Tuesday, October 17, 2017
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HEADWATERS Pulse: October 2017

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About a month ago I began working as the education and outreach coordinator for the Colorado Foundation for Water Education (CFWE). My new job didn’t start in the way that new jobs usually do, but with a staff retreat (pretty lucky, right?!). We spent two days in the mountains near Winter Park getting to know each other better and discussing some exciting upcoming events, including our Reaching the Right People Workshop, the 2017 Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference, and the unveiling of our new name, Water Education Colorado, and logo (which we'll start to make public at the conference THIS WEEK). It is an exciting time to be joining the organization!

As for me, water has always been one of my main interests. Growing up in the Sierra Nevada, I spent much of my childhood in and around Lake Tahoe, exploring the endless trails and never missing an opportunity to jump into an alpine lake. Years later, when I was deciding on a career path, environmental policy was the obvious choice. The importance of strategic water resource management has become increasingly clear, especially in the American West, where we are facing changes in water availability and an increasing population. Having the opportunity to engage and build relationships with people throughout Colorado and empower them to join the conversations that will shape our water future is why I am so excited to be part of CFWE.

As the education and outreach coordinator, I will work on leadership and education programs, such as the Water Educator Network, and organize some of CFWE’s outreach activities and events. I come to CFWE with an MA in international environmental policy. My background includes experience with the design and development of educational resources, outreach activities, and capacity building tools. In addition, I’ve worked on different aspects of water resource management, both on an international scale and on a local scale, for a variety of organizations. My favorite part of my past positions was connecting with the people and using their input to design tools specific to their needs, location and challenges. That will also be a crucial aspect of my role here.

In the past two months, CFWE co-hosted the Innovating for Viability: Land and Water tour, and also wrapped up our Water Leaders and Water Fluency programs. For more information about those programs and to get updates about application dates, please visit the program pages. In the coming months, I am looking forward to CFWE’s final events for 2017. In addition to the events I already mentioned, CFWE is hosting the 2017 Considerations in Implementing Regional Water Solutions Conference, an Aquatic Nuisance Species: Threats and Solutions webinar, and will be releasing a new issue of Headwaters magazine focused on alternative transfer methods. I hope to meet many of you at one of these events and am excited to work with CFWE’s members, partners and supporters in the future. Perhaps most of all, I am looking forward to engaging the Coloradans we haven’t worked with yet and ensuring that the underrepresented voices in our community are involved in helping us all build a sustainable water future for Colorado.  

Sophie Kirschenman, Education and Outreach Coordinator

On The Blog

Alternative Transfer Methods
in Action
#hike4water Minute 323

CFWE Mission In Motion

Reaching the Right People Workshop Oct. 10

Held as a pre-conference workshop at the Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference specifically for Water Educator Network members and outreach professionals
For educators, one of the biggest challenges can be reaching our target audiences and managing those relationships to meet our goals. Join us to engage in a dialogue and receive training on how to best design, plan and reach target audiences with water-focused messages and information. Learn more and register here.

Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference Oct. 10-12

"Coming Together—The Confluence of Science and Society"
This annual conference expands cooperation and collaboration throughout Colorado for the purpose of natural resource conservation, protection and enhancement by informing participants about new issues and innovative projects and through valuable networking. Although the Tuesday evening events are sold out, you can still register for Wednesday! Register here

Webinar: Aquatic Nuisance Species, the Threat and Solutions Oct. 24

From 12-1 p.m. on Oct. 24, the Colorado Water Congress and Colorado Foundation for Water Education are partnering to host a webinar on the threat of aquatic nuisance species, specifically zebra and quagga mussels, to our waterways and delivery systems in Colorado. Join us for this free offering to hear about the threats these invasive mussels pose and how Colorado is working to educate the public and our policy makers so we can maintain healthy waterways and infrastructure. 

Mike Preston, Dolores Water Conservancy District
Ken Curtis, Dolores Water Conservancy District
Doug Vilsack, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Doug Krieger, Colorado Department of Natural Resources

Registration is FREE! Register here.

Considerations in Implementing Regional Water Solutions Nov. 6

Our future requires that regional efforts provide some solutions to water supply shortfalls and projects. This day-long workshop will provide a forum for information and discussion around the tradeoffs in regional water planning for achieving economies of scale, as well as a close examination of the opportunities, the hurdles, and the best approaches for success. Register here to reserve your place and join us on Nov. 6 in Colorado Springs.

Thank You Sponsors and Participants for a Successful Innovating for Viability Tour!

On September 27 we partnered with the Colorado Ag Water Alliance, National Young Farmers Coalition, and the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union for a one-day tour focused on innovative solutions for ag viability. We filled the bus with nearly 50 interested people and visited various operations in the Lower Arkansas Valley. Check out photos on Facebook. Thank you to all who participated and many thanks to our sponsors: Farm Credit of Southern Colorado, Otero County, Jeff Larson Insurance Agency, and Hoffman Insurance.

On Air: Connecting the Drops 

Detecting Leaks with Data

While water providers focus more heavily on conservation efforts, they're paying attention to water lost in the system through leaks. In the latest episode of Connecting the Drops, our reporter goes hunting for a leak with a Denver Water technician—offering a closer look at the ever improving data systems and technology responsible for the decline in water lost in leaky systems. Listen to the story here.

Take the Next Step

  • Colorado WaterWise Symposium Join water efficiency professionals and supporters for the 9th annual Colorado WaterWise Symposium on Oct. 24 in Denver. The event will include education, networking, door prizes, the Gardener Award, and a day of learning about water conservation in Colorado. NEW this year: a Pecha Kucha! Learn more and register here.
  • Upper Colorado River Basin Water Forum The Water Center at Colorado Mesa University invites you to the 2017 Forum themed "stories from the field". This interdisciplinary forum will include dialogue between academic practitioners and artistic perspectives on water issues. Learn more and register here to attend Nov. 1-2. 
  • Colorado's Ag Water Summit The Colorado Ag Water Alliance is hosting its biannual Ag Water Summit at the Larimer County Fairgrounds on Dec. 5. Speakers will address how Colorado's producers use water, what role agriculture has in rural and urban Colorado, water quality, and what farmers and ranchers are doing regarding efficacy, conservation and how they're expecting to deal with future water shortages. Learn more and register here.
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