Winter 2012 II

People & Organizations

Simpson Selected CDWR New Division 7 Assistant Manager

The Colorado Division of Water Resources (CDWR) has hired John Simpson as the new Assistant Division Engineer for the Dolores/San Juan River Basin, Durango Office. The CDWR is responsible for administering water rights, groundwater well permitting, hydrography, and dam safety in the Basin. Simpson is a Professional Engineer with 15 years experience in engineering and water resources. He received his undergraduate degree from the Colorado School of Mines in Engineering with a Civil Engineering emphasis. He received his master’s degree from Michigan Technological University in Civil Engineering with a specialty in Water Resources. John has previously worked in the private and public sectors on projects such as development projects in the Durango area to community water projects in Honduras with the Peace Corps. John worked extensively in the mountain and prairie states in water resource administration while with the United States Fish and Wildlife. While with the Fish and Wildlife, he was a Professional Engineer in Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Colorado. As a Durango High School graduate, John is excited to return to the Four Corners. John and his family live in Durango, where he is active in the community as a high school wrestling referee.

Crane Departs CWA

Colorado Watershed Assembly (CWA) Executive Director, Jeff Crane, announced his resignation from the organization at the Annual Watershed Assembly Conference in October.

Magnuson and Higman Recognized by Colorado Division of Water Resources

Two managers of the Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company (MVIC), Don Magnuson and Mike Higman, were recognized as co-Water Managers o

Pitts Received NWRA 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award

Tom Pitts received the National Water Resources Association’s (NWRA) Lifetime Achievement Award at their 81

Zinks Receive Riparian Award

The Colorado Riparian Association awarded Patti and Ed Zink its Excellence in Riparian Management award for 2012.

USBR Colorado River Study Predicts Water Shortages

On December 12th Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the release of a study--authorized by Congress and jointly

USGS Report Summarizes Groundwater Pumping Affects on Stream Flows

Groundwater and surface-water systems are connected, and groundwater discharge is often a substantial component of the total flow of a

CRWCD Releases New Book

The Colorado River Water Conservation District (CRWCD) released their new book, Water Wrangling,

CWCB Introduces New Book

The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) recently released their 75th anniversary book, Defend and Develop.

ALPWCD Water Purchase Agreement

Without major fanfare, representatives from the Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District (ALPWCD) signed a historic agreement on December 21st with the Colorado Water Resources and Power De

LPAWD Groundbreaking

The La Plata Archuleta Water District (LPAWD) conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for their first pipeli

Durango Working to Make Recreation at Lake Nighthorse a Reality

In late November the Durango Planning Commission took a preliminary step toward annexing property surrounding Lake Nighthorse.

Current Events

Local River Flows Lowest on Record

According to the Colorado Division of Water Resources, Animas River flows in November were the lowest in 102 years of record keeping at just 9,209 acre-feet (af). Rege Leach, Division engineer in Durango, indicated the second-lowest flows occurred in 1934 with 9,374 af.

Razorback Sucker Found in Grand Canyon

Biologists recently caught a razorback sucker in Grand Canyon National Park. It was the first one seen in 20 years and it is believed the fish swam upstream 50 miles from Lake Mead.

Water Quality / Conservation

Global Acidity Increasing

You’ve heard about acid mine drainage and ocean acidification, but the problems don’t end there.

Ritter Promotes Conservation

According to a Pueblo Chieftain article, former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter is promoting a campaign to substantially reduce water use in the Colorado Riv

Water Law

U.S. , Mexico Sign Water Sharing Pact

After five years of effort, the United States and Mexico signed an agreement for new rules on sharing water from the

New EPA Interpretation May Yield Higher Water Quality via Mine Cleanup Efforts

There are about 7,300 abandoned hard-rock mines in Colorado and a large percentage of them now drain toxic substances.

Roundtable Update

Roundtables Mini Conservation Summit

In early December representatives from the State’s Basin Roundtables met in Silverthorne to discuss methods to increase conservation efforts. This has been a point of contention between the Front Range and Western Slope.

WIP News

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 a month-long Water in the West Art Show and information series. This kicked-off on August 10th with a juried water art exhibit.

Water 101 Seminar

The October 26th 7th Annual Water 101 Seminar was another huge success. The Seminar was cosponsored with the San Juan Citizens Alliance and we were again fortunate to have Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs as the keynote speaker.

Save-the-Date: 2013 Forests-to-Faucets Teacher Workshop in Pagosa Springs in June

The WIP, in conjunction with the Mountain Studies Institute and the San Juan Mountains Association, will be conducting their second Forests-to-Faucets Teacher Training Workshop in June 2013 in Pagosa Springs. This will be an opportunity for K-12 teachers to earn one continuing education credit from Adams State University.

Water History

150th Anniversary of Homestead Act

If you live by a river or creek, chances are pretty good that your property was once part of the 1862 Homestead Act.

Miscellaneous Facts

Communities in the Basin That Are Gone

Have you ever wondered about the communities in the Dolores/San Juan River Basin that no longer exist? In Archuleta County and the Pagosa Springs area alone, some of those include: