How does global warming affect flows in the Rio Grande?

Summit County Citizens Voice

New study to help water planners in changing climate

A 2016 Landsat 8 image of the Lower Rio Grande canyons courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.

Staff Report

There are more and more signs that global warming triggered a step-change in many natural systems in the 1980s. A new study, led by scientists with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, tracked a big change in flows in the Rio Grande watershed, a key source of water in New Mexico and Texas.

According to the study, the percentage of precipitation that becomes streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande watershed has fallen more steeply than at any point in at least 445 years.

In another recent study, European researchers showed how major lakes across Central Europe warmed dramatically starting about that same time, and the meltdown of Arctic ice has also accelerated rapidly since then.

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Thanks for the Memories: A Farewell Message from Your CFWE Intern

Your Water Colorado Blog

logo_tagline_color_small copyToday is my final day as the Communications and Operations Intern for the Colorado Foundation for Water Education. Am I ready to leave? Not really—I want to stay forever. In the past when I got to the point of leaving a job, I really wanted to leave, so this is a new experience for me. Is it time for me to leave? Absolutely.

Is it time for me to leave? Absolutely.

diploma-152024_1280Not only am I graduating with my second bachelor’s degree on Friday, but I’ve also landed a fantastic full-time position as the Engagement Coordinator for the University Advancement/Alumni Relations Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver (Go Roadrunners!)! It is definitely time for me to settle into a non-school centric routine and allow another student to take advantage of the opportunities that I have had while working with the amazing women of CFWE.

I have learned so many things…

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Real people, affected by real-world water policy, gather to talk about dealing with it

Arizona Water News


Western Farm Press, May 7, 2017

The talk about stabilizing Lake Mead and resolving chronic over-allocation of the Colorado River system tends to dwell at the 30,000-foot level.

It’s all about how cutbacks might affect the states. It’s about law and policy. About the consequences of inaction for millions of people and for industries, like agriculture, valued in the billions of dollars.

At some point, though, someone has to think retail. Someone has to contemplate the real-world, on-the-ground impact of what happens at the end of the irrigation canal for the end-user of Colorado River water that may no longer be flowing in quite the volumes that it used to flow.

Unsurprisingly, there are such people contemplating the consequences of the anticipated multi-state “drought contingency plan,” which at some point might result in cuts to Arizona’s allocation by hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of Colorado River water.


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Droppin’ the bucket at Gross Reservoir – News on TAP

Denver Water facility is training ground for wildland fire helicopter units and technical dive squads.

Source: Droppin’ the bucket at Gross Reservoir – News on TAP

In harm’s way, Strike Team keeps the water flowing – News on TAP

Elite six-man team among first responders when fires, floods and other emergencies threaten the water supply.

Source: In harm’s way, Strike Team keeps the water flowing – News on TAP

Drew Beckwith, 2017 Emerging Leader Award

Your Water Colorado Blog

This Friday, May 12th, the Colorado Foundation for Water Education will celebrate water education and water leadership at its annual President’s Reception.  Each year, CFWE honors the recent work of a young Colorado professional with the Emerging Leader Award. This year, CFWE will recognize Drew Beckwith with Western Resource Advocates with this award.

Register here to attend the President’s Reception this Friday at 6 p.m. at the Denver Art Museum. We’ll enjoy refreshments, a fun evening with friends, and our first ever LIVE AUCTION. We can’t wait to see you there!

Drew Beckwith, 2017 Emerging Leader Award

By Greg Hobbs

beckwithphotoDrew Beckwith, water policy manager for Western Resources Advocates, devotes himself to Colorado’s water conservation future. His particular focus is municipal water conservation and land use planning. A member of CFWE’s Water Leaders’ class of 2013, Drew helped shape the Citizen’s Guide to Water…

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Colorado Water Trust: Please join us for RiverBank! (June 14, 2017) @COWaterTrust

Lulu City with Lake Granby in the distance from the Grand River Ditch road. Photo credit Greg Hobbs.

Click here for all the inside skinny. From the website:

RiverBank is our annual fundraiser, and is a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues, and to meet our team. We’re thrilled to have so many wonderful supporters, including you!

At RiverBank, we’ll be eating great food, drinking wonderful beverages from our open bar, shopping for one-of-a-kind items at our silent auction, and hanging out with the greatest river rats in Colorado.

We’re thrilled to announce that at RiverBank, this year’s David Getches Flowing Waters Award will be presented to Lurline Underbrink Curran! (Read more about Lurline’s accomplishments here.)

You’re invited and we can’t wait to see you there!

Click here to order your tickets!

We are accepting auction item donations through June 5th and still have some sponsorship opportunities available! Please contact Missy Yoder at for more information.

Click here to view a photo gallery from last year’s event.