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Bringing you the quality water information you crave, over Colorado's radio airwaves and online. Our regular programming will complement what you're reading in Headwaters magazine and in the news.

Alternative Transfer Methods—A Solution to Colorado's Water Crisis?

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With Colorado's population expected to almost double to 10 million by 2050, water planners along the Front Range, where most of the growth is expected to occur, are scrambling to find enough water to quench the thirst of this growing population. With agriculture accounting for 86 percent of the total amount of water diverted from Colorado's surface and groundwater sources, many people have their eye on farms as a possible solution to the looming water shortage. But the state's water plan identifies some alternatives to buy and dry and is encouraging farmers and municipalities to look for creative solutions to share this precious resource. These are typically temporary leases, but as part of our ongoing radio series Connecting the Drops, Maeve Conran reports on a recent landmark deal that sees one of these alternative transfer methods happen in perpetuity. 

 Little Thompson Farm web

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Pair Sound with Sight 

Alex Castinoweb
Alex Castino, a land agent with Larimer County's Engineering and Natural Resources Division. "The number one priority of this project for Larimer County was to ensure a viable farm in perpetuity." 
Little Thompson Farm web
The Little Thompson Farm near Berthoud in Northern Colorado is just over 200 acres. It was recently purchased by Larimer County with a view to keeping it as a working irrigated farm. The $8.4 million price tag was offset by a first of its kind permanent ATM agreement between Larimer County and the City of Broomfield. 
corn field web
Currently corn, alfalfa and sugar beets are grown by the farmer who leases the Little Thompson farm from Larimer County. The water shares being leased by Broomfield allow the municipality to use them during three dry years out of every 10. The rest of the time, the water stays on the farm. 

 

Aquatic Nuisance Species

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Aquatic nuisance species can wreak havoc on ecosystems, outdoor recreation, hydroelectric power equipment and the economy. When dreaded mussel larvae were discovered  at Green Mountain Reservoir in August, state leaders sent a plea for help all the way to the White House. As part of the Connecting the Drops series, KGNU's Hannah Leigh Myers joined a Colorado Parks and Wildlife team as they took samples at Green Mountain Reservoir in an effort to ward off the invasive mussels and keep Colorado waters safe from threatening species

 DSC04162web

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Read more: Aquatic Nuisance Species

Detecting Leaks with Data

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Colorado's growing population is putting pressure on water providers to come up with more and more of this precious resource. Conservation efforts have been increasing but utilities are also paying attention to water lost in the system through leaks. As part of our Connecting the Drops series, Hannah Leigh Myers went hunting for a leak with a Denver Water technician to get a closer look at the ever improving data systems and technology responsible for the decline in water lost in leaky public systems.

 

 Chris Garcia-DW Leak Techweb

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Using Real Time Data to Encourage Water Wise Habits

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What would it mean for your water use if you knew exactly how much water you were using in your home ... and exactly how much it was costing you? Would it change your behavior? Water providers and some home builders hope that having access to real-time data will help consumers use less. For Connecting the Drops, our state-wide radio series on water topics, CFWE's Caitlin Coleman reports. 

 SiemensOffice2Reneweb

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Read more: Using Real Time Data to Encourage Water Wise Habits

Monitoring for lead in schools

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When cost-cutting in Flint, Michigan raised lead contamination in local drinking water, the nation became aware that water can corrode pipes and carry dangerous amounts of lead. The failures in Flint may result in stronger rules nationwide for monitoring home drinking water. But schools are not part of these public tests. That's why Colorado legislators are proposing a bill to help more Colorado schools pay for testing lead in their drinking water. Meanwhile, some Colorado schools have taken on the cost themselves. For Connecting the Drops, Shelley Schlender reports. 

 School Drinking Water - 41

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Read more: Monitoring for lead in schools

Fluoridating water, one strategy for improving public health, experts say

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In Colorado, consuming fluoride in water is one inexpensive way to prevent tooth decay. Although fluoride is considered a contaminant, it is often diluted to reduce the concentration in locations with high naturally occuring fluoride, and added in others. Learn about Colorado Springs Utilities' use of fluoride in water in this new episode of Connecting the Drops.  

 COREY THIEL Fluoride Testingweb

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Read more: Fluoridating water, one strategy for improving public health, experts say

Recovering the Big Thompson River and its Economy

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Three years ago, flood waters rushed down the Big Thompson River through Estes Park and eastward to Loveland destroying whole stretches of the river channel and adjoining roads. That flood echoed a similar one 40 years ago that killed 144 people, destroyed countless homes and decimated the river bedNow, roads are being repaired and the ecosystem is slowly recovering, and that  recovery is crucial for the economy of local communities.  

 BT 4web

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Read more: Recovering the Big Thompson River and its Economy

Economics of the Colorado River

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It's been almost a century since the Colorado River compact was created, divvying up the resources of this mighty waterway between seven states and Mexico—that's almost 40 million people who rely on the river in some way. Traditionally the economic value of the river was based on what the water could be used for...agriculture, mining, industry. But as Maeve Conran reports for Connecting the Drops, more people are pointing to the economic value of keeping water in the river itself.

 

 IMG 20160924 111738303web

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Read more: Economics of the Colorado River

Pricing the Priceless

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How to put a price on the priceless...That's something that water utilties grapple with as they figure out what to charge customers for this precious resource. As part of Connecting the Drops, our statewide radio series on water issues, Maeve Conran takes a look at how water is priced and whether we're paying enough.

 Marsha Holmes web

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Connecting the Drops Partners

Connecting the Drops is a radio collaboration between Water Education Colorado and Colorado Community Radio Stations KGNU, KDNK and KRCC.


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 Support for 2017 programming comes from CoBank

  
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1750 Humboldt Street, Suite 200
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