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Colorado's public lands are faced with new challenges but water and land management depend on working together. Read about the relationship between water and land in Colorado and how Coloradans are converging to restore Colorado's public lands in the Spring 2018 issue of Headwaters magazine.

Browse articles and find a flipbook of the magazine here.

Connecting the Drops

connectingdropslogo4.1Bringing you the reporting you crave over the radio airways with extras and archives on our website. Visit the audio archives or listen to the latest story on the connection between Colorado's forests, watersheds, and forest fires:

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Water Education Colorado

2006 Colorado General Assembly

The 2006 session of the Colorado General Assembly produced nine water bills that became law. Highlights of the new laws include:

Senate Bill 06-034: Appoints one new member to the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority Board who is experienced in drinking water or water quality matters.

Senate Bill 06-037: Amends and clarifies legal procedures and definitions related to recreational in-channel diversions. For example, it requires that the Colorado Water Conservation Board make findings of fact and recommendations on only three major factors in RICD applications: maximum utilization of the state's water resources, ability to meet the state's compact obligations, and injury to instream flow water rights. It further went on to define ‘control structures,’ ‘a reasonable recreational experience,’ and an RICD as the minimum amount of stream flow placed to beneficial use between specific points defined by control structures, for a reasonable recreational experience from April 1 to Labor Day. Among other provisions, it helps define ‘material injury’ to other water rights, discusses how reasonable flow rates over specified time periods should be assessed, and provides additional instruction to the water courts for their review of such applications.

Senate Bill 06-193: Directs the Colorado Water Conservation Board to conduct a study of the most economically feasible, technically and ecologically sound underground storage sites located in the South Platte and Arkansas river basins.

House Bill 06-1031: Authorizes the reimbursement of non-travel related expenses for directors of the Southwestern Water Conservation District while engaged in district business.

House Bill 06-1032: Provides for inflation adjustments for board members of irrigation districts for non-travel expenses while attending meetings on behalf of the district in addition to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses while engaged in official business. It also adjusts for inflation certain monetary thresholds for the award of contracts by irrigation districts.

House Bill 06-1313: Authorizes Colorado Water Conservation Board financing that includes:
  • $250,000 for satellite monitoring and data collection efforts for in-stream flow monitoring, compact protection, decision support systems, and flood forecasting and warning projects;
  • $350,000 for renovation of existing gauging stations, replacement of outdated collection platforms, and upgrading of transmission components of the satellite monitoring systems;
  • $100,000 for engineering support services necessary for the appropriation, acquisition and protection of in-stream flow water rights;
  • $75,000 to assist water conservation districts, conservancy districts and other water providers with the development of cloud seeding programs;
  • $150,000 for planning and engineering implementation studies to address watershed restoration and flood mitigation projects;
  • $2 million to continue development of the South Platte decision support system;
  • $500,000 to continue to assist with the modernization and improvement of floodplain studies and maps;
  • $100,000 to continue collaborating with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on modeling of snowpack data to benefit all water planners and managers;
  • $48,000 to collaborate with the U.S. Geological Survey on a pilot study to improve predictions of snowmelt runoff and the corresponding flood potential in small watersheds in the Gunnison River Basin;
  • $133,555 to participate with the San Luis Valley Irrigation District in the Rio Grande reservoir multi-use enlargement study; and,
  • $100,000 to participate with the South Platte Ditch Company in a demonstration project to evaluate the effectiveness of innovative electronic flow measurement and ditch operation control equipment.

House Bill 06-1124: Provides direction for the adjudication of rotational crop management contracts, and their related water appropriations. A rotational crop management contract allows the owner(s) of irrigation water rights to implement a change of water rights to a new use by foregoing irrigation of a portion of their historically irrigated lands.

House Bill 06-1293: Allows for the collection of fees for the review of water plans to replace depletions caused by evaporation of groundwater to the atmosphere during open sand and gravel mining.

House Bill 06-1400: Approves the Interbasin Compact Charter as submitted to the General Assembly on April 6, 2006 and requires the charter to be published in the full text in the Colorado Revised Statutes. It also adjusts the boundaries of certain basin roundtables.

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