Letter to the editor: Local waterways are vital parts of post-virus recovery

Molly Mugglestone
Business for Water Stewardship

The impact of COVID-19 on our economy and way of life has been devastating. Who would have thought that the impact would stress our resorts, community and way of life to the degree that it has. With the Blue River now safe and open we can look toward a recovery. Rafting, fishing, camping and other outdoor activities are starting to ramp back up which is great for our local economy. 

In fact, a new survey commissioned for Business for Water Stewardship looks at the impact our rivers have in our state and region. Across the state, recreation on or near our rivers generates more than $18 billion in revenue for Colorado. Locally, related figures for the Colorado River Basin in which we live show recreation generating $3.8 billion and supporting almost 27,000 jobs annually. 

Our ski resorts store the water as snow all winter and then we get to play in that water in the summer. As a critical component of this valley’s way of life we must all do what we can to preserve and protect our rivers. The West has been in a drought for almost 20 years. The state has been hard at work trying to fund the Colorado Water Plan, yet despite their efforts funding to implement the plan is minimal. As state leaders advocate for federal stimulus dollars we need to ensure that some of that funding goes to support healthy rivers and water infrastructure projects that will help many get back to work to maintain our waterways. To learn more about the study and Business for Water Stewardship visit

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