Originally Posted by Cutch
Please don't fall for the Denver Water BS of "increasing supply" or "additional supply." When people say shit like that I begin to wonder if they missed the 3rd grade science class that talked about the water cycle. If you want supply, then do a snow dance in your birthday suit. But don't tell me that you increased supply by taking water out of a stream and putting it in a pool. Last I checked reservoirs caused the supply to decrease through surface area evaporation. Just saying.
In the world of water management, "supply" refers to the amount of water available for a beneficial use. By creating storage, water that would otherwise not be taken because there was too much supply in the river (such as during spring runoff) for the amount of water right holders, would be stored and released in a manner so more people could use that water for their beneficial uses. Yes, the net annual yield of a river is dependent on mother nature, but the capture and control of that supply to be released in a way that more water right holders can take advantage of it, is increasing supply to those water users. I agree that some additional water is lost to evaporation by storing the water, but that is a cost water users and the citizens who approve funding or otherwise vote for politicians who support the projects agreed to pay.
As a water manager and a river enthusiast, I see both sides of the issue pretty clearly. I 100% agree that conservation is key, and if the public was better educated and there were stricter laws on water use, many new proposed projects would not be necessary. The problem becomes political very fast, and most people would rather have new storage projects than laws that enforce stricter water conservation. My agency gives many thousands of dollars in grants each year for water conservation, which I feel fortunate to be able to evaluate proposals and choose who gets funding. However, overall, it is a very slow culutural process to change water use behaviors (slower than the rate of new people coming west).