Colorado Water 2012: George Sibley is writing a weekly column about Colorado water issues starting today for the Grand Junction Free Press

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This should be a real treat. Sibley is well known for his long career writing about water. He’s been featured at Colorado Central Magazine forever.

Mr. Sibley details Colorado Water 2012 in the first column of the series. Here’s an excerpt:

But why is 2012 the “Year of Colorado Water”? The idea of it began with the realization that three of Colorado’s more important water organizations are celebrating their 75th anniversaries this year — but we are not even going to say what those three organizations are right now because they all have longish titles mixing up basically the same set of words (“Colorado,” Conservation,” “Water,” etc.), and that is usually the point where eyes start to glaze over and minds wander off to images of eternally babbling streams…

Locally, Water 2012 activities will be focused on the current water situation in the Colorado and Gunnison River Basins, because that is where we live, and the rich history of water use and development by those who were here before us. You will, for example, be invited to the Upper Gunnison River in early June, and the valley of the North Fork of the Gunnison in early August, to help celebrate two important chapters in that rich history. In September, there will be a tour focusing on how water is used on farms in our region. Even if you cannot come to those events in person, you will have the opportunity through these stories in your newspapers and magazines, paper and electronic, to assemble a coherent picture of how that past has shaped the present — and what from that past we should and should not try to carry into the future.

The Colorado Foundation for Water Education has led the charge in organizing the “Year of Water,” but the Colorado and Gunnison Basin Roundtables will be carrying the torch in the Grand Valley and farther upstream. The Roundtables are two of nine representative bodies statewide, in other river basins, created by the legislature to encourage more public involvement in water decision-making for the coming decades, during which Colorado’s population may approach twice what it is now.

More Colorado Water 2012 coverage here.

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