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Public Lands

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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

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.

Known as the Upper Colorado River Basin Project, or UPCO, this series of studies is looking to identify and balance competing water supply needs for municipalities, recreation, and the environment. The study also evaluates what the basin might look like after all projected in-basin and out-of-basin water development projects have been accomplished.

An initial fact-finding and assessment report was released in May 2003. The report found that in coming decades, both Grand and Summit counties may not be able to meet projected water demands. For domestic needs, Grand County could face an annual shortage of about 2,400 acre-feet (8,500 acre-feet if instream flow needs are considered). Summit County could fall short by 1,900 acre-feet annually.

The Upper Fraser River Basin near Winter Park was identified as one of the areas in Grand County facing the highest risk of water crisis. Increasing water demands in Summit County are expected to focus on the towns of Silverthorne, Eagles Nest and Mesa Cortina.

Next, UPCO participants will be completing an analysis of the potential alternatives available to address projected shortfalls. Anticipated for release later this summer, the report will focus on prioritizing and identifying possible solutions. Complete study reports are available on http://nwc.cog.co.us.

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