- About WIP
- Participating Entities
- Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District
- City of Durango Water Commission
- Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority
- Dolores Water Conservancy District
- Florida Water Conservancy District
- La Plata Electric Association
- La Plata Water Conservancy District
- Mancos Conservation District
- Mancos Water Conservancy District
- Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD)
- Pine River Irrigation District
- San Juan Water Conservancy District
- Southwestern Water Conservation District
- U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
- Regional Water Projects
- Animas River Stakeholders
- Animas-La Plata Project
- Cloud Seeding Program
- Dolores Project (McPhee Reservoir)
- Dry Gulch Reservoir (Pending)
- Florida Project (Lemon Reservoir)
- Jackson Gulch Reservoir
- Long Hollow Reservoir
- Pine River Project (Vallecito Reservoir)
- Rio Blanco Restoration Project
- River Protection Work Group
- UMETCO (Urivan) Water Rights
- Water Information
- Contact WIP
Rita Crumpton, founding member and Board President of the Colorado Foundation for Water Education (CFWE) for the past four years, stepped down in December, though remains on the Board as Past President for the next two years. Gregg Ten Eyck, with Leonard Rice Engineers out of Denver is the new CFWE leader at the helm. Raised in Denver, Rita graduated from South High School, then lived in southern California and attended Santa Ana Junior College there. She moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa and attended Iowa Western Community College. Her career began with the Iowa Power & Light Company, working for 14 years as Customer Service Supervisor before moving back home to Colorado in 1985. Arriving in Grand Junction, she immediately went to work for the Ute Water Conservancy District where she stayed for 18 years, leaving her position as Public Information Officer in 2003 to take the position of Manager of the Orchard Mesa Irrigation District. Rita retired from Orchard Mesa Irrigation District in Palisade in 2009 after six years of service. Professional activities included membership and chair of the Public Information Committee of the Rocky Mountain Section of American Water Works Association, as well as membership on the Section’s Education Committee. In addition, she Founded of the Mesa County Children's Water Festival in 1995 and is currently a Governor's Appointee to the Interbasin Compact Committee. Thank you for all of your great years of service to the water community, Rita!
After 23 years on the Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD) Board of Directors Larry Dermo has stepped down. Dolores County Commissioner, Doug Stowe, will be taking his place. In addition to the SWCD board, Larry also served for 26 years on the Dolores Water Conservancy District (DWCD) Board of Directors. Dermo started farming with his dad and brother when he was 12 years old. He did this until 1960, when they formed Delmac Farms, Inc. Larry was president of this operation until his oldest son, Lyle, took over the position about five years ago. He and his family, wife Joanne and sons Lyle and Rick, have a 900 acre ranch in Dove Creek were they raise alfalfa, irrigate with center pivots, and selling their product to dairy farms in Texas. Thank you Larry for all of your years of service to the water community on the SWCD and DWCD Boards of Directors! We wish you and your family, including wife of 60 years (in August—congratulations on that milestone, too), best wishes!!
The City of Durango is fortunate to have Steve Salka as their new Water Utilities Director. After retiring from a 25 year career in the Navy where he was responsible for aircraft carrier electronics and missile systems, Steve could have settled anywhere in the world (he certainly traveled enough of it), but chose beautiful and unique Durango to hang his hat. With degrees in electronics business management and electronics engineering, and with his own surge protection company, his hat didn’t stay hung for long. Not ready for full time retirement, he took the Durango position in 2012. His “Biggest excitement is working with young people to teach them something new,” says Steve. With a quarter century of advanced teaching techniques from the Navy, Salka is happy to give back and share some of this knowledge with his new community. Thank you and welcome Steve!
In an ongoing effort to inform the public and water community alike, the following is the first in a four part 2013 series related to a potentially emerging Colorado Public Trust Doctrine issue.
The Public Trust Doctrine is the principle that certain resources are preserved for public use, and that the government is required to maintain them for the public's reasonable use. The doctrine stems from ancient Roman laws that held that seashores not appropriated for private use was open to all. These rights became part of the common law of the United States as established in Illinois Central Railroad vs. Illinois.
According to a recent Durango Herald article, Sen. Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) recently won unanimous support for Senate Bill 41 in the agriculture committee. Her bill counteracts a 2011 Supreme Court ruling on the Yampa River that said reservoir owners cannot get an absolute right to water in their reservoirs unless it is all put to beneficial use. Colorado law has a use it or lose it approach to water in order to prevent hoarding or speculation. But legislators and their allies in the water business think the court took that doctrine to an extreme. “The Supreme Court basically issued us an invitation to do something different than what their case came up with,” Roberts said. Denver Water CEO Jim Lochhead said that unless the bill passes and reverses the Supreme Court ruling, utilities would have to suck their reservoirs dry before they could get new water rights. “It’s hopefully stepping back to a time where it’s a much more practical reading of the law,” Lochhead said. The bill says storing water for firefighting and drought mitigation is a beneficial use, and that water rights can’t be considered to be abandoned when the water is in long-term storage.
The state of Texas recently filed suit against New Mexico over Rio Grande Compact disputes, with Colorado brought into the fray as a result. The suit, filed in U.S. Supreme Court in January, alleges New Mexico is not delivering to Texas the water owed that state under a multi-state 1938 Rio Grande Compact, which also includes Colorado. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioner Carlos Rubinstein said, “It is unfortunate that we have had to resort to legal action, but negotiations with New Mexico have been unsuccessful, and Texas is not getting the water that it is allocated and legally entitled to.” Rubinstein alleged New Mexico was trying to circumvent and ignore the compact, and by filing suit against New Mexico, Texas was attempting to rectify alleged harm New Mexico had caused Texas water users.
Have you ever wondered about the communities in the Dolores/San Juan River Basin that no longer exist? In Archuleta County and the Pagosa Springs area alone, some of those include:
In an effort to raise awareness about vital water issues, the WIP, in conjunction with the Durango Arts Center (DAC), conducted a month-long Water in the West Art Show and information series. This kicked-off on August 10th with a juried water art exhibit.
The October 26th 7th Annual Water 101 Seminar was another huge success. The Seminar was cosponsored with the San Juan Citizens Alliance and we were again fortunate to have Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs as the keynote speaker.
The WIP, in conjunction with the Mountain Studies Institute and the San Juan Mountains Association, will be conducting their second Forests-to-Faucets Teacher Training Workshop in June 2013 in Pagosa Springs. This will be an opportunity for K-12 teachers to earn one continuing education credit from Adams State University.