Colorado Foundation for Water Education events


I’ve been remiss in posting links to the events below from the Colorado Foundation for
Water Education. Here goes:

February 12: Water Fluency Spring 2016

Click here to register.

A professional development course to help you understand water and lead with confidence

Course curriculum focuses on:

  • Colorado’s water resources: the role of water in society, the economic value of water, ties to public policy, emerging issues
  • Legal and institutional frameworks: water law and administration, project planning and approval, interbasin projects and agreements
  • Water resource management: watershed health, environmental protection, water quality, natural disasters
  • Colorado water for the future: assessing supply and meeting demand, ecosystem values, conservation and land use, alignment of resources and policies
  • This unique educational experience will increase your water fluency so you can better analyze water’s influence on the issues you deal with everyday and evaluate creative solutions. Become immersed in the language and concepts of water as well as tools for navigating the culture, complexity and future of water management and policy issues. You will leave equipped with relevant knowledge and a new network of peers to create lasting, positive change in your community. If you’re an elected official, a professional interested in water or a community or business leader, this program is for you!

    Registration is now open for Water Fluency Spring 2016: Northern Front Range

    Register here by February 12. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Members of the Special District Association may be eligible for a 75 percent scholarship, while some 50 percent scholarships are also available thanks to local program sponsors. Water Fluency scholarships are competitive. You can apply for a scholarship after you have completed your registration. Scholarship applicants will be notified by 2/12.

    Participants learn through site visits; four half-day in-person classroom discussions; and online material, presented in partnership with Colorado State University’s online water course, with an estimated total time commitment of 30 hours over 10 weeks.

    Attendance is required at in-person sessions and will be held during the afternoon on the following dates and locations:

    March 2, Greeley
    March 23, Fort Collins
    April 19, Berthoud
    May 10, Longmont photo via Todd McPhail photo via Todd McPhail

    February 26: Water for Commodity Production Tour

    Click here to register.

    On February 26, 2016 spend the day with CFWE on our Water for Commodity Production Tour. We’ll explore the relationship between water demands, public policy and economic development, and see innovative approaches in the Pueblo area. Hear about land use policy and planning for economic development, economic return and distribution scale of local agricultural products, industrial hemp and commercial marijuana operations, leasing water for industrial water uses, gain some historical and current context of water for steel production and much more.

    Review the draft itinerary here. Seats are limited and expected to sell out…Register here.

    Ice core storage March 13, 2015 National Ice Core Laboratory
    Ice core storage March 13, 2015 National Ice Core Laboratory

    March 11: Climate & Colorado’s Water Future

    Register here.

    Join us on Friday March 11, 2016 for CFWE’s annual Climate and Colorado’s Water Future Workshop! This year we’ll meet in Boulder to tour INSTAAR’s Stable Isotope Lab and hear from many local experts to learn about Colorado’s crazy climate. Hear and see how researchers use ice cores to understand the composition and temperature of Earth’s atmosphere; explore drought, climate change, the water cycle and ecosystem; find out how changes in climate can alter hydrology and how water managers are preparing and planning for an uncertain future. We’ll come away with new tools to better teach and communicate about climate. View the draft agenda and register here—this annual offering always fills. Reserve your space today!

    * 0.5 credit hour is available through the Colorado School of Mines Office of Continuing Education to teachers requiring graduate-level relicensure hours. Teachers seeking credit must bring a $35 tuition check (in addition to paying the course registration fee) made payable to “CSM Continuing Education” the day of the workshop. Please contact if seeking continuing education credit or with any questions.

    #cwcac2016: Colorado Water Congress Annual Convention recap

    Click here read the Twitter stream from the convention (#cwcac2016). It will take you a long time to scroll to the start of the stream last Wednesday.

    Click here to read the Tweets where I fat-fingered the hash tag as (#cwcac2015).

    Colorado Agricultural Meteorological Network — The Sterling Journal-Advocate

    CoAgMet Station Map via the Colorado Climate Center
    CoAgMet Station Map via the Colorado Climate Center

    From the Sterling Journal-Advocate (Wilma Trujillo):

    In the early 1990s, a group of plant pathologists from Colorado State University and a group of researchers from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Water Management Unit recognized the need to collect localized weather data in irrigated agricultural areas across the state. The plant pathologists wanted weather data for the prediction of disease outbreaks in high value crops, such as onions and potatoes, while ARS researchers needed almost the same information to provide irrigation scheduling recommendations.

    These two groups formed an informal coalition and invited others in the agricultural research community to join. They wanted input into the kinds and frequency of measurements that would be most useful to a broad spectrum of agricultural customers. Eight stations were established in major irrigated areas of eastern Colorado. These stations had a standardized set of instruments collecting and recoding data with a standard data logger program. As interest grew and funds were made available, primarily from potential users, more stations were added. Currently, there are 79 weather stations across the state in the Colorado Agricultural Meteorological Network (CoAgMet).

    Initially, the station sites were located near established phone service to allow daily collection of data. Currently, the data retrieval is through cellular phone service. Today, this methodology is widely available, reliable and inexpensive. Commercial software is used to download data from the stations shortly after midnight to a USDA-ARS computer, from which it is then distributed to interested users.

    As the network grew, the Colorado Climate Center (CCC) at Colorado State University became interested in the data collected, and subsequently took over the daily data collection and quality assessment. The CCC added Internet delivery and a wide range of data delivery options (fax, email, text and voice messages, etc.), and continues to improve the user interface in response to a growing interest in the data collected.

