@CFWEWater: 2016 Water Educator Symposium, November 17

From User Generated Education Jackie Gerstein.
From User Generated Education Jackie Gerstein.

Click here to go to the Colorado Foundation for Water Education website for all the inside skinny.

Innovative Water Education in the 21st Century: Visual storytelling, using technology to share Colorado’s Water Stories

Join the Water Educator Network of the Colorado Foundation for Water Education to explore exemplary visual storytelling techniques for water and river education and outreach. Presenters include Will Inveen, Director of Education at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority in Australia; Tracy Ferdin, creator of the Waters to the Sea program at Hamline University; the Open Water Foundation, Open Media Foundation, and others. Learn how you can implement visual storytelling using technology to expand your message and reach new audiences across Colorado and beyond.

Presenters include:

  • Beyond the Mirage, Filmstacker, University of Arizona
  • Watershed Mapping, Colorado Geographic Alliance
  • Texas Water Explorer, Nature Conservancy
  • Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Australia
  • Open Water Foundation
  • ColoradoChannel.net, Open Media Foundation
  • Model My Watershed, Stroud Water Research Center
  • Waters to the Sea, Center for Global Environmental Education

When: November 17th, 2016 8:15 AM through 4:30 PM
Location: 1628 Sts John Rd, Keystone, CO 80435

#ColoradoRiver Economics: “…our new economy is based on water in the rivers in western Colorado” — Jim Pokrandt #COriver

Hayfield message to President Obama 2011 via Protect the Flows
Hayfield message to President Obama 2011 via Protect the Flows

From KRCC (Maeve Conran):

It’s been almost a century since the Colorado River Compact was created, divvying up the resources of this mighty waterway between seven states and Mexico. That means almost 40 million people are dependent on the river in some way. Traditionally, the economic value of the river was based on what the water could be used for when extracted—things like agriculture, mining, and industry. Now, more people are pointing to the economic value of keeping water in the river itself.

The Fraser River in Grand County is a tributary of the Colorado River, which starts in Rocky Mountain National Park. It runs through the heart of the town of Fraser and neighboring Winter Park. These towns attract skiers in winter and fly fishers and outdoor enthusiasts the rest of the year.

“The recreation is all based around the river… it’s the absolute base of the recreational system,” says Dennis Saffell, a real estate broker in the mountain communities of Grand and Summit Counties. Saffell says there’s a direct connection to property values and proximity to the river…

Saffell says a loss of flow in the river would likely decrease the values for all properties in these mountain communities that are dependant on the river for a tourism economy.

That’s something that others in western slope communities are well aware of, including Jim Pokrandt with the Colorado River District, the principal water policy and planning agency for the Colorado River Basin within the state.

“We understand that water left in the river is important to the economy,” says Pokdradt, “and if we have dried up rivers then we’d have degradation to our western slope economy.”

Pokrandt says the fortunes of many western slope towns hinge on understanding that the strength of local economies is beginning to shift from taking water out of the river to leaving it in.

“Rafting, that’s a big deal, skiing that’s a big deal now, hunting, fishing… this is our economy here on the west slope,” says Pokrandt. “Yes, ag is still big, and yes there’s still some mining, but our new economy is based on water in the rivers in western Colorado.”

Historically, most Colorado water rights have involved uses that divert water from the streams, but back in the early 1970s lawmakers began to recognize the need to create rights allowing water to remain in the river, to help protect ecology. But that was just a first step. Now 43 years later, a lot of water is still being taken out of the Colorado River basin and diverted to the east. There are 13 major trans mountain diversions and many other smaller ones.

It’s a concern for advocates like Craig Mackey, co-director of the non-profit Protect the Flows.

“In the 21st century we have an economic reason to have the river itself, the recreation economy, the tourism economy and I think the hardest one to quantify is a quality of life economy,” says Mackey.

Protect the Flows advocates for conservation of the Colorado River Basin, pointing to the connection between a healthy river and healthy economies.

