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

Drinking Water Quality on the Eastern Plains

Coloradans pride themselves on the quality of their drinking water, most of which originates high up in the Rocky Mountains. But many communities on the Eastern Plains have water that not only tastes bad, it is out of compliance with federal drinking water standards. As part of Connecting the Drops, our series on water issues in the state, Maeve Conran reports on efforts to improve water in Eastern Colorado 

Sterling Water Treatment Plantweb 

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Pair Sound with Sight 

Jeff Reeves
Jeff Reeves is Sterling's Utility Manager. He says the city now has water that is well within federal water quality standards. In addition, the reverse osmosis process has also improved the state.
Ron Falco
Ron Falco manages the Safe Drinking Water Program under the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. He and other state officials are working with communities struggling to come into compliance with federal drinking water standards.
David Beck
David Beck is the water treatment plant operator for the City of Sterling.
Control Panel Sterling Plantweb
Computers in Sterling's control room allow operators to monitor the city's reverse osmosis system— the machinery that removes uranium and radium.
Sterling Water Treatment Plantweb
The City of Sterling spent $30 million on a water treatment plant that went operations in November 2014.
Waste Water Storage Pump
Reverse osmosis forces water through a membrance, trapping contaminants which then form a concentrated brine. This results in a 15 percent loss in usable water. Utilities manager Jeff Reeves says the concentrated waste brine is pumped into an underground reservoir that is below an impermeable layer. 

Take the Next Step: Read & Get Involved

The Colorado Foundation for Water Education wants to help you speak fluent water. Check out the following: 

Colorado's Water Plan Statewide Call-In Show

 

 

Join radio listeners around Colorado for a statewide conversation on Colorado's Water Plan through this live-recording call-in discussion held January 25th. Hear from James Eklund, Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board; Jim Pokrandt with the Colorado River Water Conservation District; and Chris Woodka with the Pueblo Chieftain.  

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Read more: Colorado's Water Plan Statewide Call-In Show

Snowmaking

 

It's that time of year when ski resorts crank up snowmaking machines to bolster Mother Nature's powder delivery. Some resorts depend on man-made snow more than others. As part of Connecting the Drops-- our radio series on Colorado water issues in partnership with Rocky Mountain Community Radio stations-- we explore the snowmaking process and its importance now and into the future.

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Read more: Snowmaking

Saving the Ogallala

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Most Colorado cities and farms get water from Rocky Mountain snowmelt. Not in northeastern Colorado. This food producing powerhouse depends in an ancient underground reservoir called the Ogallala. The Ogallala has been slowly accumulating water for thousands of years, but modern farmers and towns pump so much that this "timeless" aquifer is starting to run out. Someday in the not-so-distant future, Ogallala reliant towns may have to curtail crops, and some farm towns might become ghost towns. For Connecting the Drops, Shelley Schlender reports. 

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Read more: Saving the Ogallala

After the Flood: A year later remembering the September 2013 flooding

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The town of Lyons was one of the hardest hit in the 2013 floods. While the town has recovered in numerous ways in the past 12 months, many residents are still displaced and the way forward is still uncertain:

 Bonnie Sue House 1

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Read more: After the Flood: A year later remembering the September 2013 flooding

Putting the water in whitewater

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Conservationists and whitewater recreationists are emerging as allies in the statewide discussion on water, as both groups seek to keep water in Colorado's rivers:

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Read more: Putting the water in whitewater

Colorado's Water Plan

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It's been over a year since Gov. Hickenlooper issued an executive order calling for the creation of a state water plan. It won't be a legal document, but the plan is expected to make recommendations that will guide future water planning and funding decisions. The process is well underway...with a deadline to deliver a draft plan by this December. As part of our radio series "Connecting the Drops" in partnership with Rocky Mountain Community Radio, Sam Fuqua brings us this update on  the Colorado Water Plan:

 

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Read more: Colorado's Water Plan

Post-Flood Planning in Boulder County

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The historic September 2013 flood reshaped waterways across Colorado's northern Front Range, making major changes to both the manmade and natural environments. Over the past ten months, homeowners, planners and policy makers have grappled with difficult decisions over where and how to rebuild... and when to let Mother Nature take her new course. As part of Connecting the Drops-- our series on Colorado water issues-- Sam Fuqua reports on the rebuilding process in one of the hardest hit counties:

 

Root Wads N St Vrain creek 

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Read more: Post-Flood Planning in Boulder County

Water Education

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When it comes to water, Colorado's kids can expect to face a challenging future. A growing population and increasing demand may mean difficult trade-offs. That's one reason educators and policy-makers say it's critical to teach young people about water management. As part of "Connecting the Drops" Sam Fuqua visited two water education programs to see how they're handling this complicated topic.  

St Marys kid at stream 

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Read more: Water Education

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Connecting the Drops Partners

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

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