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Public Lands

HW Winter2018 FINAL2cover

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

Headwaters magazineRead feature articles below or view the issue online to flip through or download the whole magazine.

Letter from the Editor

In the lazy, hazy days of summer, the Foundation turns its attention to issues of water and growth in Colorado.

Read more: Letter from the Editor

Study Projects Shortfall for Upper Colorado River Basin

Since 1998, representatives from Grand and Summit counties, the Colorado River District, Denver Water, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, Middle Park Water Conservancy District and other local entities have been working on a joint effort to examine water quality and quantity issues in the headwaters of the Colorado River.

Read more: Study Projects Shortfall for Upper Colorado River Basin

Throw that Bill Away: Water Administration Fees Repealed

In its 2004 session, the Colorado General Assembly repealed the water administration fee program it instituted in 2003. Originally designed to help bolster the state's declining budget for water resource management, the fee program met with significant opposition from water right holders.

Read more: Throw that Bill Away: Water Administration Fees Repealed

Water, Growth and Land Use

Historians point out that coping with growth has been Colorado's single greatest invigorating influence, and its single greatest concern, since World War II (Ubbelohde, Benson & Smith, A Colorado History 346-47(8th Ed. 2001)).

Read more: Water, Growth and Land Use

Water & Growth in Colorado

By Peter Nichols

Although conventional wisdom holds that water availability controls growth, that notion is simply not true. The demise of Two Forks Dam in 1990, designed to meet metro Denver's water needs this century, did not slow growth. In fact, since 1990, the fastest growing states (including Colorado) rank among the driest. This apparent contradiction can exist because the western system of water allocation—the prior appropriation doctrine—rests on the premise that water can be moved from where it is found to where it is needed.

Read more: Water & Growth in Colorado

Leases Help Farms and Suburbs Weather Drought

By Dan MacArthur

The largest temporary water lease in Colorado history promises to benefit both rural and urban interests. As part of this innovative agreement, the City of Aurora will lease enough water to weather the drought. In the Lower Arkansas River Valley, lease revenues will help farmers survive lean times while retaining ownership of their water, as well as the option to keep some land in production.

Read more: Leases Help Farms and Suburbs Weather Drought

New Development: Reuter-Hess Reservoir

Planning and permitting a reservoir is no small undertaking. There are years of engineering studies, environmental reviews, public comment, logistical and funding challenges. To complicate matters further, imagine if you are one of the fastest growing counties in the nation relying totally on nonrenewable groundwater. For one Douglas County water provider, it was time to cobble together sources of water from every angle. The result will be a unique new reservoir called Reuter-Hess.

Read more: New Development: Reuter-Hess Reservoir

Pagosa Springs Gets Water Wise

By Christine Meyer

When Colorado entered its fifth year of drought in 2003, a small water district in Archuleta County decided to meet the challenge head on. Looking at alternatives for providing water to its growing population, the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) launched its first water conservation program. Designed to reduce water demand and stretch existing supplies, the program incorporates education, restructured water-rates, advertising, rebates, and simple door-to-door outreach.

Read more: Pagosa Springs Gets Water Wise

Mutual Irrigation Company Caters to New Customers

By Dan MacArthur

Agricultural ditch and reservoir companies increasingly threatened by urban encroachment may find new direction by supplying water for a whole different crop of water users.

Read more: Mutual Irrigation Company Caters to New Customers


Sweet Medicine
A Collaborative Poem

Down from Denver
Down to Kiowa County
And into Kiowa country.
Ancient cottonwoods, gnarled junipers
Prairie grasses, sweet sage
Cover dry cracked plains.

Read more: Voices

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