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HEADWATERS Pulse: April 2018

At Water Education Colorado we strive to go above and beyond in all of our programming and that holds true to our Water Leaders Program. Described as “the premier professional development course for the water community in Colorado,” Cheryl Benedict of MORF Consulting and I are the masterminds behind the program—and we strive every year to live up to that high reputation! We are continually growing and evolving the program to go above and beyond with every new class, and thoroughly enjoy the collaborative process it takes to grow each class together.

Since the beginning of the Water Leaders Program in 2006, Water Education Colorado has graduated 143 water leader professionals through the program. On April 5th in Keystone, Colorado, we welcomed our newest class, the 2018 Water Leaders, and couldn’t be more excited as they begin their leadership journey. Cheryl has been the leadership facilitator and executive coach for our Water Leaders program for the past six years. In a recent conversation, Cheryl said "I love the water leaders program because the leaders who are selected for the program are courageous and willing to do the hard work of growing into the best leaders they can be. One overarching characteristic of water leaders is that they are 'highly cause motivated' which means they care deeply about making a contribution to the water community. It is for that reason and many others, that they are a consummate delight to teach and coach as they come to the program already 100 percent committed to their growth in order to benefit the greater good."   

One thing that remains a constant are the themes and objectives of each class. We explore topics such as: myself as a leader, navigating change, creative problem solving, constructive conflict, skillful communication, managing your boss, building a healthy water team, how to cultivate a growth mindset, and building a community of practice. This year we are adding a section that focuses on personal development as a response to the ever-present work-life balance challenges that most of our water leaders navigate on a daily basis. We are excited that this component will help participants not only grow in their professional lives through our program but to see the personal aspects of their lives become more fulfilling and effective as well!

Happy Spring,

Stephanie Scott
Leadership and Education Programs Manager

This Land Is Our Land

Waters that cross Colorado's public lands locally sustain wildlife habitat, diverse plant communities, and countless opportunities for recreation, along with tourism-based economies. But on a broader scale, our public lands serve as source watersheds for the majority of the state—80 percent of Coloradans drink water that flows out of national forest land alone. Healthy forests prevent erosion, filter contaminants, enhance soil moisture storage, can affect the timing of runoff, and reduce the likelihood of flooding. That high-quality water reaches beyond the state’s borders with four of the country's major rivers beginning as melted snowpack in Colorado's mountains. 

But Colorado’s public lands, which are managed for various uses, aren’t all pristine. And a growing population and changing climate bring new management challenges to the state’s public lands. At the same time, people who depend on public lands directly or advocate for their environmental or recreational attributes have strong interests in ensuring that the lands are managed to meet their needs. An amalgamation of interest, voice, risk and the need for funding is spurring Colorado’s stakeholders and land managers to work together to rethink management tools and find collaborative solutions to manage public lands. Read about this collaborative work in the new issue of Headwaters magazine with the story This Land is Our Land by Heather Hansman on page 14. 

Restoration work with thousands of freshly planted native willows, grasses and shrubs revealed a newly verdant section of the Swan River. That restoration wasn't a solo effort. Photo Courtesy of Ecological Resource Consultants

On The Blog

Capitol Beat: New Water Bills with One Month to Go

Improvements for Colorado's Instream Flow Program

Study Session with Joe Burtard

WEco Mission In Motion

Register Now for the Rio Grande Basin Tour June 11-12

Join Water Education Colorado for our two-day RIO GRANDE BASIN TOUR June 11-12, 2018
Tour topics will include the Rio Grande Basin Implementation Plan progress and priorities, forest health, reservoir rehabilitation and timed releases, remote telemetry, compact compliance, ag practices, well rules and regulations, and much much more. 

Look out for an email with agenda coming soon! Learn more and register here.


Denver Rain Barrel Workshop April 20

In 2016, it became legal to collect water from your gutters to water your lawn and garden. Since, Coloradans have been getting excited about this new way to garden and save on their water bill at the same time. Join us to build your own barrel, learn about urban water conservation and connect with other members of the community in a fun and engaging setting. Join us for this Denver workshop on April 20. Learn more and register here ... space is limited! Live on the West Slope? Stay posted! We'll be bringing a rain barrel workshop to Grand Junction in June.

Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference: Submit Ideas by April 18

2018 Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference
The Color of Water: Exploring the Spectrum
October 9-11, 2018
Westin Riverfront Resort, Avon, CO

Expanding cooperation and collaboration throughout Colorado in natural resource conservation, protection and enhancement by informing participants about new issues and innovative projects and through invaluable networking. Submit your ideas for conference presentations by April 18! Our theme this year intends to tap into the creativity of our community and investigate how diverse watershed interests interact. Water touches us all from forests to farms. We’ve branched out this year to delve into water for environment, agriculture, recreation, mining, energy, forest health, city water, rural water, source water, recycled and reuse water. Learn more and submit your ideas here.

A New Website for WEco!

It started with our logo and updated name, but our new look is about to get better with the launch of a new WEco website later this spring.

The new site will include a brand new digital news section and more great content that's easier to find than ever before. We can't wait to share it! 

Member Happenings

Flow 2018: Managing Rivers, Reservoirs, and Lakes in the Face of Drought

Registration for Flow 2018 is open and space is limited. Join this international gathering of instream flow specialists, practitioners, water managers, and scientists. The conference will be held in Fort Collins April 24-26. Register and learn more here

Trout Tank H2O Pitch Event

Attend the Trout Tank H2O: Final Pitch Event on April 19 to see five finalists pitch and present their ideas in front of the local lending, investing, business, and water communities. Finalists include Instream Water, Running Rivers, SinkTwice, RenewWest, and Kokopelli Packrafts. There is $5,000 on the line! Register here.

Colorado Water 2018: Turning Conflict into Collaboration

We've partnered again with the Colorado section of AWRA, and the Colorado Groundwater Association to present this year's AWRA symposium: Turning Conflict into Collaboration. Taking place on April 27 at the Mount Vernon Country Club in Golden. We'll be there sharing materials at a table and will also be bringing Headwaters magazine to life with a panel on alternative transfer mechanisms. Stop by to say hello!

Conference speakers will include:

  • Anne Castle (Senior Fellow at the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment)
  • Becky Mitchell (Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board)
  • Interactive panels discussing groundwater storage, watershed health, and alternative transfer mechanisms

There will be breakout sessions on groundwater and technology, and a silent auction to benefit the AWRA Colorado scholarship program. Learn more and register here

Take The Next Step

  • Support Water Education Colorado! Show your love for water education by donating, joining or renewing your membership.
  • Attend our 2018 President's Reception May 11 for a night of celebration, networking, and awards as we honor water leadership by recognizing Tom Cech with the Diane Hoppe Leadership Award and Joe Frank with the Emerging Leader Award. Help us celebrate and raise money for water education in Colorado. Register here


1750 Humboldt Street, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80218