Surface Creek Watershed: Source Water Protection Plan

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Folks are organizing to protect the Surface Creek Watershed. Here’s a report from the Delta County Independent (Hank Lohmeyer):

The Colorado Rural Water Association (CRWA), a non-profit group located in Pueblo West, has signed on with drinking water interests in the Surface Creek Valley area to advance the government-funded Source Water Protection Plan (SWPP) project.
Thirty people responded to 60 written invitations that went out for the meeting held at the Cedaredge Community Center. Colleen Williams, a facilitator with the non-profit group, said $5,000 grants are available to groups participating in the program. “We might be able to get $10,000 easy with this (size) group,” she told those at the meeting.

The SWPP project is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, by the Environmental Protection Agency, and by the Colorado Health Department, Williams said. The grants require a 50 percent local match which can be provided by local attendance at meetings credited toward the match at the rate of $30 per hour. “Specialists” who attend meetings qualify for a $100-per-hour grant match credit…

The Source Water Protection Plan is aimed at “keeping contaminants off the land and out of water treatment plants,” Williams said. Williams said that other communities, including the Plateau Valley area and Rangely, are participating in the SWPP project. Groundwork for the SWPP effort was laid in 1996 with passage of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The initiative was advanced in 2004 with the compiling of local “Source Water Assessments” (SWA)…

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website explains the statewide Source Water program as follows: Colorado Source Water Assessment and Protection (SWAP) is a program designed to provide information about your drinking water, as well as provide you and your community a way to get involved in protecting the quality of your drinking water. The program encourages community-based protection and preventive management strategies to ensure that all public drinking water resources are kept safe from future contamination.”

More Surface Creek watershed coverage here.

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