Spring is coming... which means the days will become longer and lighter, and it is almost time to put away your skis, snow boots, and puffy coats and get out your paddles, hiking boots, and camp gear. Spring brings new growth, and when we talk about things growing from the ground, we need to talk about water.
10 resources to help you learn about water efficiency:
Ty Wattenberg, North Platte Basin representative on the CWCB Board, gives us the agricultural story and a taste of a day-in-the-life in the North Platte Basin.
"Did you know that a beef cow drinks an average 32.5 gallons of water per day? Clearly, ample water is also one of the most critical factors to the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of the North Platte Basin." - Ty Wattenberg
Last year, Colorado made history as the first state to declare a day designated to the celebration of its public lands. With over 24 million acres of public lands, Colorado has one of the best track records in the United States for ensuring its citizens have access to some of our country’s most beautiful wild places.
CWCB Says Farewell and Thank You to Director James Eklund
The CWCB and entire water community would like to thank James Eklund for his dedication and hard work over the past four years as CWCB Director. James brought innovative thinking to his work, always trying to think about better ways to approach a situation. He also brought humor to the CWCB with his news headlines at Board meetings and jokes during presentations. The CWCB hopes he enjoys his next adventure!
James Eklund's last day with the CWCB was March 31. He will join the law firm Squire Patton Boggs in their Denver office. Read about James Eklund's time at the CWCB.
Welcome to Lauren Ris, CWCB Acting Director
The CWCB is pleased to welcome Lauren Ris, Assistant Director for Water for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), as Acting Director of the CWCB.
Lauren has served as DNR's Assistant Director for Water since 2015. Formerly the department legislative liaison, Lauren oversaw legislative affairs for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Division of Forestry. Prior to joining DNR, Lauren worked for Colorado Legislative Council where she staffed the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee and the Water Resources Review Committee. Learn more about Lauren.
The Board declared its intent to appropriate instream flow water rights on two stream segments in Water Division 7. These stream segments are located in the San Juan National Forest in Hinsdale and La Plata Counties. These appropriations, recommended by the U.S. Forest Service, are important as they help to foster cooperation between the Forest Service and the state of Colorado on protecting riparian resources and aquatic habitat on streams located on National Forest System lands in Colorado.
The Board passed a resolution to adopt a hydrology study for the Town of Estes Park. Information from this study will be used to produce new floodplain maps for the town.
The Board was updated on the progress of the Colorado Hazard Mapping Program. The Program is carrying out the directives of Senate Bill 15-245 to fully update all floodplain maps in the areas of the South Platte watershed affected by the 2013 flood, provide digital floodplain maps to areas of the State that do not currently have them, develop procedures for identifying erosion hazard zones, and continue mapping of debris flow zones throughout the State. The Program is scheduled to be completed in June 2018.
The Board voted to renew the lease with the Ute Water Conservancy District for another year. The leased water will be released from Ruedi Reservoir in late summer to augment low base flows in the 15-Mile Reach of the Colorado River and protect instream habitat for endangered fish.
A dredging grant was approved to investigate the potential of connecting an existing dead pool to the existing outlet works at Jackson Lake Reservoir.
The Board approved $1.275 million in project investment grants to fund water-related projects or studies of statewide importance.
A loan to the Big Elk Meadows Association was increased to continue efforts to rebuild five dams that were impacted by the September 2013 flood.
Below: CWCB Board and staff touring Northern Water's Conservation Garden and the future site of Chimney Hollow Reservoir.
Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC) Next IBCC meeting is on Thursday, April 20 at the Keystone Policy Center.
2017 Water Projects Bill: Colorado's Water Plan Funding Read a summary the 2017 Water Projects Bill that contains funding to advance the goals in Colorado's Water Plan. The bill still requires legislative approval.
Colorado Water Congress (CWC) 2017 Legislative Update Colorado Water Congress prepared a summary of important water legislation facing the state legislature this year. CWC's report emphasizes how it gets involved to help promote water legislation that is in line with their mission and policies. Check it out.
CWCB Welcomes New Water Resources Engineer in Interstate, Federal & Water Information Section: Brenna Mefford Brenna Mefford is a Water Resources Engineer who specializes in water resources management, modeling and remote sensing. Before coming onboard with the CWCB, she worked for the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office in Cheyenne. Brenna is originally from Lakewood, Colorado, but spent the past nine years living in Fort Collins. She attended Colorado State University for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Water Resources Engineering. Her hobbies include running, fly fishing and spoiling her dogs and cat.
FLOODSTAGE: Are You Ready For Spring Flooding? With spring comes melting snowpack, which in some communities can lead to flooding. Be prepared this season! See the CWCB's Floodstage Newsletter for more information.
Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP) PRRIP is working to recover four threatened and endangered species (the whooping crane, interior least tern, piping plover and pallid sturgeon) in Nebraska, which in turn, allows water use and development to continue on the Platte River by addressing ESA compliance. The States of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska, federal agencies, and several water, power and environmental interests, all participate in PRRIP. Learn more.