the 3rd District seat of GOP Rep. Scott McInnis. Walcher, the former director of the state's Natural Resources Office, reinforced his position on protecting Western Slope water. A Salazar representative responded by saying that his boss plans to bring up Walcher's support of Referendum A, Gov. Bill Owens' $2 billion in bonds for unspecified water projects in the state, which failed in all 64 counties in November 2003. Cortez Journal_ 9/9/04

August, 2004

Colorado Congressional campaign likely pits opponent and supporter of last year's $2 billion water referendum against each other

Former state natural resources chief Greg Walcher said he is confident uncounted ballots from Tuesday's Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District will maintain his lead over state Rep. Matt Smith. Walcher will face Democrat John Salazar, who had no primary opponent, in November. The 3rd District encompasses all of western Colorado, which has battled constant threats of water grabs by the rapidly growing east side of the Rockies. Salazar helped organize opposition to Referendum A, a ballot proposal defeated by voters last year that would have provided $2 billion in bonds for unspecified water projects. While head of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Walcher, a native of the Western Slope, actively campaigned for the referendum.   AP/CBS4_ 8/12/04

June, 2004

Colorado governor urges state's eight river basins to end water bickering and negotiate agreements that could be put in state law
The proposal is modeled after interstate water compacts, including the Colorado River Compact and another between Colorado and Kansas. Rocky Mountain News_ 6/17/04

November, 2003

Colorado legislature appoints special committee to find water answers after defeat of $2 billion referendum.  Rocky Mountain News 11/16/03

Colorado's $2 billion water referendum is history. Now what?  Denver Post 11/9/03

Colorado lawmaker who led fight to get the $2 billion water referendum on the ballot pours his heart out. "We just need some new ideas at this point," he says, urging all sides to work together.  Rocky Mountain News 11/6/03

Surprise and smiles on Colorado's western slope. Statewide 2-1 margin to reject $2 billion water referendum was much larger than expected.  Durango Herald 11/5/03

Water referendum sinks across Colorado. Personal defeat for the governor who strongly backed it.  AP/Boulder Daily Camera 11/5/03

Colorado's $2 billion measure to pay for reservoirs and other water projects was soundly rejected across the state. A bitter fight over the referendum divided the arid Eastern Plains and the water-rich Western Slope.  Rocky Mountain News 11/4/03

Colorado's $2 billion measure to pay for reservoirs and other water projects was soundly rejected across the state. A bitter fight over the referendum divided the arid Eastern Plains and the water-rich Western Slope.  Rocky Mountain News 11/4/03

Colorado's $2 billion water referendum: It's who do you trust. Business vs. environmentalists, agriculture vs. western slope vs. the east.  Denver Post 11/3/03

October, 2003

Supporters of Colorado's $2 billion water referendum raise twice as much as opponents. Big financial backers include water engineers CH2M Hill, California dam builders MWH and other construction interests.  Rocky Mountain News 10/28/03

Colorado attorney general predicts $2 billion "bucket of money" proposed by the water referendum will open the door to private water speculators. Also could set up false expectations for dealing with drought, he says.  Glenwood Springs Post Independent 10/26/03

Denver Post endorses Colorado's $2 billion water referendum. "Win-win solution."  Denver Post 10/26/03

Three former Colorado governors oppose $2 billion water referendum. Durango Herald 10/21/03

Colorado congressman calls $2 billion water referendum "a trick-or-treater dressed up to scare Coloradans into thinking it is needed to protect our water."  Summit Daily News 10/20/03

Governor vs. Attorney General: Colorado leaders square off over $2 billion water referendum.  Durango Herald 10/19/03

Colorado governor uses Interior Secretary's visit to promote $2 billion water referendum.  Denver Post 10/19/03

Feature: Drought killing Missouri River's oxbow lakes. Even under best circumstances, lakes live on borrowed time.  St. Joseph News Press 10/19/03

Colorado governor says California water pact is good reason for passage of $2 billion water referendum.  AP/The Casper Star-Tribune 10/17/03

Countdown to election day: Both sides of Colorado's $2 billion water referendum take the offensive.  Rocky Mountain News 10/13/03

Colorado's West Divide water district votes to oppose the $2 billion water referendum.  Glenwood Springs Post Independent 10/12/03

Colorado's $2 billion water referendum: Plenty of campaign heat.  Denver Post 10/13/03

Denver tax crusader threatens to sue if Colorado voters approve $2 billion water referendum.  Durango Herald 10/8/03

Feature: It was supposed to solve Colorado's water problems. Instead, the $2 billion referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot has ignited passions and divided the state. AP/Aurora Sentinel 10/7/03

Colorado must capture and store its excess water before it flows out of state say backers of $2 billion ballot referendum.  Rocky Mountain News

News conference on Colorado's $2 billion water storage referendum turns into an impromptu debate. Bill's sponsor and a taxpayer advocate square off in the hallway. 9 News 10/7/03

Denver Water Board: It's past handling of money stirs concerns about $2 billion ballot referendum.  Denver Post

Critics of Colorado's $2 billion water referendum are homing in on lack of guarantees that Western Slope water will be protected.  Rocky Mountain News

Opinion:   Colorado state Senator argues in favor of $2 billion water referendum. Increase water storage for farmers and others.  Rocky Mountain News

Opinion: Western Slope Senator opposes Colorado water referendum. Protect basins of origin first. Rocky Mountain News

Colorado governor says Western Slope shouldn't fear $2 billion ballot referendum. No cross-mountain water transfers likely without local consent. Rocky Mountain News

Statewide Colorado water study not slanted to favor any projects, director says. Denver Post

Big Straw may cost too much to work. Utah to Front Range water plan total cost estimate still under study. Rocky Mountain News

Powerful western Colorado lobbying group royally pans $2 billion water referendum. Denver Post

Government officials and businesses in 22 Colorado counties vote to oppose $2 billion water referendum. Rocky Mountain News
Colorado will outgrow its water supply by 2025. No single solution for third fastest growing state. Durango Herald

Colorado $2 billion ballot measure pits Western Slope communities against Front Range, opponents argue. No specifics on how money will be spent. Denver Post

$2 billion water bond measure endorsed by Colorado Water Congress. Denver Post

Colorado Water Peace Threatened.
Opponents fear urban power. Denver Post

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