Newsletter Article

Imagining Mountains All Wrong

It turns out mountain ranges don’t just come in the familiar pyramid form—in fact, most of them have a different shape entirely. New research published in a May edition of Nature Climate Change reveals a surprising discovery that not only changes the way we think about mountains but could also have big implications for how we understand, monitor, and protect the organisms that call them home.


Wettest Month in Recorded History

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) records go back to 1895 and last month was the wettest on record for the contiguous United States. On average 4.36 inches of rain and snow, mostly rain, fell over the Lower 48 in May. NOAA climate scientist Jake Crouch calculated that comes to more than 200 trillion gallons of water in May. Crouch said the record was triggered by a stalled pattern of storms that dumped massive amounts of precipitation.


Water Camp

After many years of thinking about it, the WIP is proud to announce the participation in and co-sponsorship of a children’s water camp. This is being done in conjunction with the Durango Nature Studies (DNS) and will be held the last week of July. Topics include, but are not limited to: aquatic species, conservation, river restorations, the importance of healthy watersheds, and water quality. For more information and/or to register contact DNS at (970) 382-9244 or visit their website at www.durangonaturestudies.org.


SAVE THE DATES: September 9, 10, 11 & 12 Great Divide Film Showings in Southwest CO

Tens of millions of people, billions of dollars of agricultural production, and an enormous amount of economic activity across a vast swath of America from California to the Mississippi River are all dependent on rivers born in the mountains of Colorado.  In a time of mounting demand and limited supply, the need for all citizens to better understand and participate in decisions affecting this critical resource is paramount.

The Great Divide, a feature length documentary film from the Emmy award winning team of Havey Productions, in association with Colorado Humanities, will illustrate the timeless influence of water in both connecting and dividing an arid state and region.


SAVE THE DATE: September 25th--9th Annual Water 101 Seminar (Bayfield, CO)

Save-the-date for the 9th Annual Water 101 Seminar to be conducted September 25, 2015 in Bayfield. We are again fortunate to have Colorado Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs as the keynote speaker. The Seminar qualifies for six continuing education credits for Realtors and seven for lawyers, as well as contact hours for teachers, and .7 training units for water utility personnel. For more information and/or to register contact the WIP at (970) 247-1302.


Book Review: The Ordinary Truth, Jana Richman, 2012

The following book review is appreciatively provided by Laura Spann, with the SWCD:

The Ordinary Truth tells a fictional tale of Nevada’s very real water crisis through the eyes of a multi-generational Nevada ranching family in their come-to-Jesus moment. Urban and rural clash within the family, as daughter Katie is the public face of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, pitching the construction of a pipeline to pull water from her hometown of Omer Springs to serve thirsty Las Vegas. Her estranged mother Nell still ranches in Omer Springs.


WIP’s Participating Entity, SWCD, Update

At their May 9th Board meeting the following grants were funded by the SWCD:


Colorado Water Plan

The first draft of Colorado’s new water plan offered plenty of background information about the state’s water, but didn’t say exactly what can be done to avoid a looming water-supply gap. By 2050, the state could be short billions of gallons per year. Lawrence MacDonnell, a natural resources law professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, led an academic review team that issued a report on the Draft Colorado Water Plan, finding that it offers little in the way of specifics.


Hydropower Uncertainty

As investments in wind and solar power climb, backing major hydropower projects may be seen as a risky bet in a warming world. Studies indicate that climate change could make rain and snowfall less certain in some regions. An indicator of where renewables investors are focusing their attention, large hydropower was left out of a recent and major United Nations and Bloomberg report showing that global investments in renewables spiked 17 percent in 2014.


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