Winter 2013

People & Organizations

National Water Resources Association--by Chris Treese, Colorado River Water Conservation District

One way that Colorado water managers and planners participate in federal water-related processes is through the National Water Resources Association (NWRA).

CWC Welcomes New Directors to Board

The Colorado Water Congress (CWC) welcomed a number of new Directors to their Board in November. The 34 person CWC Board of Directors reflects the diverse geographic and professional interests of Colorado’s water community.

Current Events

Lake Powell: 4th Driest Year on Record

According to a November Summit Voice article, the past water year--October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013, was the fourth-driest on record for the Colorado River Basin as measured at Lake Powell.

Fallowing Farmland in the Sun Corridor

A pilot farmland-fallowing project which will begin in January 2014 will pay Arizona’s farmers not to grow crops.

Free Online Water Course Offered by CSU

A free online course from Colorado State University (CSU) will begin January 27, 2014 and run through March 23rd. The course is entitled Water, Civilization, and Nature: Addressing Water Challenges of the 21st Century.

Durango’s RICD

After a long process of applying for a recreational in-channel diversion (RICD) right through the water courts, a conditional water right was given to the City of Durango in 2007.

Kokanee Spawn this Year in Dolores River

A November Cortez Journal article reported that due to increased flows on the Dolores River from summer monsoon rains, the kokanee salmon had enough water to make their spawning run this year.

Water Quality / Conservation

Jewell Cites Need to Conserve Water

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell cited the Colorado River and Lake Mead as examples of the water conservation problems that she called one of the top issues facing her department.

West Slope Wants to Limit Front Range Lawns

When the Legislature’s 2014 session opens on January 8th some Colorado lawmakers want to make new Front Range suburban lawns smaller as a way to prevent cities from siphoning agricultural and west slope water. State Sen.

Solutions for Animas River Toxins?

According to a Durango Herald article, plans using a synthetic foam, a passive wetland, and even sugarcane are the latest that members of the Animas River Stakeholders Group are considering in the battle against toxic waste coming from abandoned hardrock mines

Water Law

Public Trust Doctrine: Part IV

In an ongoing effort to inform the public and water community alike, the following is the last in a four part 2013 series related to a potentially emerging Colorado Public Trust Doctrine (PTD) issue.

HR 1389

Although the U.S. Forest Service has backed off its original position against Colorado ski industry’s water rights for now, a congressional bill designed to protect water owned by ski areas could potentially end up hurting rivers across the country.

Federal Land Management Plan?

Many water managers in the state, including those in southwest Colorado, are concerned about recent actions taken by federal agencies regarding historical water use, permitting, and planning activities involving federal lands that could impact existing and future water rights in Colorado.

Lawmakers Prepare for Flexible Water Right Legislation

According to a November 10th Pueblo Chieftain article, legislation that could allow water rights to be changed for indefinite purposes is expected to be introduced in the next state legislative session. Flexible water markets would be authorized a

Energy and Water

New Global Water Intelligence Report

Water and power generation are inseparable. Fossil fuel-fired power stations require a reliable, consistent stream of treated water to operate effectively.

Silverton Small-Scale Hydropower Project Approved

According to a Telluride Daily Planet article, one of the first new small hydroelectric power projects in the country is quickly taking shape in Silverton, thanks

Roundtable Update

Protecting Colorado’s Water Future--by Bruce Whitehead, Southwestern Water Conservation District

As an essential resource, water supports the open space provided by the state’s productive ranches and farms, brings us recreational activities such as boating and fishing, is the source of high quality

WIP News

Another Successful Water 101 Seminar

The 8th Annual Water 101 Seminar was conducted in Cortez this year and was another success.

Water in the West Art Show

In an effort to raise awareness about vital water issues, the WIP, in conjunction with the Durango Arts Center (DAC), conducted their second annual Water in the West Art Show. This year’s theme was Sentinels of Change: Drought in the West.

Water History

How Drought Spurred Evolution of Human Intelligence

According to new research, humans evolved their very large brains in response to the dramatic shifts in the climate of East Africa, the cradle of humanity where man's ancestors are thought to have originated about two million years ago. Scientists have matched exceptional

Miscellaneous Facts

Special Districts

According to the Census of Governments, a tally of local governments by the U.S. Census Bureau every five years, 885 special districts have been created since 2007. The country's 38,266 special districts make up more than 40 percent of all local governments, and operate with significant autonomy performing services ranging from cemetery maintenance and mosquito abatement to fire protection.