How Do We Value Colorado’s Water?
You might call it the great economic riddle of our time: It sustains human life, lubricates the entire economy and has no known substitute, yet a month’s supply can be delivered to your home for less than the cost of cable TV or cell phone service. It belongs to the public but the right to use it is bought and sold, and changing that use requires a pricey court approval process. It supports kayakers and anglers, trout and sparrows, and all the ecosystems in between, yet those benefits are rarely reflected in its cost. It is cheap, and yet it is priceless. What is it?