“People want to live here, they want to locate here, they want to grow businesses here, they want to raise their families here,” says Mackey. “And water and our snow in our mountains, which becomes the water in our rivers, is a huge driver in that quality of life economy that we’re so lucky to have here in the state of Colorado.”

Protect the Flows worked with Arizona State University in 2014 on the first study on the economic impact of the Colorado River. It found that the major waterway generates $1.4 trillion in economic benefits annually throughout the entire seven state river basin. In Colorado, the tourism and outdoor recreation economy tied to the river brings in more than $9 billion annually.

The Colorado Water Plan acknowledges the need to keep water in streams, but it also acknowledges the water needs of growing cities.

Realtor Dennis Seffell says even more needs to be done.

“Now it’s time to take a new fresh look as to why it’s important to keep rivers full of water,” Saffell says.

A prolonged drought in the south west, paired with over allocation, has left the Colorado River in a sorry state. Front Range communities, largely dependent on that western water, are having some success with conservation. But with an additional 2 million people expected to move to the Denver metro area over the next 25 years, demand will only increase.

Connecting the Drops is a collaboration between Rocky Mountain Community Radio stations and the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, with support from CoBank.

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

headwaterspulse102016
Click here to read the newsletter. Here’s an excerpt (Nicole Seltzer):

The time I’ve spent at the helm of the Colorado Foundation for Water Education has given me so much more than I would have ever expected. As the organization grew, so did my leadership and management skills, my community of friends and colleagues and my knowledge of Colorado water issues. I have the utmost respect for this organization, its staff and board, and the village of people who support us both intellectually and financially. Being CFWE’s executive director has been the best job I could have asked for, no question, and I am eternally grateful to the board who, 9 years ago, took a chance on me.

And yet, with all that, I still know that it’s time to turn over the reins to someone new. Someone who can take what we’ve built, infuse it with new energy and ideas, and write the next great chapter for Colorado water education. I am excited to see where CFWE goes next, and what possibilities new leadership will unearth.

This is where you, dear supporter, come in. Here is the position announcement for CFWE’s next executive director. Share it widely, consider it yourself, and help us find the best possible person to lead this amazing team. Between all of us, I know we can find the right person.

@CWCB_DNR #COWaterPlan update now online

Colorado Water Plan website screen shot November 1, 2013
Colorado Water Plan website screen shot November 1, 2013

Click here to read the document:

Colorado’s Water Plan sets forth the measurable objectives, goals, and critical actions needed to ensure that Colorado can maintain our state’s values into the future. This is an update on implementation progress.

SUPPLY DEMAND GAP

  • Reducing the supply and demand gap is ultimately tied to actions in conservation, storage, land use, and ATMs. Updating the Statewide Water Supply Initiative (SWSI) to provide accurate and current technical information for many of these efforts is fundamental to success. The SWSI update process kicked off July 2016.
  • The CWCB and the IBCC are working to revise the Water Supply Reserve Fund criteria and guidelines to explicitly link funding requests to the goals and measureable outcomes identified in the Basin Implementation Plans and Colorado’s Water Plan. This will ensure that our funding decisions are congruent with the goals of Colorado’s Water Plan. Draft criteria and guidelines were presented to the CWCB Board in July and the IBCC in August. Final criteria and guidelines will be presented to the CWCB Board for approval in November.
  • STORAGE

  • The CWCB is financially supporting a variety of storage efforts and innovations, including a study of storage options in the South Platte (required under HB 16- 1256), exploring groundwater storage technology, and conducting a spillway analysis to identify existing storage that could be expanded.
  • Earlier this year, state and federal partners, as well as community stakeholders, completed a Lean event on the water project permitting process. The Lean team is focused on implementing its recommendations to streamline the permitting process while maintaining rigorous environmental protection.
  • CONSERVATION AND LAND USE

