The CWCB is pleased to announce that Becky Mitchell is our new Director! Prior to becoming Director, Becky served as the Section Chief for the Water Supply Planning section, which focuses on ensuring sufficient water supplies for Colorado’s citizens and the environment. She’s played a significant role in working with the state’s Basin Roundtables, the Interbasin Compact Committee, the public at large, and CWCB staff in producing Colorado’s Water Plan.
“I’m excited and fortunate to have an opportunity to serve a state agency filled with committed and thoughtful stewards of Colorado’s precious water resources. Coloradans and our water communities are working like never before to solve our state’s challenges collaboratively. The same kind of cooperation that led to Colorado’s Water Plan will fuel the long-running effort necessary to continue putting the plan into action. What a privilege to be part of this process.” -- Becky Mitchell, Coyote Gulch
Celene Hawkins, Southwest Basin Representative
Celene serves as the Western Colorado Water Project Director for The Nature Conservancy, where she coordinates and implements projects with agricultural partners, federal, state, and local governments, and local conservation organizations to help optimize the use of water in western and southwestern Colorado.
Jack Goble, Arkansas Basin Representative
Jack is a professionally-licensed water resource engineer with the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District. He manages several water related projects and studies within the Arkansas River Basin, including the Catlin Canal Fallowing-Leasing Pilot Project and two Irrigation Improvement Plans that include over 230 center pivot sprinklers.
Heather Dutton, Rio Grande Basin Representative
Heather is the district manager of the San Luis Valley Water Conservancy District. The SLVWCD shepherds well augmentation water from the Rio Grande Reservoir above Creede into the river to support agricultural, domestic, municipal, and commercial uses in the Valley’s heartlands in cooperation with the Rio Grande Water Conservation District.
Colorado's Water Plan Grant Funding
A new grant opportunity is available through the CWCB to provide financial assistance on select projects, programs, and activities that make progress on the critical actions and measurable objectives identified in CWP. The grant funding categories include: supply and demand gap; water storage; conservation and land use; engagement and innovation; agricultural; and environmental and recreation projects.
Guiding documents and application materials can be found on both the CWCB website under the “Loans & Grants” tab and on CWP website under the “Implementation” tab. The first deadline was August 1, and the next deadline is October 1.
For this first round, at the preliminary count, the CWCB received 32 grant applications requesting a total of $8.9 million from the Water Plan Grant fund. The total project costs for the 32 applications are approximately $59.2 million. The CWCB also received 28 "Intent to Apply" notices for future grant cycles requesting over $7.6 million. (Note that not all of the “Intent to Apply” applications had project costs identified as of August 1, 2017, so the grant requests will likely exceed the $7.6 million estimate.)
TAP-IN: Cultivate & Produce
Water fuels everything we love about living in Colorado, but we face some difficult water challenges. Luckily, Colorado has an opportunity like no other state: we are the headwaters region that supplies water for millions of people across many states, and we are the epicenter of today’s innovation conversation. There is a creative current that flows throughout our state, and it's time we tapped into it to solve our water challenges.
TAP-IN, a reverse pitch innovation challenge, puts the problem before the solution. It puts the end user before the entrepreneur (literally). It puts the partnership before the product. At TAP-IN, creative collaboration sits front and center.
Join TAP-IN on August 24 at Innosphere is Fort Collins for Cultivate & Produce, a reverse pitch event featuring end users working in the agriculture, food, brew, and beverage industries.
10.10.10 Cities: Water & Infrastructure
"The world doesn't need its best and brightest to build yet another app. We need them to grapple with wicked problems – the sprawling, intractable issues that must be tamed if we’re going to build a better world."
10.10.10 helps connect startup communities to thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors throughout the country. 10.10.10 is:10 Wicked Problems with significant market opportunity; 10 Prospective CEOs from all over the United States, each of them looking for their next big thing; and 10 days spent together exploring marketable solutions that can form the basis for creating fundable companies.
10.10.10 will launch its first Cities program October 16-26 in Denver that will focus on Water & Infrastructure. They need passionate people to volunteer in a variety of roles, so get involved!
A LITTLE MORE BEFORE YOU RUNOFF
Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership (GGP)
The GGP educates all ages about sustainable water use, renewable energy, and year-round food production in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Read more!
John Martin Reservoir Fish and Wildlife Conservation Pool
In May, the Arkansas River Compact Administration passed a resolution allowing Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to utilize a water right in the Highland Ditch on the Purgatoire River via storage in John Martin Reservoir for the benefit of the fish and wildlife conservation pool. The fish and wildlife permanent pool is intended to benefit the fishery in the reservoir, with additional benefits for boating and other recreational opportunities. This resolution of the Administration is a one-year agreement, with potential for renewal. This agreement is the product of cooperation and hard work by CPW, CWCB, the state of Kansas, the Lower Arkansas Water Management Association, the Attorney General’s office, and especially the Division 2 staff of the Division of Water Resources. If the agreement is implemented long-term, better protection of the fishery and recreational opportunities will be possible, with reduced costs and a more dependable source of water for the permanent pool. For more information, check out this article in the High Plains Journal.
