Colorado Water Toolkit: Live Like You Love It! — Colorado WaterWise

October 23, 2014

ColoW LLYLI Release final

Tomorrow at the Colorado WaterWise Water Conservation Summit, Colorado WaterWise will launch an educational water toolkit to raise awareness about the value of water in Colorado. Colorado Water: Live Like You Love It, provides communication tools and resources for water stakeholders to help communicate the importance of water, focusing on conserving water, caring about water quality and committing to learn about this critical resource.

Six water and environmental organizations sponsored the development of the toolkit including Loveland Water and Power, The City of Greeley Water Conservation Program, Colorado Springs Utilities, Northern Water, One World One Water and Western Resource Advocates. Colorado WaterWise initiated the toolkit when research revealed the need to educate the public, particularly young adults about how we get our water, the scarcity of the resource and the importance to care for water quality.

As a headwaters state, Colorado water is the topic of great discussion as 18 states plus Colorado depend on it. With the Colorado population alone expected to double by 2050, the need to Live Like You Love It is more important than ever. By utilizing the professionally created tools available in the toolkit, water organizations and other interested stakeholders can easily spread the word about protecting this finite resource, doing our part to conserve and committing to learning about water issues. The toolkit includes tips, videos, fact sheets and a communications plan to help Colorado to Live Like You Love It. An organization must be a member of Colorado WaterWise at the $300 level and agree to terms of use to use the materials.

“With the state of Colorado embarking upon creating its first water plan, we believe on of the findings will undoubtedly be that there is a need for more education in our state about the value of our water,” said Alyssa Quinn, the Colorado WaterWise committee chair. “This toolkit provides stakeholders with materials and messaging to educate the public, particularly the millennial age group, about the value of water. Customers in that age group are going to be the generation making key and sometimes tough decisions about our water. They need to be informed.”

To join the movement and Live Like You Love It, Like Love Colorado Water on Facebook or follow it on Twitter at @LoveCOWater. To find out more about the toolkit, visit Colorado WaterWise at http://coloradowaterwise.org.


Why do you want to go to H2O Outdoors Camp?

October 22, 2014

Originally posted on Mile High Water Talk:

2013 H2O Outdoors campers.

2013 H2O Outdoors campers.

“The one thing that is most interesting to me is that we can drink from any water faucet. Back in Tonga we weren’t allowed to drink from the water faucet. The water from the faucet was really bad and it could make you sick. It wasn’t a good idea at all.” – Former H2O Outdoors camper

Twice a year, Denver Water’s Youth Education team meets up with Aurora Water and the Colorado River District at Keystone Science School in Summit County for a three-day water camp called H2O Outdoors.

“This camp provides high school students from varied backgrounds throughout Colorado with an opportunity to learn about water in the state and all of its complexities in a fun, hands-on environment,” said Matt Bond, Denver Water’s Youth Education manager. “These students will be future decision-makers, and the camp sets them up to be experts on the state’s…

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Colorado Water Congress: Join us Nov. 19 for a day of fact-filled workshops

October 15, 2014


Twenty-five years of exploration: South Platte Forum

October 14, 2014
South Platte River Basin via Wikipedia

South Platte River Basin via Wikipedia

Here’s the release from Colorado State University:

The 25th annual South Platte River Forum will be held Wednesday, Oct. 22, and Thursday, Oct. 23, at the Plaza Event Center, 1850 Industrial Circle, Longmont. The forum, “Water and Wisdom,” will examine issues such as flood impacts on stream restoration, fisheries and hydrology, oil and gas exploration, hydraulic fracturing as well as hydropower, and overviews of South Platte River basin projects. The forum strives to provide an avenue for a timely, multidisciplinary exchange of information and ideas important to resource management in the basin.

The first day of the forum includes several presentations on flood recovery efforts, updates and concerns, as well as a history of floods on the South Platte. The Friends of the South Platte Award will be presented to Patricia J. Rettig, Head Archivist, Water Resources Archive, at Colorado State University Libraries. The keynote luncheon on Oct. 22 will be “Proposed Rule: Definitions of Waters of the U.S.” by Karen Hamilton, Chief of the Aquatic Resource and Accountability Unit, U.S. EPA Region 8. Afternoon sessions will discuss oil and gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing, and water education efforts. The day will conclude with a reception and information on water storage projects in the basin.

The final day of the forum will include a presentation on the Colorado Water Plan by John Stulp, special policy advisor to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on water, followed by presentations on South Platte basin water plans, and a panel focused on water quality concerns. The day will conclude with a luncheon presentation on “At the Confluence: The Poetry of Colorado Water” by Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr.

Winners of this year’s photo contest will be recognized during the forum and their photographs will be on display.

The South Platte River begins high in the Colorado mountains near Fairplay. It flows through Denver and continues eastward into Nebraska, joining the North Platte River near the town of North Platte, Neb.

The South Platte Forum is sponsored by Deere & Ault Consultants, Inc.,; SP WRAP,; XRI Geophysics; Applegate Group, Inc.; the Consortium for Research and Education on Emerging Contaminants (CREEC); Platte River Recovery Implementation Plan (PRRIP); Riverside Technology; Tetra Tech,and Integral Consulting, Inc. The Forum is organized by Colorado State University Extension, Colorado Water Institute, Aurora Water, Denver Water, Northern Water, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, St. Vrain and Left Hand Water Conservancy District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. EPA, U.S. Geological Survey.

