20 | ROCKY MOUNTAIN WATER JANUARY 2017 FEATURE times, this leads to unintentionally stalling or stopping projects early on in the permitting phase. To meet the challenge and provide for a balanced future in Colorado, these permitting challenges need to be addressed and streamlined. Colorado’s Water Plan has recommended that the agencies involved in permitting storage projects implement lean strategies for streamlining. What does a lean strategy look like for permitting? Lean strategies are built by engag-ing key stakeholders early on. This way, stakeholders can voice con-cerns, ask questions, and be part of the solution. Active and effective engagement can be challenging to achieve because it requires all par-ties to put personal agendas and priorities aside to work collaboratively for the best solution. Each party needs to be open to new ideas, and willing to engage in active and open dialogue. Lines of communication need to be sound to achieve a lean strategy for permitting. By engaging each cooperative agency early on in the process to discuss the goals of the project, the team can recognize the importance of each agency, allow them to provide input, and engage each party in the success of the project. Goals may include water quality sampling protocols, habitat enhance-ments, and wetland restoration. To aid in these discussions, the State has taken an active role to engage vested interests by hosting meetings between the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmen-tal Protection Agency, as well as the Colorado Department of Health and Environment to discuss the best ways to streamline the permitting process and identify next steps. How will this process work? Water providers within the state are actively pursuing several permits for additional storage. Each of these projects is in varying stages of that process. However, there are a handful of upcoming projects where the state will be looking to implement lean strategies to streamline permitting to advance design and construction projects. This unique strategy is one of the creative ways Colorado is securing a sustainable water future. Andrea Cole, P.E., Esq., is a Water Resources Engineer with more than 14 years of experience. Her broad technical background includes water resource engineering, hydrology and hydraulics, water rights, and permitting. Each party needs to be open to new ideas, and willing to engage in active and open dialogue.
RMW January 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above