Arkansas river basin
The Arkansas Basin has seen an increase in urban growth and in competition for the scarce water resources available. The Basin's growth and competition have led to an increase in the transfer of water from agricultural use to municipal and industrial uses.
Gunnison river basin
The Gunnison Basin has high water quality in a number of headwater streams. The Basin is home to a rich recreational economy, generally tied to water. The Gunnison River typically contributes about 1/6th of the Colorado River Basin's total annual flow.
Rio Grande river basin
The Rio Grande Basin covers 7.2% of the state's land. Agriculture is the primary economic driver, and the Basin's population is projected to increase 0.9% per year between 2014 and 2050.
south platte basin
The South Platte Basin continuously works to protect the strength of economic, social, environmental, and recreational attributes through the management of its existing water supplies while simultaneously planning to meet for future water needs.
Yampa river basin
The Yampa/White/Green Basin is part of the Colorado River Basin and is caught between the needs of the downstream states, the needs of the urbanized East slope of Colorado, and its own in-Basin needs. Consumptive demand is projected to increase to 361,000 acre-feet per year by 2050.
Colorado river basin
The Colorado Basin covers approximately 9,830 miles and is predominantly comprised of federally owned land. The Basin is Colorado's major 'donor' basin of water and it is one of the largest watersheds in the state.
north platte basin
The North Platte Basin is located in central Colorado and covers approximately 2,050 square miles. The Basin mainly comprises of one county, but the overall population growth is projected to increase by 25% by the year 2030.
REPUBLICAN RIVER BASIN
The Republican River covers approximately 25,018 square miles in northeastern Colorado, western Kansas and southern Nebraska. The Republican River is formed by the convergence of the North Fork of the Republican River and the Arikaree River.
southwest river basin
The Southwest Basin is unique for its complex hydrography, political entities, water compacts and treaties, and diverse communities that it encompasses. The Basin supports many water-dependent species of wildlife, including warm and cold water fish species, and four terrestrial species.
On June 16th, the Colorado Water Congress joined Northern Water’s West Slope full-day tour travels through Rocky Mountain National Park to the collection facilities for the Colorado-Big Thompson and Windy Gap projects.
The Colorado Water Congress enjoyed a fun filled and educational day with Northern Water yesterday. The day started with an overview of the day's agenda provided by Brian Werner and Eric Wilkinson. From there, the tour began at Beaver Meadow's Visitor's Center in Estes Park before making our way to Grand Lake-West Portal Adams Tunnel via Trail Ridge Road and Rocky Mountain National Park. Our tour guides provided an informative yet entertaining presentation on various aspects of Northern Water on the trip to the West Slope. From Grand Lake we then made our way to Windy Gap Reservoir. The guides then split us into three groups. Each group then spent the afternoon touring the pump plant and learning about Colorado River water issues; learning about the C-BT and Windy Gap operations; and doing the Windy Gap watchable wildlife tour.
It was a great day to be on the West Slope learning about water, water issues, and Northern Water's operations!
The Colorado Water Congress is honored to be featured in Denver Water's Blog, Mile High Water Talk, by the talented and witty Katie Knoll. Katie, thank you for the many compliments not only to CWC, but also to Colorado's water community as a whole. We hope to inspire our members, to encourage collaboration, and to provide the state's biggest and boldest platform on which to discuss important water issues. Check out Katie's blog post below!
What I heard from the water pros: collaboration, climate change — and the state water plan recited as a poem.
By Katie Knoll
Call me a water nerd, but I love going to the Colorado Water Congress annual convention every year.
But it can be exhausting. Three days of networking and catching up with professional colleagues (and friends) can wear a girl down, but it’s totally worth it.
The convention is devoted to education and conversation on all things water. It begins with a full day of educational workshops, followed by two days of informational seminars led by the top minds on water from around the state. And it’s all rounded out with a sprinkling of federal and state legislative affairs committee meetings.
This year, many of the agenda topics focused on theColorado Water Plan and what comes next. Here’s my No.1 takeaway: What truly comes next is a really impressive transition from “water is for fightin’” to “water is for collaboratin’ and cooperatin’.”
A little less exciting, perhaps, but a lot more potential for getting things done.
Here are my eight takeaways from the water pros:
1. Collaboration. “Legislation cannot mandate cooperation,” said Travis Smith, Colorado Water Conservation Board board member. Attendees seemed to be taking that advice to heart, finding inspiration through Rotary International’s Four-Way Test.
2. Aging Infrastructure. Here’s an issue the East Slope and West Slope residents can agree on. While Denver Water deals with a distribution system that was built before World War II, the West Slope is dealing with irrigation systems dating back more than 150 years.
3. Fun. Contrary to popular belief, conversations about water resources and infrastructure CAN be fun. This year’s convention yielded a few Star Wars references and some killer rhymes from the CWCB’s fearless leader, James Eklund, as he broke down the Colorado Water Plan — poetry-style!
4. Population growth. Colorado’s population is expected to nearly double by 2050.A popular theme, not only at the convention but in all conversations about water: We can’t grow the next 5 million the same way we grew the last.
5. More land-use planning. Twelve percent of Coloradans currently live in communities that have incorporated water saving into their land-use planning. The Colorado Water Plan has a goal to increase that number to 75 percent by 2025. The CWCB andColorado Department of Local Affairs are creating cross-training programs to bring together water and land-use folks to plan for the future. Stay tuned!
6. Protect those watersheds! Only 47 percent of Colorado’s critical watersheds are currently covered by a watershed protection plan. The Water Plan calls for increasing protections up to 80 percent by 2030.
