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Alt. Water Transfers

Cover HW Fall 2017

Water sharing and banking, coined "alternative transfer methods" or ATMs, could provide flexibility for stretched water supplies —but not without marked challenges. Read the Fall 2017 issue of Headwaters magazine and explore options to:

  • keep water in farming
  • help municipalities plan ahead
  • share between ag and environmental uses
  • bank water on the Colorado River

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 National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the Colorado river that could become the state's second wild and scenic protect river—Deep Creek:

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Water Education Colorado

Watermarks--Letter from the Editor

Each year, Headwaters selects one river basin to explore in depth, giving readers insight not only into the area's major river systems, but also local land use, environmental issues, water rights and storage, recreation, growth, and the people who manage and monitor the area's water resources. For our basin focus this fall, the Foundation selected the Dolores and San Juan River Basins of southwest Colorado.

Interviews with conservancy district managers, watershed coalition organizers, lawyers, ranchers, tribal leaders, and engineers in charge of construction of the Animas La-Plata project highlighted the breadth of the water concerns in this predominantly arid area.

It is a diverse landscape. How quickly the country changes as one travels from the forested green headwaters of the Dolores River near Lizard Head Pass, to the dry mesas and meager flows of the La Plata River near the New Mexico state line. And let us not forget that this modest basin is also part of the larger Upper Colorado River—one of the most heavily used and politically-divisive river systems in the world.

Yet upon further study, what quickly becomes apparent is how closely these watersheds and water management concerns interconnect. Not only geographically but also metaphorically, the Animas-La Plata project sits near the center of the basin—the 30-year wait for its construction embodying many of the region's greatest hopes and fears for its water future.

Although there were many more stories we could have told, we hope this issue will expose readers in Colorado and throughout the West to the communities and resources of the San Juan and Dolores river systems. I also would like to thank all of the region's water leaders who took time from their busy schedules to help explain their concerns, showcase their projects, and have their pictures taken.

Karla Brown, Editor

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