CO Business Leaders: Protection for Colorado Water Good for Business

CO Business Leaders: Protection for Colorado Water Good for Business


At a Colorado Water Conservation Board meeting in Pueblo today, business coalition Protect the Flows member John Land Le Coq, CEO of Denver based companies Fishpond and Lilypond will address the board. 

“We’ve all come to Colorado for similar reasons,” said John Land Le Coq.  “I located my business here because of the great access to an outdoors abundant with natural treasures.  Business has flourished for me because these outdoor resources have been protected.  To keep Colorado a magical place, we must continue to protect the environments where we fish, hike and camp.  A Colorado Water Plan that sets out a course of action on conservation and healthy rivers will go a long way to sustaining the Colorado that brought us here and that we all love.”

Le Coq will also deliver a letter signed by 101 Colorado companies affirming the value of conservation as a cornerstone of the developing plan. The letter was also delivered to Governor Hickenlooper earlier this week and asks that healthy rivers and in-stream flows be a priority due to the economic benefits these resources bring to Colorado’s tourism and the state’s multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation economy.  A healthy river system also comprises a large part of Colorado’s quality of life that attracts both businesses and a talented workforce. Mr. Le Coq’s remarks to the board will emphasize the need for the state Water Plan to incorporate a conservation-first approach -- to pro-actively protect healthy rivers and meet new water demands in ways that focus on lower-cost water investments and solutions that have already begun or can be implemented immediately.

The importance of a healthy river system cannot be understated. The Colorado River alone supports a $26 billion recreation economy and 240,000 sustainable jobs throughout the 7 basin states in the West. In Colorado, river-related activities account for $6.3 billion in direct consumer spending on recreation and sustain 80,000 recreation jobs.

Le Coq believes that Colorado can meet the growing demands for water while protecting our resources through a commitment to conservation values and sound investments in using water more efficiently. His comments today emphasize why Protect the Flows members and businesses across Colorado support the conservation principles that drive business development and the quality of life for Colorado communities and families.

These principles are essential and should be fundamental to the development of the Colorado Water Plan:

• Keeping Colorado’s rivers healthy and flowing to drive small business - 21st-century economics demand that the health and viability of our rivers as natural and economic resources be prioritized in water policy and management.

• A Call for Municipal Conservation - With Colorado’s population projected to double by 2050, and state’s projected water supply and water demand gap predicted to grow, Colorado should commit to the top water conservation target set by the State Water Supply Initiative—reducing per capita municipal water use by 35 percent by 2050. And cities can accelerate re-use of many existing supplies, thus decreasing the need for building more storage.

• Investment in agricultural infrastructure– More than 80 percent of water diverted from our rivers feeds the Colorado farms and ranches that produce our food. Modernizing infrastructure promotes a highly efficient agricultural industry and helps to sustain a Colorado tradition for generations to come.

• Modernizing and maximizing existing storage systems - Future demands will exceed supply in basins across the state. Drought and the prospect of future diversions challenge our rivers, in-stream flows, wildlife and recreation. Investment in efficient use of our current reservoirs and delivery systems should take priority over new diversions that are costly, controversial, and prone to long delay.

“Protect the Flows is in total agreement with Governor Hickenlooper when he said ‘Every discussion about water should start with conservation’ in his January 2013 State of the State,” said Craig Mackey, Co-Director of Protect the Flows. “We need to sustain a growing state population in the midst of unprecedented drought conditions, provide adequate water supplies for agriculture, and maintain the healthy river flows needed for wildlife and a robust Colorado recreation industry. Prioritizing conservation solutions is an absolute necessity for balanced water protection of our communities, farms, and the incredible rivers that attract visitors from all over the world.”

John Land Le Coq is CEO of Fishpond, a manufacturer of fishing and outdoor lifestyle products, and Lilypond, a company that specializes in outdoor gear and fashionable outdoor apparel for active women. Both companies are located in Denver.

Protect the Flows is a coalition of over 1,100 business– with over 350 in Colorado – that supports a healthy and flowing Colorado River system.

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