Getting this shot was all worth it.Read More
If the State of the River reminded me of one thing, it is that we, as Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River District mentioned during his talk on the Colorado River, "are all in this together."
While I like to think the Middle Colorado River is its own river system, and at times it feels like it is, the river we protect is actually just one piece of a much larger river system that spans most of the American southwest. <READ MORE>
From the Your Watershed Column in the Post Independent. Check it out once a month in the Sunday paper!
The State of the River generated a lot of good conversations, and press around the Middle Colorado River, here is an expert from Alex Zorn at the Post Independent in Glenwood Springs, from his article "Meeting Focuses on Future of Colorado River":
Participants raised many issues during the Rifle State of the River meeting Thursday. But one generated more conversation than any other: What would happen to local water users if the Colorado River experienced drought conditions?
While reports showed that the snowpack peaked a little early this year and Colorado saw warmer temperatures statewide, there was no indication that a drought was near. Even so, presentations on a Grand Valley water banking experiment and Silt irrigation project show having these conversations now is the best way to prepare for the future.
4/28/2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Annie Whetzel, MCWC Community Outreach Coordinator, 412-952-3649, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rifle State of the River
6-8pm Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the Ute Theater in Rifle, CO
The Colorado River District and the Middle Colorado Watershed Council are pleased to host the Rifle State of the River on May 11th at the Ute Theater. The State of the River is an opportunity for the community to come together and learn more about the Colorado River and provide information for those dependent on the water.
Presentations will include a snowpack and climate report for our region and information about current and expected operations for the regional reservoirs, which greatly affect flows in the Colorado River.
A key presentation will be by Scot Dodero, president of the Silt Water Conservancy District, who will talk about the Silt irrigation project and its challenges. Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River District, will address basin-wide challenges facing the Colorado River and Lake Powell.
An emerging topic of interest to the agricultural community will be the water banking-fallowing experiment being undertaken by the Grand Valley Water Users Association in Mesa County. Water Users president Mark Harris will talk about this experiment to pay producers to not irrigate.
"This annual spring event has become a favorite for water managers and members of the public to talk about the state of the Colorado River and what kind of water year we can expect," explained Laurie Rink, Executive Director of the Middle Colorado Watershed Council.
The Middle Colorado Watershed Council’s mission is:
“To evaluate, protect, and enhance the health of the middle Colorado River watershed through the cooperative effort of watershed stakeholders.”
Our stretch of the River extends from Glenwood Canyon to De Beque and includes all the streams that flow into the River.
The Colorado River District’s mission is:
“To lead in the protection, conservation, use, and development of the water resources of the Colorado River basin for the welfare of the District, and to safeguard for Colorado all waters of the Colorado River to which the state is entitled.”
At the end of March, I was driving from Parachute to Rifle and noticed people in orange vests picking up trash along the side of the road. I looked for a logo on the van but wasn't able to spot one; I looked for the "Adopt a Highway" sign and didn't see one.
Without more information, this is an open thank-you to the crew out cleaning up the highway in March. They were protecting our river.
How does cleaning a highway protect the river?
Hopefully if you have driven this stretch you have seen the mighty Colorado River from the car. The highway and river parallel one another. Collecting litter and trash from the roadway and surrounding banks might seem like something to merely make the drive more aesthetically pleasing, but it is a huge step in protecting river health.
The Greenway Foundation, a water protection group based out of Denver, completed a survey to assess water knowledge and river health in the area. They surveyed residents, asking them about their relationship with the closest river. The report found that 20 percent of the respondents could not identify where the closest river to them was, and 30 percent of the respondents couldn't name that river, even if they did know where it was. <READ MORE>
From the "Your Watershed" column in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent
If you've been reading the news about the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork watersheds, I'm sure you have noticed that many articles highlight the increased snowpack, and unusually heavy, water-laden snow. But recently, a few articles cover climate change and explore how rising temperatures and early snowmelt-season can result in decreased flow in the Colorado River.
There is good news and bad news in the latest information, so let's navigate these waters together.
First, the good news: There is increased water in the snowpack for this year in our area. That means, not only do we have an increase in snowpack — 55 percent more than normal, according to the latest report from the Roaring Fork Conservancy — it also means more water in the snow than usually found. The light fluffy powder that Colorado is known for hasn't been as common this year.
Because of the increased water in the snowpack, we should anticipate a good year for water. New reports show, however, that might not be the case. <READ MORE>
From Your Watershed Column in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent
See the "Your Watershed" column in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent every second Sunday of the month!
If the fight in Battlement Mesa over the proposed injection well zone and its proximity to the water intake for the public water supply taught us two things, it is that our drinking water comes from the river and it is vulnerable.
Throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and the middle Colorado River watershed, unless you have a well in your backyard, our water comes from surface water. (In fact, even if you have a private well, it is susceptible to surface water and chemicals at the surface that leach down.)
Surface water includes the water that runs... READ MORE
To honor the creation of films this week, and celebrate our watershed, the Middle Colorado Watershed Council invited Zak Podmore, a Wild and Scenic Film Festival alumn and Glenwood Springs native, to share his thoughts. We asked him about his experience participating in the Wild and Scenic Film festival, the process and importance of creating films about the environment, and the importance of the Colorado River to his films. His passion and love of the River clearly comes out in his work.
MCWC: What inspired you to start making films?
ZP: The first film I was involved with, Remains of a River, started with a kayaking trip. After we graduated from college, my friend Will Stauffer-Norris and I set out on a 1,700-mile source-to-sea journey down the Green and Colorado rivers. Will brought a camera along and when we finished the trip, we had enough footage for a film.
MCWC: Can you explain the importance of film in environmental issues?
ZP: I've always been interested in the storytelling and reporting aspects of filmmaking. As an editor for Canoe & Kayak magazine, I've written and edited numerous stories that deal with environmental issues. Print journalism can tell human stories in a powerful way, but film gives us more immediate access to the to the particulars of a place. It's one thing to read about the Grand Canyon--it's another to see it. And seeing it helps us understand what's at stake.
MCWC: How has your relationship with the Colorado River shaped your film-making?
ZP: I probably wouldn't have been involved with any filmmaking if it wasn't for the Colorado River. What started as the desire to go on the longest river trip possible morphed into a desire to help tell the river's story, which in the Southwest is tied to the story of the 30 million people who rely on the Colorado for drinking water.
MCWC: What years were your films in the Film Festival and what was that experience like?
ZP: I helped produce a series of films for Colorado College's State of the Rockies Project, and Wild & Scenic picked up our films in 2012, 2013 and 2014. I enjoyed screening our films as much as I enjoyed making them. Getting questions from a room full of viewers is far more gratifying than watching the YouTube view count creep up.
MCWC: Do you have any projects are the horizon?
ZP: Last fall, Will and I published an article on the massive tram that's being proposed in the Grand Canyon (www.canoekayak.com/the-confluence). Right now the only way to get to the floor of the Grand is to float or walk. If the development is approved, up to 10,000 people per day could be dropping onto the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers on the edge of Grand Canyon National Park. The proposal is probably the single biggest threat to the wilderness character of the Colorado River right now. I'm going to keep following that story as it progresses.
MCWC: Any advice would you give aspiring film-makers?
ZP: Get out there and do what you're passionate about. Take a camera along and chase the story as it unfolds.
It’s 1,450 miles long, with 75 miles stretching through Garfield County. It affects agricultural, recreation and drinking water. Whether you realize it or not, if you live in this area, it’s part of your life. .... Read More
The Glenwood Springs Post Independent Covers the WILD & SCENIC Film Festival on Tour hosted by the MCWC.