'Where is the metro area going to get its water?'


Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.

Dick Lamm, governor of Colorado from 1974 to 1986, became well-known nationally for his gloomy forecasts of the future.

Dick Lamm: "Ultimately, the metro area is an integral whole when it comes to water. Where is the metro area going to get its water (now that) we've used all the water legally and physically coming to us from the mountains?

"I love that canyon (Cheesman Canyon on the South Platte River), and it makes me sick to see what's happening in Denver and on the Front Range. I fear that this (Two Forks) is a Pyrrhic victory. I look at the new census projections, which say we'll have 570 million Americans 99 years from now, which translates to 10 or 12 million Coloradans from 4 million today. If we have a Colorado of 10 or 12 million, even if we save the Two Forks area by some alternative arrangement, it won't be without great impact on the West Slope, and on northern Colorado and eastern Colorado water.

"I know people think I'm obsessed about immigration. I'm not upset about immigrants. But immigration is the difference between stabilizing population and not stabilizing it. You define the world by the questions you ask, and I ask: Is this population growth inevitable?"

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