Tuesday, August 04, 2015
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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.

From Crops to Houses



An additional 2.5 million people are expected to move to Colorado by 2040, with the vast majority of them headed for the Front Range. As part of Connecting the Drops, Maeve Conran looks at the impact on Colorado, farmers and agricultural lands, as the state's landscape changes from crops to houses. 

 Development in Meadweb

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Pair Sound with Sight 

Kent Pepplerweb 
 Kent Peppler is a fourth generation farmer near Mead in southern Weld County Colorado. He has seen farmer after farmer sell agricultural land and water. "Money rules and some of this water is awfully valuable," Peppler says. 
 Development in Meadweb
 A housing development in Mead. Weld County is the epicenter of urban growth and changing land use in Colorado. Its population grew by 40 percent since 2000 and is projected to double in the next 25 years. At the same time, 75 percent of its 2.5 million acres is devoted to agriculture and it is Colorado's leading producer of sugar beet, grain, and beef cattle. 
 Kent Peppler remembers Mead in his youth as a sleepy town of 200-300. Now the population is more than 3,500. 
Peppler Farmweb
Kent Peppler has seen the landscape around his farm change as more and more housing developments appear on former farm land. "I really didn't think it would be my generation that has to deal with development. We all knew it was coming, but I didn't think it would be in my lifetime and here we are in the middle of it," Peppler says. 
Peppler Fieldsweb 
Kent Peppler grows winter wheat and Coors barley at his farm outside of Mead in Weld County.
MaryLou Smithweb
MaryLou Smith at the Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. They have been working to get land planners and water managers talking together.

Water Pricing


As cities in Colorado are expanding to accomodate a growing population, so are the costs of providing services and utilities. As part of Connecting the Drops, Maeve Conran takes a look at how some communities are reevaluating how they charge for services like water and what that might mean for encouraging smarter growth. 

 Amelia Nuding

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Pair Sound with Sight 

City of Auroraweb

Aurora restructured its tap fees in 2014 to have water consumption more closely aligned with fees.
 Aurora Developmentweb
 This new development close to the Children's Hospital in Aurora is subject to the new tap fee structure which results in higher water users paying higher tap fees. 
 Marshall Brownweb
 Marshall Brown, director of Aurora Water says they hope the new tap fees will have developers think about what they're designing and its impact on water. "Instead of maybe just planting acres and acres of turf, they may now consider low water use plants and other types of more efficient water use landscaping," Brown says. 
Amelia Nuding
Amelia Nuding, a water and energy analyst with Western Resource Advocates is studying how tap fees can be used to encourage growth with water conservation in mind. The report will be released later this summer. (Photo courtesy of Western Resource Advocates)

DIY Water Conservation Call-In Show


The 4th statewide call-in show aired live on Sunday June 14, 2015 on KGNU, KRCC and KDNK. This episode focuses on what individuals can do to conserve water. Guests are Tyler Kesler, water programs manager with the Center for ReSource Conservation in Boulder; Jerome Osentowski from the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute in Basalt; civil engineer Louis Meyer; and Mona Newton, executive director of the Community Office of Resource Efficiency. 

Tyler Keslersm 
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Developing Colorado with Water Conservation in Mind



Finding enough water to meet the demands of the booming Front Range has city planners closely looking at how new developments can be built with water conservation as a key component. And with the second draft of Colorado's Water Plan scheduled for release in July, many water advocates are hoping to see the issue of land use addressed. As Maeve Conran reports for our statewide water series, in the arid west, land and water use go hand in hand.

 Proposed Development Westminsterweb

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Read more: Developing Colorado with Water Conservation in Mind

Public Engagement with Colorado's Water Plan




It's been just over three months since Coloradans got a first look at the state's water plan. The draft that was submitted to Gov. John Hickenlooper came after more than 800 public meetings held across the state. But despite an extensive education and outreach campaign, how involved is the general public in planning Colorado's water future? 


 Bonnie Sue House 1

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Read more: Public Engagement with Colorado's Water Plan

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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Read more: Drinking Water Quality on the Eastern Plains

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.  

photo 77 

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



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.

photo 77 

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Read more: Snowmaking

Saving the Ogallala


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

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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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Publication of Headwaters magazine and the Connecting the Drops radio program are made possible by the generous support of sponsors and advertisers. We would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to the following sponsors for supporting coverage of the land use and water nexus: 

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