April 25, 2016--EPA is coming to town (Durango Herald)

All this week, the Environmental Protection Agency will be dropping in on public meetings in communities affected by the Gold King Mine spill, providing an update on the recently declared Superfund district north of Silverton. At 3 p.m.

April 24, 2016--Denver Water exec: W. Slope is last resort (Aspen Journal)

Mike King, the new director of planning for Denver Water, said at a recent meeting that beyond additional transmountain diversions through the Moffatt Tunnel into an expanded Gross Reservoir near Boulder, Denver Water doesn’t have other Western Slope projects on its radar. King served as executive director of Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources from 2010 until January of

April 23, 2016--Lake Nighthorse road project moves forward (Durango Herald)

A project for a turning lane on County Road 210 accessing Lake Nighthorse is expected to go to bid next month. “This has been budgeted several years, but we didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves with Lake Nighthorse,” La Plata County Engineer and Public Works Director Jim Davis said. “The Bureau of Reclamation is going ahead with entrance construction.

April 18, 2016--Ex-guv, legislators clash over water bill (Grand Junction Sentinel)

Former Gov. Bill Owens is trying to block a measure in the Colorado Legislature that would change the rules on how groundwater rights are handled, and two local lawmakers aren’t happy about it. Calling Owens a “water speculator,” Sen. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, and Rep.

April 17, 2015--Senate panel delays vote on rain-barrel bill (Grand Junction Sentinel)

Homeowners who use rain barrels are violating state water laws, but a bill discussed in a Senate panel on Thursday would make it OK. Under HB1259, which cleared the Colorado House last month on a 45-20 vote, homeowners would be able to use two 55-gallon barrels to collect rainwater, but only for use on their gardens and lawn. The thinking behind the measure is two-fold, said Sen.

April 15, 2016--Dolores dispute (Telluride Daily Planet)

It’s an alphabet soup of acronyms: ACEC, NCA, BLM, SJCA. Beneath the dry crust of jargon lies an ongoing struggle between and among local stakeholders and federal agencies over the fate of the Dolores River.

Water Conservancy Districts

Water conservancy districts were authorized by the Water Conservancy Act of 1937. Prior to 1937, various agencies dealing with water distribution and ownership usually operated on a single use basis (e.g., irrigation only, municipal only, etc.). The advent of large multiple use developments, however, prompted the need to create a central local authority that could acquire and distribute water for any beneficial purpose. There are currently over 45 conservancy districts in the state of Colorado, covering nearly every major drainage area and numerous minor basins.

Colorado Water Conservation Districts

In 1934, Governor Edwin Johnson proposed a state planning commission to identify statewide needs for natural resources, as well as public works projects—including water development. In 1935, he convened an advisory group known as the Committee of 17 to direct the planning commission. This provided the foundation for the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) and conservation districts. Prior to this, all matters in Colorado pertaining to water resources were under the jurisdiction of the State Engineer. Over the years, however, a feeling developed that these duties were too all-inclusive to permit proper oversight of state water resources. It was due to developing intricacies of water issues in the state that the CWCB was created in 1937. In addition, four conservation districts made up of designated geographical counties were established:

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.

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:

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