On September 15th, KVNF presented a statewide call-in show on the Colorado River, looking at water issues and the future of the Colorado River.
The program is a part of the year-long collaborative reporting series Connecting the Drops, and is hosted by KDNK in Carbondale, KRCC in Colorado Springs and KGNU in Boulder.
Guests on the program include Taylor Hawes, a Nature Conservancy program director (who testified before a Senate committee on the Colorado River), Jim Pokrandt with the Colorado River District, and a representative from Colorado Springs Utility.
A complex series of agreements govern the distribution of water throughout the state. Along the Colorado River, farms, cities & towns, and the recreation industry are all big players. But everyone takes a backseat to a tiny hydroelectric plant that’s over one hundred years old. It’s the Shoshone Generating Station, and it plays a critical role on the Upper Colorado.
In May, as the drought lingered for yet another year, Governor John Hickenlooper issued an executive order to the Colorado Water Conservation Board, calling for a new Colorado Water Plan “that will support agriculture in rural Colorado and align state policy to the state’s water values.” Hickenlooper also paid tribute to Colorado’s historic water law, which claims first in time, first in right.
In early July, Colorado designated 14 counties "primary natural disaster areas" due to agricultural losses caused by the recent and ongoing drought. Several of those counties are in the San Luis Valley in south central Colorado. Farmers there are now eligible for low interest emergency loans, but as KGNU’s Maeve Conran reports, that may not be enough for this agricultural hub, which is facing a long term water crisis that could permanently affect the entire valley.
For this week’s iSeeChange report, we explore concerns about ditch lining in the area, and whether these manmade environmental changes (much like the ditches themselves) may alter their surroundings.
Last week on the Almanac, Stewart Mesa resident noticed fewer numbers of wasps around her house. She says usually by this time of the summer, her front porch is practically overrun with wasps. But this year they seem to have disappeared.