Sherman & Howard’s James Eklund Featured in Colorado Politics Q&A
Sherman & Howard water attorney James Eklund was recently featured in Colorado Politics’ article, “Q&A with James Eklund | The 10,000-foot view with leading Colorado Water attorney.”
In the article, readers learn about his childhood connection to Alaska; penchant for basketball; and deep, abiding, and organic respect for Colorado water. They also get more insight into his continuing concern for the Colorado River crisis and learn why he is so vocal about finding solutions.
Here’s an excerpt from the article taken directly from the Colorado Politics’ website.
“Our political calendar is not syncing up with the hydrologic calendar and need to do it now. Back in June, when the Commissioner of Reclamation sounded the alarm, they were expecting us to come up with plans by mid-August, and the states didn’t do it.
“If it continues this way, we have the political calendar to blame. You go to these conferences and the refrain over and over again is that this is a crisis. We need to do something. But then it comes time to act, and we’re not acting. The crisis in the inaction that’s set in is because people are nervous that if they act, they’ll get blamed by their opponent in the upcoming election. And they don’t want that kind of baggage. They don’t talk about it, and they don’t ask, because at the end of the day, there’s going to be winners and losers. In times of surplus, you can do solutions, and everyone wins, and everyone is happy. But in times of scarcity, like what we’re in now, you’re going to create some losers out there. Our prior appropriations system does it on a daily basis based on seniority.
“What’s scary about the Colorado River right now, and the water in the West generally, is that we don’t know if the priority system is going to get the job down. We don’t have that level of certainty on the Colorado because everybody’s kind of retreated to their corners. The government structure has failed, and it’s not coming up with the solutions.
“The election is five weeks away. There’s little likelihood we will act before then. It’s very dismaying. It’s not the way it should work.”