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Headwaters Fall 2009 -- The CWCB

The CWCB BoardIn the Fall 2009 issue of Headwaters, Water Education Colorado explores the Colorado Water Conservation Board, a state agency whose staff and Board members often meander through our stories. The CWCB is involved in almost every facet of water in Colorado. It works with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and State Engineer’s Office to ensure compliance with our interstate compacts. It works with the Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks to identify streams for instream flow protection. It works with local water users to plan for Colorado’s future water needs and improve municipal conservation and drought preparedness practices. The list goes on.

Read featured articles below, or view the issue online.

Advancing the Conversation: Jennifer Gimbel

by George Sibley
Jennifer Gimbel, director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, speaks of the “many hallways” in her part of Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources—all intersecting at her office. Each hallway contains from two to seven people working on distinct, important programs involving Colorado’s most precious resource, and those programs don’t all automatically move harmoniously in the same direction.

Read more: Advancing the Conversation: Jennifer Gimbel

Climate Extremes

by Laurie J. Schmidt

The art and science of disaster aversion

“Surprise—we got more water than expected!” Those words headlined a recent article written by Colorado state climatologist Nolan Doesken highlighting the wet spring and summer of 2009. But Doesken and other seasoned Coloradans aren’t naive. They understand that premature expectations are a dangerous thing to embrace in a state characterized by climatic extremes. One year’s wet season, accompanied by hot temperatures, can spawn catastrophic floods—only to be followed the next year by drought conditions that make one wonder how there could have ever been enough water for a flood.

Read more: Climate Extremes

CWCB's Instream Flow Program matures

by Joshua Zaffos

When Wilford Speer arrived in the Dolores River Valley in 1962, as the region’s first state-appointed water commissioner, ranchers greeted him with shotgun barrels. Settlers had worked hard to carve out a living in the wild desert landscape, and an outside authority on water management wasn’t given a warm welcome.

Read more: CWCB's Instream Flow Program matures

The CWCB’s Loan Programs

by Jerd Smith

In the summer of 2002, Pinewood Springs was bitterly, desperately dry.

The Little Thompson River, which wanders through the scenic foothills below Rocky Mountain National Park, had evaporated. “The Little Thompson River has gone dry every year for the past ten years. But in 2002 it was the worst it ever was,” says Pinewood Springs Water District superintendent Carl Pender.

Read more: The CWCB’s Loan Programs

CWCB's Role in Colorado's Water History

by Jerd Smith

On a warm Sunday evening in Meeker in 2003, the Colorado Water Conservation Board was arriving for a three-day meeting. Hotel rooms were nearly sold out. There were lines at the restaurants.

Read more: CWCB's Role in Colorado's Water History

The Healthy Rivers Fund

by Abigail Eagye

Usually, the goals of environmental groups and Jeep clubs seem at odds. But in Jamestown, Colo., the James Creek Watershed Initiative has worked hand in hand with 4x4 clubs to restore natural areas around nearby James and Left Hand creeks.

At first glance, their visions for the land completely differ. The four-wheelers are there to play, while the watershed initiative seeks to protect the town’s water supply from the consequences of that play—namely, excess sediment in the creeks.

Read more: The Healthy Rivers Fund

At Water's Helm: A Legacy of Leadership

by Jayla Poppleton

With the 72-year-old Colorado Water Conservation Board, there is no shortage of characters who have worn the temporary hat of director-in-chief or carried a powerful Board of Directors vote that could uphold or stymie any given water project seeking state support. Each had his or her own leadership style and strengths, but the quality that the most effective among them shared was a statewide vision.

Read more: At Water's Helm: A Legacy of Leadership

Water Law Resources

Guide to Colorado Water Law explores the basics of Colorado water law--learn how it has developed and how it is applied today. This, WEco's most popular Citizen's Guide, was authored by Colorado Supreme Court Justice, and WEco Board Vice President, Gregory Hobbs. Take a look or purchase a copy.


Law Supplement Headwaters magazine a special edition of Headwaters that provides an in-depth look at Colorado water law. Browse the magazine to supplement our Citizen's Guide and your knowledge. View it here

Administration Headwaters magazine read how enforcing the law in our water-scarce state can get tricky and meet the men and women who allocate Colorado's most precious resource. Browse the issue here.

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