Photo credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum Releases 2017 Review Draft for Public Comment
The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum has released a draft of the 2017 Review: Water Quality Standards for Salinity, Colorado River System for public comment. This triennial document serves not only to evaluate water quality standards for salinity in the Colorado River, but also provides background on salinity issues in the Colorado River Basin and establishes a Plan of Implementation to keep salinity concentration within the defined water quality standards. Public comments will be accepted through August 25, 2017. Send comments to Brent Newman. Get more information about the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum and check out this video.
Intermountain West Joint Venture
The Intermountain West Joint Venture, an 11-state conservation organization, sees the San Luis Valley as a critical area for migratory birds and remarkable community-led conservation. They have partnered with numerous entities in the valley on habitat conservation efforts. They recently published a story highlighting some of the San Luis Valley's dynamic efforts to address local water challenges. Read the full article.
Photo: Ali Duvall of the IWJV joined biologists Cary Aloia and Jenny Nehring of Wetland Dynamics, Jill Lucero of the BLM, and staff for a site visit to a newly funded conservation project on the Conejos River, Conejos County, Colorado. Photo credit: Rio de la Vista.
What Grade Does YOUR River Get?
Colorado is famous for its raging rivers, cascading streams, and babbling creeks. Each is unique in its environment, people, economy, history, and cultural values. In the Colorado's Rivers: A Report Card, one river from each of the basins is analyzed and assigned a letter grade based on factors including flow, amount of water diverted out of the basin, water quality, and major dams. Other factors such as water use, recreation, fisheries, nearby energy production, pollution, and surrounding landscapes are taken into account. Check out the Story Map too!
Colorado Commits to State Climate Action
On July 11, Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order committing the state to climate action. He also announced that Colorado will join the U.S. Climate Alliance.To view the complete executive order, click here.
“Coloradans value clean air and clean water. Our strong economy is a reflection of how our exhilarating outdoors attracts young entrepreneurs and the talent they need for their businesses,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “The vast majority of our residents, and indeed the country, expect us to help lead the way toward a clean and affordable energy future. In this process, we no doubt can address climate change while keeping a priority on household budgets.” - Gov. Hickenlooper
Americas Latino Ecofestival
The Americas Latino Eco Festival - a nonprofit event free and open to all - is a Latino hosted multicultural event elevating, in particular, the voices of communities of color and of women in conservation and cultural leadership, fostering collaboration to better tackle environmental problems from many angles, and using arte y cultura to message environmental awareness and shared values. Theme this year is #WaterIsLife. It will be held September 15-17. Join the fun!
Christi Bode of Moxiecran Media has become a water expert by filming projects across the state that tell the story of our water resources. Check out her new video on the Chatfield Storage Reallocation Project!
CWCB Staff Changes
Hats off to Steve Miller
Steve worked on behalf of the State of Colorado since January 1991 and retired in June 2017. Thank you for your dedication and service on the Arkansas River Compact Administration, Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum, and Gunnison Basin Selenium Management Program. Steve is an unfailing advocate for the State of Colorado, relentlessly pursuing CWCB's mission to conserve, develop, protect and manage Colorado's water for present and future generations. Enjoy your next adventure!
The front-line: Liz Schmit
Elizabeth (Liz) Schmit is the newest team member in the Administration Section. Liz is the front-line to all CWCB public inquiries, and provides assistance to both the CWCB and DNR Executive Director's Office. Liz received her undergraduate degree from George Washington University in American Studies, focusing on space, place & society. Prior to coming on-board with the CWCB, Liz has worked with the Colorado Department of Education, and several cultural nonprofits in the Washington, D.C. metro area. When she’s not at work, Liz enjoys hiking, going on road trips, and enjoying all of the remarkable resources Colorado has to offer.
The new kid on the block: Jessica Halvorsen Jessica Halvorsen is the new kid on the block. She is the Loan & Grant Program Assistant at the CWCB and works in the finance section. Prior to joining the CWCB, she worked for a large construction company in the Corporate Card Department. She has been in finance for 15 years. Her interests include spending time with her two great kids and her furry friends, and just enjoying life to the fullest.
The new/old Brent Newman is back
Brent is a native of East Tennessee, and attended the University of Mississippi for undergraduate and law school. He received his LL.M. in Natural Resources and Environmental Law and Policy in 2012 from the University of Denver. We welcome Brent back to the the CWCB (he took a brief hiatus last year). Previously, he served as liaison to the Colorado, Gunnison, Arkansas, and South Platte basin roundtables, provided program support for the Interbasin Compact Committee, and was a lead author of Colorado’s Water Plan. In his new role with the Interstate, Federal, and Water Information Section, he’ll be working with the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum, the Arkansas River Compact Administration, and focusing on other water quality and agricultural viability goals identified in Colorado’s Water Plan. In his free time, Brent enjoys snowskiing, running, hiking, and exploring Colorado’s remarkable landscape.