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Rain on Snow Brings Much-Needed Flush to Florida River!

Thirteen years ago, in June 2002, the Missionary Ridge Fire in southwest Colorado burned for 39 days and consumed nearly 73,000 acres, including 56 homes. One firefighter lost his life. The skies were dark and thick with smoke, and in the aftermath, there was debris, mud, soot, and trees strewn in the river channel below Lemon Dam. Thanks to the heavy May precipitation this year, John Ey, Lemon Dam Superintendent, was able to make high releases from the reservoir and flush the Florida River channel. This provided a much-needed cleansing to the river, which had been unable to be accomplished in recent years due to prolonged drought conditions that have occurred since the 2002 fire. The extended high releases will provide numerous benefits to the river and ecosystem. Benefits include improved aquatic food base and spawning habitat, riverside vegetation, and wildlife habitat.


Statewide Roundtable Summit

The fourth Statewide Roundtable Summit was held in Westminster, Colorado on March 12, 2015. It was attended by members of the nine basin roundtables and interested members of the public. Roughly 300 individuals participated in total, 46% were basin roundtable members. Complete with red boxing gloves and warm-up jabs, the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s (CWCB) executive director, James Eklund, began the Summit after opening remarks from John Stulp. Stulp is Governor Hickenlooper’s special policy advisor for water and chairman of the Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC). As Eklund stated, “we have pivoted from whether or not we should have a plan, to what that plan should be. As we focus on the first final water plan, our emphasis must be on actionable steps.”


SWCD’s Annual Seminar

The Southwestern Water Conservation District’s (SWCD) 33rd Annual Seminar was conducted in Durango on April 3rd. There were more than 175 in attendance. After opening remarks and introductions, a preview of the new documentary, the Great Divide, was provided by Harvey Productions.


Draft Colorado Water Plan Complete!

Rising demand from population growth and industry, if continued through 2050, threatens to leave 2.5 million people in Colorado with a water supply shortfall. Unless solutions are found to meet the gap between water demand and supply, the result could be, among others, agricultural dry-up. Therefore, and in response, in May 2013 Governor Hickenlooper ordered the development of a first-ever Colorado Water Plan. In mid-November the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) sent the Governor a draft of this plan that aims to shape the future of the resource in the state. The plan, which took a year-and-a-half to craft, was a monumental and unprecedented effort that involved the work of hundreds of individuals and organizations throughout Colorado. It is generally agreed that a variety of methods will need to be included in the Plan to meet the water supply needs of the state—conservation, development of already Identified Projects and Processes (IPP’s), agricultural “buy and dry,” and development of “new supply” projects. Taken together, these are referred to as the ‘four legs of the stool.’

LONG HOLLOW RESERVOIR COMPLETE!

The embankment of Long Hollow dam is complete, construction of the project is finished, and a ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted for the Bobby K. Taylor Reservoir (Long Hollow Reservoir) in Red Mesa on October 2nd. The ceremony was hosted by the La Plata Water Conservancy District and the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority (CWRPDA).


Contribute to the Colorado Healthy Rivers Fund on Your Taxes

It’s already tax season, and while you may not enjoy sending in your income taxes, you can feel good about where some of your money or tax refund is going by participating in the Colorado Healthy Rivers Fund Tax Check-Off Program.

HISTORIC FLOODS!!!

Historically heavy September rains across parts of Colorado’s Front Range were called ‘biblical’ by the National Weather Service.

Groundbreaking for Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project

On June 2nd, federal, state, and tribal officials gathered in western New Mexico to break ground for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project.


La Plata Water Conservancy District’s Long Hollow Reservoir Groundbreaking

There was a long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony for Long Hollow Reservoir on July 10th. The project is a key component in an effort to store water for Colorado ranchers and help satisfy the state’s La Plata River obligation to New Mexico.


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