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HEADWATERS Pulse: February 2018

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Welcome WEco's New Board President, Lisa Darling

2017 brought many changes. A new year, a new administration after a fraught political campaign, a new world of hope, and a new career for me. After almost 20 years at a local municipal utility, I took the position of Executive Director of the South Metro Water Supply Authority. My predecessor, Eric Hecox, had achieved so much with his efforts of moving south metro communities toward a sustainable water supply, negotiating the Water Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency (or “WISE”) Partnership agreement and, through a Master Plan update, establishing a clear direction for the future of water development in the region. I knew the position would offer challenges to continue his success, which I eagerly embraced. And in my new role, I was able to continue my involvement with the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, as a Board and Executive Committee member.

Likewise, 2017 brought many changes to the Colorado Foundation for Water Education. Nicole Seltzer decided to leave her position as Executive Director of the nonprofit. As I was beginning my journey with South Metro, Jayla Poppleton was starting hers as the new face of leadership for CFWE. And what a success story the year was! CFWE rebranded itself as Water Education Colorado (or “WEco”), created new and exciting education and outreach programs, and began efforts that will establish sustainable funding for the future.

So now, what does 2018 hold? My participation with WEco has continued to grow and evolve. And just as I found myself following Eric’s footsteps at South Metro in January 2017, I once more boldly (blindly?) followed him into the role of WEco Board President in January 2018. And just as he had with South Metro, Eric has helped to set the highest of standards for excellence in water education, with support of honest and non-biased reporting and programs which encompass and enhance the lives of every decision maker, stakeholder, and citizen who cares about Colorado water. I want to continue that story of success and growth, and aim to support Jayla and her staff’s incredible work.

I’m so glad that you will be with me on this journey. I’m eager to experience everything 2018 will hold for WEco. Together, we’ll continue to grow and learn!

Lisa Darling, WEco Board President

Voices From the Field: Gene Manuello

Gene Manuello, 72, has been running his family’s farm and feedlot operation on Colorado’s Northeastern Plains for decades. In this far-flung piece of the state, there is little faith that even widespread use of water leases and fallowing programs will do anything to protect the state’s rich agriculture economy or its water.

Manuello is president of the Sterling Irrigation Company and also serves on the board of the Colorado Ag Water Alliance. The alliance supports ATM policy that is beneficial to ag as a means of minimizing the movement toward permanent dry up of irrigated lands. However, it believes that the use of ATMs results in the loss of agriculture to some degree, whether temporary or permanent. Read more of Manuello's perspective on ATMs and others in the latest issue of Headwaters magazine.

On The Blog

Public Access to Water Flowing Through Private Property

Two Years In: Funding Colorado's Water Plan

The No Snow Report

WEco Mission In Motion

Water Fluency Registration Open Through April 14

There is no better way to show your love for water than by boosting your Water Fluency!! There is so much to know about water administration and management in Colorado, and our Water Fluency Program is the perfect place to boost your IQ! Registration for this year’s Water Fluency Program is now open through April 14 or until the first 35 people register. Click here to learn more and register.

Want to know more? Register here for a free informational webinar on March 7 from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Snow to Stream: A Workshop and SNOTEL Field Trip March 9

Join Water Education Colorado and the Roaring Fork Conservancy to spend the day in Redstone learning about snow science, forest health, soil moisture and more. The workshop is geared toward educators but will be interesting for anyone wishing to explore the intersection between snow, climate and water. We'll also have the fun opportunity to get out to conduct a snow course survey and visit a SNOTEL site at the top of McClure Pass! Learn more and register here—members of WEco's Water Educator Network and members of the Roaring Fork Conservancy receive a discounted rate.
*Attention teachers: We're offering 0.5 continuing education credits through the Colorado School of Mines Teacher Enhancement Program.

