By  Dennis Webb

Garfield County commissioners have committed $3 million to the effort to buy the historic Colorado River water rights for the Shoshone hydroelectric power plant, the most that any local partner has pledged toward the purchase effort being led by the Colorado River District.

Garfield commissioners approved the funding Monday. Altogether, $54.15 million has been raised so far toward the $99 million purchase of the rights.

“It’s the future, 20, 50, 100 years from now,” Garfield Commissioner John Martin said in an interview about the importance of the deal.

He said it’s almost as important as the 1922 Colorado River Compact, which allocates water in the river between Upper and Lower Basin states.