Registration is available at the door for $115 per person. For a schedule of events, visit http://www.southplatteforum.org/schedule. For additional information, contact Jennifer Brown at (402) 960-3670 or Jennifer@southplatteforum.org.

More South Platte River Basin coverage here.


Roaring Fork Conservancy District: We’re hosting a middle school teacher workshop on November 1

October 13, 2014


“We are trying to understand how much water is available in agriculture without jeopardizing agriculture” — Perry Cabot

October 13, 2014
Flood irrigation in the Arkansas Valley via Greg Hobbs

Flood irrigation in the Arkansas Valley via Greg Hobbs

From The Grand Junction Free Press (Brittany Markert):

…through his current research, he’s [Cabot] suggesting that farmers and Grand Valley residents adopt more efficient water use practices — from crop watering to shorter showers — for its long-term benefits.

To prove his theory, Cabot is studying water impacts on two Mesa County farms. One is dealing with irrigation conservation related to split-season watering. The other is irrigation efficiency, comparing the three watering systems — drip, irrigation, and furrow.

“We are trying to understand how much water is available in agriculture without jeopardizing agriculture,” Cabot said. “We look at both conservation and efficiency, to prepare them for future water issues.”

This is important to western Colorado because, according to Cabot, residential use of water takes precedence over agriculture use of water. He suggests that conservation and efficiency work hand in hand, and the future of agriculture water is up to how residents and farmers use the water available now.

Cabot said he hasn’t found the best solution for water conservation yet, but he continues to study ways for farms to be more efficient locally.

“Western Slope agriculture and Western Slope water cannot and will not be considered as a single, easy-to-go-to solution to the water-supply concerns of others,” said Mark Harris, the general manager of the Grand Valley Water Users Association.

There is no easy solution, Harris agreed, but there’s also no denying a large chunk of water is tied up. All communities along the Western Slope and downstream are dependent upon water available, including agriculture and municipal use.

“The future holds a lot of different opinions, though through the lens of farmers, they are resilient,” Cabot said. “If they want to keep farming, they will.”

FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE & WATER

According to Colorado Mesa University’s Water Center coordinator Hannah Holm, when water becomes scarce, farmers have a target on their backs as the first to lose it. And with Colorado currently putting together a water plan to accommodate population growth and reduction in resources, water availability is a hot topic in the agriculture industry these days.

Farmers are as concerned as the rest of the state about having enough water for the state’s future, Colorado Agriculture Water Alliance confirmed. And they’re working to understand the challenges and what the future will hold.

John Harold, an Olathe Sweet Corn farmer at Tuxedo Corn Company, said agriculture is just part of the water-shortage solution.

“We can get by with less and do just as good as job,” he said. “My son and I have 200 acres of drip irrigation and proved we can grow quality crops with less water. There’s tremendous investment to it.”

Farmers are also encouraged to invest in efficient water systems to promote less waste, while also keeping up with population growth.

“It’s a perfect example of doing more with less,” Cabot added.

For more information, visit http://www.crwcd.org.


Water Lines: Former Las Vegas water czar to speak at CMU forum — Grand Junction Free Press #ColoradoRiver

October 9, 2014
Pat Mulroy via The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Pat Mulroy via The Earth Institute at Columbia University

From the Grand Junction Free Press (Hannah Holm):

Pat Mulroy will give a dinner speech at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction at 6:15 p.m. on Nov. 5. Mulroy is the former head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which provides water to the City of Las Vegas, Nev.

She led the agency during a time when persistent drought spurred numerous innovations, from paying Las Vegas residents to remove lawns to negotiating new agreements with other Colorado River water users on how to manage water. Mulroy is currently the senior fellow for Climate Adaptation and Environmental Policy for the Brookings Mountain West program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is known as a fiery and straight-talking speaker.

Mulroy’s talk will be the centerpiece of the 2014 Upper Colorado River Basin Water Forum, which will begin with pre-forum workshops on Tuesday, Nov. 4 and wrap up Thursday afternoon on Nov. 6. The forum theme is “Seeking a Resilient Future.”

Over the two days of the forum, researchers, water managers, policy makers and other stakeholders from each of the Upper Basin states, as well as Nevada and California, will exchange information and ideas related to enhancing the region’s ability to respond and adapt to changing water conditions.

Speakers will address climate change, state water plans, tribal water claims, Colorado headwaters challenges and responses, agricultural irrigation innovations, demand management and the Colorado River Delta pulse flow, as well as the management of Lake Powell and Lake Mead. A key goal of the forum is to generate insights into how science and history can inform management and policy.

The Thursday lunch keynote speaker will be William Hasencamp, Manager of Colorado River Resources for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He will discuss what lessons can be learned from California’s current extreme drought.

The dinner with Pat Mulroy will begin at 6:15 on Nov. 5. Registration is open to all to attend, regardless of whether or not they will also attend the full forum. Details on the forum, with a links to register for all related activities, can found at http://www.coloradomesa.edu/WaterCenter, or by calling 970-248-1968. One-day and student registration options are available, and the event is free for CMU students, faculty and staff.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here


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