Newsletter Article

Senate Bill 23

On June 5th, Governor Hickenlooper vetoed Senate Bill 23, an agricultural water conservation bill crafted over the course of a year in close partnership with many water interests, including the Governor’s own water policy experts. The bill was designed to incentivize the implementation of irrigation efficiency improvements that would ultimately benefit agricultural operations and Colorado’s rivers and streams. Interestingly, the bill would have only affected West Slope irrigators. Under the bill’s provisions, ranchers, farmers and other agricultural water users could voluntarily implement irrigation and water efficiency measures and ensure that water they save would benefit Colorado’s rivers without risking abandonment of their water rights or harming other users. The result would have been increased private investment in upgrades to and modernization of irrigation infrastructure, healthier rivers and streams, and more resilient farms and ranches. SB 23 had support from many rural Coloradans, major water providers, Colorado’s leading conservation organizations, and Colorado Water Congress, the state’s leading voice for water policy.

HB 14-1222

Governor Hickenlooper signed a bill on May 30th in Pagosa Springs that is designed to boost geothermal energy use in Colorado. House Bill 14-1222, sponsored by Rep. Mike McLachlan (D-Durango), provides an incentive for investments in Colorado’s growing geothermal industry by reducing the threshold at which a county may issue bonds for the construction or expansion of a geothermal project from $1 million to $500,000. The bill also extends the repayment period for the bonds from 10 to 15 years.

March 31, 2014--Statewide water shortage talks yield modest breakthrough (Aspen Daily News)

Front Range water users seeking new supplies of Western Slope water said last week they may settle for a reduction in diversions during dry years to accommodate the existing demands of people in western Colorado and downstream in states like Nevada and California.

Pagosa Springs Geothermal Hotsprings

Did you know that Southwest Colorado, Pagosa Springs to be precise, is home to the world’s deepest geothermal hot springs and is now liste

Cartoon Series Begins

With this issue of the WIP newsletter we are pleased to introduce a quarterly series of water cartoons.

SWCD 32nd Annual Seminar April 4th

The SWCD’s 32nd Annual Seminar will be conducted April 4th at the DoubleTree Hotel (501 Camino Del Rio) in Durango.

Save-the-Date: May 7, 2014 19th Annual Children’s Water Festival (Durango, CO)

The 19th Annual Children’s Water Festival will be conducted May 7, 2014 at Fort Lewis College. We are anticipating that more than 700 fifth grade kids will participate this year.

WIP’s Participating Entity, SWCD, Update

At their February 2014 Board meeting the Southwestern Water Conservation District approved the following grant applications: 
  • Animas Valley Ditch & Water Company $30,000 for emergency repair of serious damage to the Animas Valley Ditch that occurred as a result of the severe thunder/hail storms on September 18 and 22, 2013 in the Animas Valley.

Statewide Roundtable Summit

The Colorado Statewide Roundtable Summit was conducted in Denver on March 6th. There were more than 300 in attendance.

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