Winter 2010

Water Law

Legislative Update (by John Porter and Bruce Whitehead)

Bruce Whitehead has resumed his full-time employment at Southwestern Water Conservation District.

People & Organizations

Hickenlooper on Water

Governor Hickenlooper’s State of the State address related to water issues is provided below. It was one of six topics that he focused on. The others were: budget, education, efficiency, health care, and jobs.

King DNR Executive Director

On January 5th Governor Hickenlooper announced that Mike King will remain Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. King was appointed to the position by Governor Ritter in May 2010 after serving as Deputy Director for more than three years.

Salazar Ag Commissioner

On January 5th, too, Governor Hickenlooper announced former U.S. Representative John Salazar as Colorado’s Agriculture Commissioner.

Stulp IBCC Chair and Special Policy Advisor to the Governor for Water

Hickenlooper also announced that John Stulp will be Special Policy Advisor to the Governor on Water and will chair the Interbasin Compact Committee. Stulp was the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, a position held since 2006.

Brown Retires

A familiar face will be sorely missed at the West Building in Durango as Ann Brown retired in November. Ann, a fourth generation native of Southwest Colorado, was born and raised on the family farm near Cortez. She met Don Brown at Fort Lewis College and they later married.

Magnuson to Lead MVIC

Don Magnuson has been selected as the new General Manager of the Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company. Formerly from Eaton, Colorado, Magnuson served as superintendant of The New Cache La Poudre Irrigating Company north of Greeley. "I've known Don for five years, and he comes highly recommended," MVIC President Randy Carver said.

Colorado Division of Water Resources

According to a November Durango Herald article, an experiment that started this summer could become half of a solution to make sure

Current Events

Salazar Signs Navajo Water Rights Agreement

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley signed the San Juan Navajo Water Rights agreement on December 17th. The signing took place as part of the Colorado River Water Users Association Annual Conference. Salazar spoke at length on the importance of collaboration and cooperation among Colorado River water users.

ALP Memorial Garden

Work has begun on the Animas-La Plata Memorial Garden to be constructed near Lake Nighthorse just outside of Durango. The Garden will a tribute to the organizations and people involved in the ALP Project over the past half century.

Goodman Point

After decades of triumph and tribulation, Goodman Point residents are now savoring the sweet taste of victory--cool clear Dolores River water flowing directly from their taps. "It tastes great," said J.R.

Recreation at Lake Nighthorse

Recreation planning continues for Lake Nighthorse, with many organizations actively involved in securing funds to aid with recreation efforts. To-this-end, the National Park Service planner, Joy Lujan, who is organizing a recreation plan, continued a series of open houses and design meetings in January to ensure everyone’s interests are heard.

Water Quality / Conservation

Drug Take-Back Programs Bill Signed Into Law

States and private entities can now create prescription drug take-back programs to help people safely dispose of old or unwanted medicine. President Obama signed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act in October. The new law clears the way for more programs to collect and dispose of prescription drugs.

EPA’s WaterSense Program

A relatively new EPA water conservation program may start to gain a little traction with the Nov. 24 unveiling of the first WaterSense-labeled homes in the country.

CDOW’s New Invasives Regs

“The spread of aquatic nuisance species is a serious problem that threatens to disrupt our fisheries and potentially restrict angler opportunity,” said Colorado Division of Wildlife commission chairman Tim Glenn.

Roundtable Update

Funding

The Water Supply Reserve Account received the January installment of funds as a "Tier II" severance tax program. This means the WSRA received another 30% of the appropriation for FY 2010/2011 or an additional $1.8 million of the $6 million appropriation.

WIP News

Water 101 Seminar and Annual Children's Water Festival

The Water Information Program and San Juan Citizens Alliance successfully conducted their annual Water 101 Workshop in Bayfield in November. The workshop was attended by more than 70 participants.  Colorado Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs participated again as the keynote speaker.

Miscellaneous Facts

Copper Thieves Costing Farmers, Ranchers Thousands

Copper thieves are a growing problem that is costing farmers thousands of dollars to rebuild and replace the parts in their pivot sprinkler systems.