The September 2015 “Headwaters Pulse” is hot off the presses from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education

A “get well soon” balloon floats in the contaminated waters of the Animas River flowing through Durango on Monday afternoon August 10, 2015 -- photo The Durango Herald, Shane Benjamin
A “get well soon” balloon floats in the contaminated waters of the Animas River flowing through Durango on Monday afternoon August 10, 2015 — photo The Durango Herald, Shane Benjamin

Click here to read the September 2015 edition. Here’s an excerpt:

Last month, the nation watched aghast as a Colorado river turned orange. The crisis on the Animas River brought the importance of water to national attention, highlighting its crucial role in tourism, mining, recreation, and public health – but also spotlighting the vulnerability of our watersheds.

As I heard the story unfold, I was struck by the apt similarity of Animas with animus. Google will give you two main definitions for this word: (1) hostility or ill feeling, and (2) motivation to do something.

The story of this spill is, unfortunately, a tale of mistrust, ill feelings, and hostilities between communities, mining companies, and government regulators, among others, and the spill is not likely to improve the situation. But the orange river is only the most visible evidence of slow pollution that has been ongoing for decades from old mines, which citizen groups and government agencies have been trying to stanch. Even when the river is no longer orange, pollution is still a problem.

And so I hope that the conditions on the Animas give us all some motivation to protect our watersheds, whether by joining a local watershed group, participating in Colorado’s Water Plan, attending this year’s Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference, or devoting the time to learn more about Colorado’s water. Check out the resources below for more ideas.

At CFWE, our programs incorporate diverse perspectives and facilitate dialogue that brings together uncommon allies, working to reduce animus over water issues. Informed decision-making and collaboration can help secure a better water future for us all. So let’s turn the orange Animas into our animus to improve and celebrate Colorado’s water.

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