    Data collected by the network is also available online at Weather records date back to 1992 for the oldest stations. The home page of CoAgMet provides links to weather information descriptions of various aspects of the network. For example, there is a link to a list of the weather sensors typically installed on a CoAgMet weather station and their measurement characteristics. Another link provides a resizable map of all the stations and can help find the one(s) nearest your location.

    Also the link “Monthly Summaries” provides users the option of selecting a year and a month for a specific station, plus setting options for calculating growing degree days (GDD). The link ‘Hourly Data Plots’ allows users to plot temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, soil temperature, and solar radiation for a single day or up to an entire year at a selected station.

    CoAgMet also provides daily crop water use or evapotranspiration (ET) reports. Evapotranspiration reports from CoAgMet can be used to improve irrigation management and conserve limited water resources by fine-tuning irrigation timing and amount.

    The weather stations have been also classified as partially irrigated, fully irrigated or dryland. These designations describe the predominant land use in the immediate vicinity of the weather station and/or the vegetation growing around the site.

    For more information on CoAgMet, please visit: There is also a useful fact sheet ( that gives more details on how to generate and use the Crop ET Reports.

    #cwcac2016: 2016 Aspinall Water Leader of the Year

    This year’s Aspinall Water Leader of the Year Award goes to: Harold Miskel. He had a long career with Colorado Springs Utilities. He currently is on the board of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District but plans to retire from the board soon.

    Greg Hobbs sent me his invocation from today’s Aspinall Award Luncheon via email:

    May we please bow our heads as we pray for our dear friend,
    Diane Hoppe, Aspinall Award winner who is in the hospital today,

    As we gather today in each other’s good company
    to share the abundance of all gifts we receive,
    this food we eat, this water we drink, this conversation
    we generate through the labor and fruit
    of the commitment of others.

    May the story of our lives continue to invigorate the Colorado
    we inherit, love, and bequeath. In the open space of
    opportunity, may we learn to practice grace and respect,
    with self-correcting wit and humility in our slips and falls

    Righting the wrongs we do unto others and celebrating
    another chance to engage in what we may and what we will.

    Lord, we thank you.

    #cwcac2016: Colorado Water Congress 2016 Annual Convention (Day 2)

    Delph Carpenter’s 1922 Colorado River Basin map with Lake Mead and Lake Powell via Greg Hobbs

    Well the first day of general sessions at the convention was a hoot. One of the highlights was the Patty Limerick led panel “Historians to the rescue” that explored the role of history in telling #Colorado’s water story. Conclusion? Historians tell a good story and historical context is important.

    Follow along on Twitter, hash tag #cwcac2016 (@CoyoteGulch).

    Note: I fat-fingered the hash tag on a few Tweets late in the day Thursday. I used #cwcac2015 in error. Sorry.

    Crystal River via Aspen Journalism
    Crystal River via Aspen Journalism

    #cwcac2016: Colorado Water Congress 2016 Annual Convention

    Via Loretta Lohman. She writes: A Denise Rue-Pastin classic, appropriate for this week and others coming up.
    Via Loretta Lohman. She writes: A Denise Rue-Pastin classic, appropriate for this week and others coming

    I’ll be at the Colorado Water Congress Annual Convention today. Follow along on Twitter, hash tag #cwcac2016 (@CoyoteGulch).

    The convention is all about implementing the Colorado Water Plan.

    A screenshot from the website for Colorado's Water Plan.
    A screenshot from the website for Colorado’s Water Plan.

    #Colorado Farm Show recap

    From The Greeley Tribune (Kelly Ragan):

    Water seeped into several presentations Tuesday at the annual Colorado Farm Show at Island Grove Regional Park for Colorado Produce day.

    Dennis Nuxoll, vice president of federal government affairs for Western Growers braved east coast storms, trudged through the snow and caught a plane to tell attendees how congressional action could affect them this year.

    “Trying to do something around water is a big thing,” Nuxoll said. “Every producer can benefit.”

    Robert Sakata, president of the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and owner of Sakata Farms in Brighton, moderated the presentations. Here’s some of what they discussed:


    Sakata said he believes protecting the current system of water rights is instrumental to maintaining inter-industry order and cooperation.

    “The key is to protect the prior appropriation system because we have a long history of that, and it would send the whole thing into turmoil if we got rid of that,” Sakata said.


    “Sens. Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet have been working to identify and push for ideas to benefit Colorado,” Nuxoll said.

    The senators are working to facilitate a multi-state water package to bring to the floor in 2016. Any water legislation will be finished within the first three months of the year, Nuxoll said.

    The problem is that people forget drought quickly when snowpack is decent, Nuxoll said.

    A combination of short-term memory and a presidential election year will create a tumultuous climate for water legislation. Once presidential candidates are chosen, Nuxoll fears issues that don’t draw a crowd will fall by the wayside.

    “You talk to farmers, and they remember the difficulties of recent drought,” Nuxoll said. “We’ve got to make our politicians remember. It won’t be on TV.”

    Colorado is a focal point for water discussion as all aspects of heavy water users — urban, agriculture, energy and recreation — coexist.

    “Colorado is a good spot because it has good advocates and a well-vetted water plan,” Nuxoll said.


    Mike Bartolo, director of Colorado State University Arkansas Valley Research Station in Rocky Ford spoke on water research.

    Bartolo expects research in efficient drip irrigation and high-selenium water usage to be explored in 2016.

    Integrating quality water with crop production links the more abstract concepts of water to the consumer.

    “The quality aspect is something new and exciting,” Bartolo said. “We’ve got a health-conscious population in Colorado. We’ve got consumers becoming more engaged in how their food is produced. They want to understand, and they’re asking about farmers.”

    Westwide SNOTEL map January 26, 2016 via the NRCS.
    Westwide SNOTEL map January 26, 2016 via the NRCS.