The Water Educator Network is partnering with Earth Force and Denver Public Works to bring a flagship stormwater educator workshop to all corners of the state. This full-day professional development workshop combines training in Earth Force’s six-step Community Action and Problem Solving Process, with water quality monitoring protocols.The day will also include a storm drain hunt, hands-on use of enviroscape model, individual unit lesson-planning time, in-stream data collection, and potentially expert volunteer visits from engineers and scientists. Each participant will go home with a Colorado-specific activity guide and access to on-going assistance and resources to use with middle and high school students and adult community audiences. Continuing education credit certificates available for educators.
When: July 7th, 2016 9:00 AM through 4:00 PM
Location: 1521 Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs
Click here to read the newsletter. Here’s an excerpt:
What do Rainbarrels mean for Colorado Water Conservation?
Last month, Governor Hickenlooper signed HB 16-1005 into law, making rainwater harvesting widely legal in Colorado. Thanks to the legislation, precipitation can be collected from residential rooftops, provided a maximum of two barrels with a combined storage of 110 gallons or less are used; precipitation is collected from a single-family residence or building that houses no more than four families; collected water is used on the residential property where it is collected; and water is used for outdoor purposes. Rainwater harvesting in Colorado has been subject to a lot of hype and the new legislation heralds much excitement, but how much water will it really conserve? Continue reading…
From The Crested Butte News (Alissa Johnson):
Snowpack across the Gunnison River Basin is below normal, particularly in the East River Basin where the predicted streamflow for the April through July runoff season is 78 percent of normal.
Spring runoff for the East River is likely to peak within the next few days. “The long-term average peak occurs on June 11, so this year’s peak seems to be on track or a few days earlier than normal,” Kugel said.
Reservoir conditions look to be quite different from last year. Last June, both the Taylor Park and Blue Mesa Reservoirs came within inches of spilling over. This coming summer, Taylor Park Reservoir is projected to reach somewhere between 90 percent and 95 percent of full and Blue Mesa is projected to reach 83 percent of capacity.
Kugel attributes the difference to a slightly better snowpack in the Taylor Park area and a recent 10-day peak flow release from Blue Mesa in accordance with a record of decision for the Aspinall Environmental Impact Study. Water was released for the lower Gunnison River for endangered fish habitat.
“Blue Mesa should start filling again but dropped several thousand acre-feet during the release and is currently at 69 percent of capacity,” Kugel said.
The Taylor Park Reservoir is currently at 72 percent of capacity and is in the midst of its peak release of 450 cubic feet per second (cfs), which started Tuesday, May 31 and runs through Saturday, June 4.
“We do that both to satisfy privately held instream flow rights on the Taylor River and to help flush sediments from the streambed and improve the fishery on the Taylor River. Once the release is complete, it will be stepped back down to 300 cfs over the course of a few days and it should remain at that for the month of June,” Kugel said.
That will make for good flows for several June events featuring local waterways. This year’s Gunnison River Festival, which features the annual river float and fish fry as well as events at the Whitewater Park, will take place just after the 41st annual Colorado Water Workshop.
Originally started by local historian Duane Vandenbusche and Gunnison water lawyer Richard Bratton, this year’s workshop features several authors, including Western Slope writer Craig Childs.
The Colorado Foundation for Water Education will also host a two-day tour of the Gunnison River Basin, providing an in-depth look at everything from Blue Mesa Reservoir to local irrigation practices and infrastructure to an organic farm and the Gunnison Whitewater Park.
The tour runs June 21-22; the Colorado Water Workshop runs June 22-24; and the Gunnison River Festival runs June 24-26.
The administration of water rights is serious business. Governor Hickenlooper recognized the need for a Colorado Water Plan and then issued an executive order to produce one. Some said that he was asking them to, “Do the impossible,” that is, bring the varied entrenched water interests in Colorado together.
The Colorado Foundation for Water Education presented the Governor with their first Dianne Hoppe Leadership Award yesterday evening. Eric Hecox, board president, cited Hickenlooper’s leadership, dedication to wise governance, and faith in the power of listening to all sides in an issue to find common ground.
The governor credited everyone involved with the Water Plan. He singled out the IBCC and roundtables for their 10 years of effort working the grass roots across Colorado.
Heather Dutton received the Emerging Leader Award. Greg Hobbs’ introduction on Your Colorado Water Blog says, “[Heather Dutton] the newest manager of the San Luis Valley Water Conservancy District, glories in the heritage of the Rio Grande River. She’s a fifth-generation daughter of the Valley’s farming and ranching community, like her father Doug, who farms in the center of the Valley.”
Ms. Dutton thanked her family for their support and also cited the collaboration and mentoring from friends and colleagues.
Nicole Seltzer and the CFWE staff are getting pretty good at throwing these shindigs. I thought it was a great tribute. to change the President’s Award name to the Diane Hoppe Leadership Award. She was instrumental in passing the legislation that established the Colorado Foundation for Water Education. Diane passed this year but leaves a deep legacy.
Here’s a gallery of photos from the event:
By Nelson Harvey, excerpts pulled from an originally published piece in the Winter 2016 issue of Headwaters magazine
Read the first part of this series here.
Even now, months after Colorado’s Water Plan was finalized in November 2015, questions continue to circulate about how the voluntary plan will work—how the state’s utilities, businesses, advocacy groups and individual water users will take responsibility for its goals. Here, we turn those questions on one of the plan’s nine defined measureable outcomes: watershed health, environment and recreation.
The connection between the health of Colorado’s forests and the quality of our water seems abstract, until you consider that 80 percent of the water we use for drinking, irrigating and washing flows through a forested watershed before it gets to the tap. Protecting clean water requires protecting vast swaths of forest that often cross jurisdictional and political boundaries, areas that face threats as varied as wildfire, flood, invasive species and…
View original post 533 more words
Click here to read the latest Headwaters. Allen Best knocks it out of the park with his article about collaboration. Here’s an excerpt:
Conflict has been our central water narrative in Colorado. It’s been shovel-wielding neighbor against neighbor, city against farm, Eastern Slope versus Western Slope, and, purely from a Colorado perspective, us versus those water-wasting scoundrels downstream in California, Arizona and Las Vegas. In headlines, for sure, and sometimes in fact, we have always been at war over water.
Water matters, absolutely. We all know that. But is conflict the only way to understand Colorado’s water history—or future? Or might cooperation and its close cousin, collaboration, also help us understand where we’ve come and guide us better through the 21st century? Your computer dictionary will probably use cooperation and collaboration interchangeably, but the Webster Third New International Dictionary suggests a distinction. Cooperation comes with allies, but collaboration especially occurs with an enemy or an opposed group. Parsing collaboration, you find the root word “labor.” To labor requires “expenditure of physical or mental effort, especially when fatiguing, difficult or compulsory.”