Archive - 2016

January 1st

DNR Director Resigns

In mid-December Mike King, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (CDNR), stepped down from his position. He had led the CDNR since 2010. King plans to take a new job with Denver Water as the Director of Planning. In this new position, he will oversee their climate change preparations, demand and supply management, environmental compliance, long-range planning for raw water and treated supplies, water rights, and watershed management. In a press release from Governor Hickenlooper’s office, he praised King for all the work he’s done during his administration, including helping to devise a statewide water plan and merging the department’s parks and wildlife divisions.

CWCB/CWA Healthy Rivers Fund Eliminated but Alternative Funding Sources Available

The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) staff received a letter from the Department of Revenue dated November 12, 2015 stating that the Colorado Healthy Rivers Fund (CHRF) did not receive the $75,000 threshold amount of donations between January 1 and September 30, 2015. The program requires that the funding threshold level be met to stay in the voluntary tax checkoff program. The program was short of the mark with only $61,348 donated during that time period. It will not appear on the 2015 tax form. This is unfortunate news. However, in many ways the CHRF was the model for CWCB’s Colorado Watershed Restoration Program (CWRP).

High Desert Conservation District, by Susan Thornton, Special Districts Association

In an effort to avoid confusion, the Dolores Conservation District recently changed their name to the High Desert Conservation District (HDCD). Among the services that the newly named HDCD provides is information about cover crops, erosion and salinity control, flood damage, irrigation management, noxious weeds, and practical management of crops and pastures. The District also publishes a resource handbook, Rural Living in Southwest Colorado. In addition, the District has hired an agricultural consultant to provide free on-site consultations with ranchers and farmers to help them establish best practices, which aids with more efficient water use. The free consultations are paid in part by a matching grant from the Southwestern Water Conservation District.

Local Water Icon Kroeger Passes

A much beloved and well-respected local water icon, Frederick Kroeger, passed away on December 28th at age 97. According to the Durango Herald, the most visible parts of his legacy were Lake Nighthorse, Kroeger Hall and the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, and the business he founded in 1967--Kroegers Ace Hardware. He served on the boards of the Durango Water Commission for more than 60 years; Southwest Water Conservation District for 55 years; First National Bank for 50 years; Colorado Water Conservation Board for 21 years; and La Plata Electric Association for 13 years.

January 1, 2016--The science of snowmelt and water supply forecasting (Steamboat Pilot)

Snow plays a vital role in our lives as the primary source of the water supply in the Western United States. With as much as 75 percent of the water supply being derived from snowmelt, successful water planning and management of the state’s water resources begins with a comprehensive knowledge of current snowpack conditions and the ability to make informed decisions for the upcoming

December 31, 2015--El Niño delivers gift of snowfall (Grand Junction Sentinel)

Mother Nature’s gift of a Christmas-season storm has resulted in an above-average early season Colorado snowpack, a head start that could prove important to ensuring there’s an adequate water supply waiting to melt in the high country come next spring. Statewide snowpack was at 121 percent of median as of Wednesday, according to federal Natural Resources Conservation Service da

December 30, 2015--Forest Service buries plan on transfer of ski area water rights (Denver Post)

The U.S. Forest Service will not require ski resorts to transfer water rights to the federal government as a condition of operating on public land.

December 29, 2015--Local icon Fred Kroeger dies at 97 (Durango Herald)

Whether you call him the epitome of the Greatest Generation or the man who would not give up, former Durango Mayor Frederick V. Kroeger, who died Saturday at 97, left a legacy for generations of Southwest Coloradans to come. The most visible parts of that legacy?

December 28, 2015--University of Colorado scientists say reservoir evaporation a concern (Durango Herald)

 A focus should be placed on measuring and reducing reservoir evaporation in an effort to meet Colorado’s growing water supply demands, according to a study by the University of Colorado Boulder. The report, unveiled on Monday, focused on conservation, a popular theme touted by water managers across Colorado.