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Headwaters MagazineRead select articles from the magazine below or flip through the full issue online.

This Headwaters Magazine explores the relationship of water to energy production. Much remains to be learned about the effects of energy development on the state's water resources. Given the importance Colorado's citizens place on a safe, reliable, high quality water supply, we must pursue these possibilities responsibly.

Watermarks--Letter from the Director

Energy has emerged as one of world's greatest challenges.

Energy is emerging as one of world's greatest challenges. Demand for all its forms continues to increase as our population grows and our standard of living rises.

Read more: Watermarks--Letter from the Director

Surface Concerns

By Donna Gray

Concerned about water quantity and quality impacts, Coloradans are watching the state's burgeoning natural gas industry and monitoring the effects of dewatering aquifers, discharging produced water and hydraulic fracturing.

Read more: Surface Concerns

Run of the River

By Lori Ozzello

It's feasible.

And to the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association, the possibility of adding a revenue stream and hydropower to their project offers a handful of opportunities.

‘We have the water,’ explains Umcompahgre's manager Marc Catlin. ‘It seems to be the best answer: We take water we already have and use it before we send it to the farmers.

Read more: Run of the River

Who regulates the gas industry in Colorado?

  • The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regulates all gas activities including surface and down-hole well spacing, drilling, treatment and disposal of waste and reclamation—restoring the land surface as closely as possible to its original condition. It also requires operators to notify surface owners of its intentions to drill and consult with them about the location of well pads, roads and pipelines and associated facilities. If the operator and surface owner cannot reach agreement, the operator posts a bond for each well it drills.

    Read more: Who regulates the gas industry in Colorado?

Oil Shale Déjà Vu

By Donna Gray

For the people of western Colorado, oil shale has been both a blessing and a curse.

Touted as the solution to the country's energy shortfall in the 1970s and '80s, oil shale development caused rapid growth followed by a precipitous economic decline when it failed to reach commercial production.

Read more: Oil Shale Déjà Vu

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