Climate and Colorado's Water Future Workshop March 29

When we talk about climate in Colorado, we're often talking about the impacts that climate has on our water resources. As we navigate through the evolving era of climate change, it is becoming increasingly crucial to understand how water and climate are connected, what climate change means for our water future, and how we can adapt to build resilience. Participants will walk away with an understanding of the most up-to-date climate science and a comprehensive look at the relationship between climate and our water resources. We'll also have the unique opportunity to tour the National Ice Core Laboratory! 

View the draft agenda and register here.

Register to Join us May 11 for the 2018 President's Reception

Please join Water Education Colorado for our annual awards event and fundraiser. Celebrate with friends and colleagues. Live auction with exciting, adventures and experiences. And new this year! Become a table host and purchase a table of 10 for your company or invite your own guests.

May 11, 2018, History Colorado Center
Tickets, now for $125
After March 31, $135
Includes seated dinner.
Purchase tickets here!

Webinar Recording: Policy Questions Around Water Sharing

Flexible water sharing agreements or alternative transfer methods (ATMs) could help keep water in agriculture while supplies are shared with municipalities or others to meet the many water needs of the state's population. In January, participants explored ATMS, existing policies and how Colorado might be able to expand its use of ATMs with speakers Kevin Rein, Peter Nichols, and Jim Yahn. Now you can access the recording! Listen here. 

Coming Soon!

Stay tuned and get ready to register for these Water Education Colorado events and more in the new year:

  • Urban Waters Bike Tour: For the first time ever, we are taking our fun bike tour to the Poudre River! We're still working with partners to select a date and route for the tour, but look for the announcement and plan to bring your bike out for a half-day of fun in May. Thanks to a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, this tour will be free for all participants. 
  • Rio Grande Basin Tour: This June, we will explore the Rio Grande Basin in Colorado's San Luis Valley on our two-day bus tour. Participants will learn how water is used by various stakeholders, what makes the Rio Grande unique from other basins in the state, innovative water solutions happening in the basin and more. 
  • Rain Barrel Building Workshops: Back by popular demand, we will be hosting two rain barrel building workshops before June. 

On Air: Connecting the Drops

The Future of Forecasting Water Availability

The bulk of our water supply in the West comes in the form of snow, therefore measuring snowpack and estimating how much water it will melt into is vital for water managers and for researchers. Much of the measurement happens on the ground with SNOTEL sites, but increasingly, data is being gathered from satellites. Listen to the story here on Connecting the Drops, our statewide series on water. 

Member Happenings

2018 Ditch and Reservoir Company Alliance (DARCA) Conference

DARCA is holding its 16th Annual Conference at the Pueblo Convention Center, Feb. 21-23. During the conference, a variety of speakers will discuss their views on timely subjects facing ditch and reservoir companies. It will be a great opportunity to expand everybody's horizons by interacting with mutual ditch and reservoir companies, irrigation districts, laterals and private ditches from around the state. Learn more and register here.  

Trout Tank H2O

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Development Center, Denver Water, Colorado State University and TAP-IN are partnering to bring you Trout Tank H2O—an accelerator and pitch competition that showcases entrepreneurs and businesses with a water focus and gives them opportunities to sharpen their pitching skills, gain exposure, secure funding, and build connections within the Colorado business and water community. Mark your calendars to hear from pitchers, partners and the public. Learn more here

  • Access H2O Panel - March 8
  • Final Auditions Pitch Night - March 29
  • Trout Tank H2O Final Pitch Event - April 19

St. Vrain and Left Hand Water Conservancy District 2018 Water Symposium

Attend the St. Vrain and Left Hand Water Conservancy District's 2018 Annual Water Symposium on March 23, 2018 at the Shupe Homestead in Longmont. Learn more here.

Take The Next Step

  • Read the latest issue of Headwaters magazine on alternative transfer methods, now available online and in print. Read articles or flip through the digital version here.
  • Support Water Education Colorado! Show your love for water education by donating, joining or renewing your membership.


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