WIP News

21st Annual Children’s Water Festival May 4th!

The Annual Children’s Water Festival is sponsored by the Southwestern Water Conservation District and coordinated by the Water Information Program. The festival event began more than 20 years ago and is conducted the first Wednesday in May at Fort Lewis College (FLC). The 2016 festival date is May 4th. The goal of the water festival is to educate fifth grade students about local and regional water issues and the environment in an effort to help them understand the importance of this natural resource and how they can help to protect water supplies.


F2F Story Maps Available and Registration is Now Open for the 2016 Workshop!

Beginning in 2012, the Water Information Program (WIP), in conjunction with Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) and the San Jan Mountains Association (SJMA), plus financial support from the Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD), University of Colorado, and Trout Unlimited, conducted Forests-to-Faucets (F2F) teacher training workshops in the Dolores/San Juan River Basin of southwest Colorado. The goal of the workshops was to train teachers in the basin about the importance and interconnection of healthy watersheds to area water supplies.


WIP Lending Library

The Water Information Program lending library now has more than 200 water-related books and movies available for checkout. Stop by the office at 841 East 2nd Avenue in Durango to find a book or DVD of interest to you. In addition, we welcome reviews at any time. If you are interested in providing a book or movie review for our quarterly newsletters, please email 1-2 paragraphs to [email protected]. The spring 2016 newsletter movie review is provided by Laura Spann, with the SWCD:


WIP’s Participating Entity, SWCD, Update

At their February 9th Board meeting the following grants were funded by the Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD):


Pilot Water and Land Use Planning Session a Success

The pressures of reduced water supplies intersecting with increased population and the need for adequate housing are prompting a more urgent look at the water and land use planning connection. To these ends the Water Information Program, in conjunction with the American Planners Association—Colorado Chapter and La Plata County, conducted their first water and land use planning work session on October 23rd in Durango. The session was a success and attracted approximately 35 attendees, most of whom were land use planners, water utility personnel, and local government officials. This was a half day session that qualified for 4 CM credits for planners (.75 legal). Topics included the American West and Colorado water realities and issues, water and land use planning overview, Colorado land use regulations, and land use planning tools and techniques.


WIP Lending Library

The Water Information Program lending library now has more than 200 water-related books and movies available for checkout. Stop by the office at 841 East 2nd Avenue in Durango to find a book or DVD of interest to you. In addition, we welcome reviews at any time. If you are interested in providing a book or movie review for our quarterly newsletters, please email 1-2 paragraphs to [email protected]. The winter 2015 newsletter book review is provided by Laura Spann, with the SWCD.

Book Review: Blue Revolution, by Cynthia Barnett, 2012

Journalist Cynthia Barnett’s treatise on today’s water crisis naturally begins with examples from California. Even national energy efficiency leaders like Sacramento squander precious gallons on lawns in a drought-stricken state. “Somehow, America’s green craze has missed the blue,” she says. Why? From industry to government policy to private homes, she portrays a culture of incentives that has encouraged Americans to use more and more water—and value it less and less. How can we avoid a national water crisis? Barnett’s answer is a “water ethic,” a “blue revolution.” When people are connected to their water sources, argues Barnett, they value and conserve more of it. They live within their means and become part of the solution.


WIP’s Participating Entity, SWCD, Update

At their December 9th Board meeting the following grants were funded by the Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD):

-   Dolores Water Conservancy District (DWCD) and Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company (MVIC): The DWCD and MVIC requested a $25,000 SWCD grant in support of an initiative of the two water boards and counties for a redraft by David Robbins of Hill and Robbins, P.C. of the proposed National Conservation Area (NCA) legislation on the lower Dolores River as an alternative to current Wild and Scenic Suitability from McPhee Dam to Bedrock. A total of $25,000 will be raised from DWCD, MVIC, as well as Montezuma, Dolores, San Miguel, and Montrose counties.
-  Study to Determine Potential Colorado River Call Impacts to West Slope: At the December 18, 2014 meeting of the Four West Slope Basin Roundtables held at Ute Water in Grand Junction, various attendees cited the need for technical data so that the Four Roundtables could better discuss issues surrounding future Colorado River development and the risk to current water users. This also came up for each Basin Implementation Plan, and as part of the IBCC conceptual agreement for transmountain diversions. The River District would like SWCD to join in their request to the Four Roundtables to support technical data development by the two Districts. The purpose is to create a common platform to have fruitful discussions on the West Slope regarding Colorado River development. SWCD was asked to contribute $10,000 to this study, along with $10,000 from the River District, and $8,000 from each West Slope Roundtables for a total of $52,000 in funding. 


The Great Divide Film Debut and Southwest Colorado Showings

The debut of the much anticipated film The Great Divide occurred on August in Denver. There were more than 600 people in attendance and all proceeds went toward the purchase of a DVD copy of the film for every public library in Colorado. Understatedly, the film, with its wonderful cinematography and original music, was well received not only at the premier but with multiple viewings across the state. In southwest Colorado a showing on September 9th in Cortez yielded more than 100 attendees, September 10th in Durango nearly 200, and September 12th in Pagosa Springs over 100.


Water 101 Seminar

The 9th Annual Water 101 Seminar was conducted in Bayfield this year and was another success. Including presenters there were over 60 in attendance.


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