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water management

  • A look into the complexities of water rights, agricultural use, and the continued search for shared solutions in the Colorado River basin as drought conditions continue.
  • A farmer in southwest Colorado is helping administer a federal water conservation program that pays water users in the Upper Basin to curb their use. Greg Vlaming, who’s working to promote the System Conservation Pilot Program to farmers in the Dolores Water Conservancy District area, says those in his region who opt in won’t necessarily be forced to not farm their land in order to save water, and, therefore, earn money from the program. Instead, farmers in the drought-stricken area have a different option: plant crops that need less water in order to conserve, like “forage crops,” which are plants destined to be used as feed for animals.
  • In southwest Colorado, rain and snowmelt are projected to fill McPhee Reservoir and result in a scheduled release of water, known as a “spill.” According to Ken Curtis, the general manager of the Dolores Water Conservancy District, the spill will likely occur in early May, and will benefit water users and irrigators along the Dolores River. CORRECTION: In our original audio, we incorrectly stated that there was a meeting open to the public hosted by the DWCD on this issue next week. The real date and time for the public meeting on the "spill" will be determined soon, and is not on Monday. And state lawmakers are moving forward with efforts to mitigate negative impacts of wolf reintroduction.
  • An above average SNOTEL report shows the state’s southwestern river basins are 139% of average for this time of year.
  • Colorado is launching a new financial aid program to help students who want to become health care workers. And the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona announced it will abandon a multi-state deal on the Colorado River to keep its biggest reservoir from declining.
  • With water supply is dwindling in the West, Utah is Utah trying to figure out who can divert water from streams and rivers — and when they can do it. But there isn’t a consistent statewide distribution system in place, and without it, celebrated changes to water law fall flat.
  • Federal officials aren’t ready to give states along the Colorado River a new deadline for water conservation goals. And an initiative that would create a state affordable housing fund in Colorado will be on the ballot in November.
  • A new round of cutbacks is coming for some water users on the Colorado River. And a new poll shows a majority of Arizonans support permanently banning uranium mining around the Grand Canyon.
  • States in the Colorado River Basin failed to meet a federal deadline Tuesday to conserve an unprecedented amount of water. And Colorado lawmakers will pursue at least ten wildfire prevention programs when they kick off their legislative session in January.
  • Stakeholders along the Colorado River are trying to figure out how to drastically cut their use of water, and fast. Now, tribes are asking for a bigger say in the negotiations over how to do it. They are senior water rights holders along the Colorado, but they have historically been left out of decision-making about it.