7. Weather and climate. 2015 was the warmest year on record globally and the second warmest nationally. (In Colorado, it was the third warmest year.) But Nolan Doesken, our state climatologist, did offer some good news: According to his records, Colorado has been drought free for longer than we ever have been, and this year’s forecast is looking wet. Thanks, Mother Nature!
8. Limericks. Thanks to our new Colorado State Historian, Patty Limerick! She led a seminar this year focused on how to use stories (and limericks) to tell the water story. Here’s one of our favorites from her book, “A Ditch in Time”:
Lessons of Interconnection
Rural and urban places
Are tangled together like laces.
They’re like sister and brother;
They depend on each other,
They have never been opposite cases.
By Emily Brumit
The Colorado Water Congress is pleased to see the introduction of the following Federal legislation which support our 2015 Federal Priorities and aims to strengthen state control of privately held water rights, and watershed protection.
Last month, Doug Kemper, Executive Director and Emily Brumit, Water Policy Analyst, traveled to Washington D.C. to deliver the annual Colorado Water Issues Briefing to the Colorado Delegation and staff on April 14th. The briefing included a review of the Federal Affairs Committee 2015 Priorities which include but are not limited to Waters of the United States, Ski Area Water Rights Rule/Legislation, Federal Agency Land Use Planning and Management, USFS Groundwater Directive, Drought and Fire Preparedness and Mitigation, etc. The congressional briefing also included status updates on various water projects around the state such as Windy Gap Firming Project, Northern Integrated Supply Project, Arkansas Valley Conduit, and Southern Delivery System.
By Emily Brumit
On May 6th, 2015 the 70th legislative session of the Colorado General Assembly came to a close. There were new and interesting concepts introduced coupled with legislation we’ve seen before and will undoubtedly see again next year. Of the 36 water bills that were introduced, CWC supported 18, opposed three, amended three, and took no position on 12. Fourteen of the 36 were “killed”, or postponed indefinitely for lack of a majority vote in either of the assigned committees or on the House or Senate floor.
CWC has the good fortune of working with the IWRRC in drafting their summer schedule so that we can focus on legislative concepts that are important to our membership. The IWRRC will meet at our 2015 Summer Conference at the Vail Cascade in Vail, CO, August 19-21.
By Emily Brumit
The CWC State Affairs Committee is currently following 31 water bills; 15 we support, 2 we’re in opposition to, 3 we’d like to see amended, and 9 on which we’ve taken no position. The following are some of the most controversial water bills of the session: HB15-1222, HB15-1038, HB15-1178, and HB15-1259.
HB15-1222, the Ag Efficiency bill, or “Son of SB-23” as some are calling it, is making its way through the legislative process after being carefully constructed as a pilot program. The CWCB and DNR were considerate in taking suggestions from CWC State Affairs Committee members and other water experts across the state throughout the drafting process, which began in the Interim Water Resources Review Committee in fall 2014. Representative K.C. Becker (D, HD13) is the bill sponsor and explains how the bill works for those transferring their water efficiency savings, for downstream users, and how the bill will allow for future investment HERE.
Attendees of the Colorado Water Congress POND Ski Day pose at the base of Winter Park Resort.
By Fiona Smith
During the 2013/14 ski season, Colorado saw 12.6 million skier visits. The ski industry across the United States alone generated around $12.2 billion during the 2009/10 season. What makes it tick? What lies beneath that fresh corduroy and is responsible for Arapahoe Basin’s October open dates? Snowmaking. According to Winter Park Resort’s Slop Supervisor, Ron Richard, “Every other year we wouldn’t be able to open the way we do without snowmaking.”
In 1976, Winter Park became one of Colorado’s first resorts to use snowmaking. The tool is credited with saving the resort during one of the driest winters ever seen in the region. Winter Park’s snowmaking infrastructure now covers 300 acres across the resort.
By Emily Brumit
The CWC State Affairs Committee is off to a busy start, already following twenty-one bills in the 2015 legislative session.
The State Affairs Committee voted to support the FLEX bill (HB15-1038), a repeated concept from previous legislative sessions. HB15-1038 would create a more flexible change-in-use system by allowing an applicant who seeks to implement fallowing, regulated deficit irrigation, reduced consumptive use cropping, or other alternatives to the permanent dry-up of irrigated lands to apply for a change in use to any beneficial use, without designating the specific beneficial use to which the water will be applied.
By Fiona Smith
Will, director with Deloitte Consulting LLP, develops and implements corporate-wide sustainability and water strategies for corporations, public sector enterprises, and NGOs. He authored “Corporate Water Strategies,” “Water Tech,” and the forthcoming “21st Century Growth: Beyond the Energy–Water–Food Nexus” (Dō Sustainability 2015). Will is a Board Member of the Rainforest Alliance, on the Water Leadership Group for WBCSD, and on the Scientific Program Committee for Stockholm World Water Week.
He spoke on Friday, January 30 during Session V of the 2015 Colorado Water Congress Annual Convention- Capital Ideas: Public. Private. Partnerships.
By Fiona Smith
2015 Aspinall Award Recipient Bill Trampe stands among the previous Aspinall Award winners at the 2015 CWC Annual Convention.
The Colorado Water Congress awarded Bill Trampe, a life-long Gunnison Rancher and Colorado water advocate, the 2015 Wayne N. Aspinall “Water Leader of the Year” Award.
The Aspinall Award is given annually in recognition of a career of service and contribution to Colorado’s water community. It is awarded to a person who has dedicated a significant part of his or her career to the advancement of the state and its programs to protect, develop and preserve the state’s water resources.
Contributors include CWC staff, Board Members, and Members.