Thursday, May 28, 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.

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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Pair Sound with Sight 

Elizabeth Garnerweb

State Demographer Elizabeth Garner says the population of Colorado is forecast to grow by more than 2 million by 2040 to approximately 7.8 million people. Garner says those projections are important for land use and water planners as they consider how to provide resources for the growing population.

Drew Beckwithweb

Drew Beckwith, water policy manager with Western Resource Advocates, says that while Colorado has a strong tradition of local control, a statewide approach to regulating land use when it comes to water is the way of the future.  “Frankly, there are some things that are better done at a statewide level.”

Grant Penlandweb

Grant Penland, principal planner with the City of Westminster.  The city adopted a growth management program in 1978, which means all new residential development must go through a service commitment competition which incentivizes water conservation.

Proposed Development Westminsterweb

This almost-9-acre parcel of land just off Highway 36 just north of Denver will be home to 65 single family detached houses. This is one of the last undeveloped parcels of land in city limits, and unlike older developments, it will have a lot less lawn. 

Stu Feinglassweb

Stu Feinglas, is the Water Resources Analyst for the City of Westminster.  A recent study done by the city found that Westminster single family homes are using about 70 percent of the water the city projected they would need for their yards. Back in 2001 water use was at 100 percent of projections.

Westminster Town Hallweb

Water planners and land use planners share the same building in the City of Westminster making collaboration easier.  Since 2001, Westminster has added about 12,000 people and the water demand has stayed the same or gone down slightly.  Water Resources Analyst Stu Feinglas credits better water efficiency in plumbing fixtures and a significant reduction in outdoor water use.  

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

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


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


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


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

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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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