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President's Reception

Dick Bratton, 2009 President's Award Winner

Water Educator

Being an educator flows in his lineage. Characteristically, Bratton stepped forward in 1991 when a broad-based coalition of Colorado water, environmental and civic interests formed the Colorado Water Education Foundation, CWEF. The first of its kind, the non-profit had a 33-member board of trustees and described its mission as ‘to provide a wide range of water-related information from various viewpoints with no advocacy position taken on any issues in order to foster a broader understanding of water challenges among the general population and aid in the informed and timely discussion of water issues.’

 

Bratton served from the start as a member of the executive committee, as by-laws chair and later as president. Carmine Iadarola, co-founder of CWEF, described Bratton as bringing ‘credibility, stature, knowledge, and expertise’ to the foundation during its six years of existence. In 1996, CWEF suspended meetings due to a lack of an executive director and stable funding.

 

In the horrendous drought year of 2002, some former CWEF trustees, the Colorado Water Congress, and other organizations and interested persons met to plan for the new Colorado Foundation for Water Education. Rep. Diane Hoppe and Sen. Lew Entz had successfully carried House Bill 1152 in the just-concluded 2002 Colorado legislative session, which included a provision to establish a water education foundation ‘to promote a better understanding of water issues through educational opportunities and resources so Colorado citizens will understand water as a limited resource and will make informed decisions.’ The General Assembly appropriated a start-up grant and annual monies from the Colorado Water Conservation Board Construction Fund that, paired with other grants and contributions, funds the foundation and its ongoing educational programs.

 

As a result, the water education legacy of Dick Bratton and so many others lives on in the CFWE.

  
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