  • The CWCB is developing a variety of trainings that will be held over the next couple of years for local governments, utilities, and land use planners to increase water-saving actions and the integration of land use and water planning. The first of the trainings focused on “Breaking Down Silos: Integrating Water into Land Use Planning Webinar Series” was held on September 13th. There were over 100 participants in the webinar. There will be two other webinars and a train-the- trainer session over the next few months.
  • For the Colorado Water and Growth Dialogue, the second exploratory scenario planning workshop was held in July 2016. The Keystone Policy center is working with Denver Water, Aurora Water, and the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) to model the data to quantify the future scenarios.
  • The CWCB is looking at lessons learned from the legislation on indoor watersense fixtures to inform the legislation on outdoor watersense requirements called for in the plan.
  • AGRICULTURE

  • The CWCB and IBCC are hosting an Ag Viability Summit in partnership with the Colorado Ag Water Alliance (CAWA) on November 29. The agenda will include discussions about how to encourage regional planning for system-wide conservation and fleshing out the needs for an ag viability grant program.
  • The CWCB is participating in a workshop at CU on meeting the Alternative Ag Transfer Mechanisms (ATM) goal in Colorado’s Water Plan on October 7th. Discussions will include creative ways to support and facilitate ATM projects. CAWA, the Ditch & Reservoir Company Association, and Colorado Cattlemen’s Association have also been working on ATM education and development.
  • The Arkansas Basin pilot water sharing project with Catlin Canal is in its second year with favorable results that suggest statutory changes aimed at incenting alternatives to buy-and-dry transactions.
  • WATERSHED HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT & RECREATION

  • We are looking at providing an additional $5 million (through the CWCB funding plan) to the Watershed Restoration Program to work with roundtables and stakeholder groups to develop watershed restoration and stream management plans and projects for the priority streams identified in Basin Implementation Plans (BIPs) and other watershed planning documents.
  • The CWCB helped put on workshops at the Colorado Water Congress summer conference in August 2016 on Stream Management Plans: what they are and how to develop one. Another workshop will be hosted on Tuesday, October 11th at the Sustaining Colorado Watersheds conference.
  • The CWCB will be including climate change impacts in the SWSI update.
  • EDUCATION

  • The CWCB is working with the Colorado Foundation for Water Education and the One World One Water Center at Metro State University of Denver to develop a proposal for a Water Education Assessment to improve long-term water education program evaluation, identify gaps in water education, and develop case studies of successful programs and best practices to share statewide. The assessment will help align funding with educational priorities statewide.
  • The CWCB created an e-newsletter to update stakeholders on Colorado’s Water Plan implementation and the work of the CWCB Board and staff, IBCC, basin roundtables, and local communities. The next issue will go out the first week of October.
  • INNOVATION

  • The CWCB is working to connect with and create partnerships with the innovation community, including the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) and Something Independent, to create pathways for the private sector and the water community to work together to tackle the state’s water challenges and focus on innovating with water data.
  • FUNDING

  • Funding is critical to many of our implementation efforts. The CWCB will continue to align funding decisions with Colorado’s Water Plan. We are developing a 3-5 year funding plan that will create a repayment guarantee fund, bolster the WSRF program, and support several education, conservation, reuse, and agricultural viability actions called for in the plan. The following funding plan is being developed by the CWCB staff, which will seek approvals from the CWCB Board and the legislature through the annual project’s bill, to kick-start water funding for plan implementation:
  • o a one-time investment of up to $50 million (as available) into a repayment guarantee fund;
    o an annual transfer of $10 million for the Water Supply Reserve Fund;
    o an annual transfer of $5 million for the Watershed Restoration Program;
    o and an annual transfer of $10 million for additional non-reimbursable CWCB programming to implement Colorado’s Water Plan.

    USE OF $5 MILLION FROM 2016 PROJECTS BILL

    Of the $5 million transferred in the 2016 Projects Bill to assist in the implementation of Colorado’s Water Plan, staff is recommending the following approximate amounts to the Board for appropriation in 2017:

    $1 million will support efforts with watershed-level flood and drought planning and response;
    $.5 million for grants to provide technical assistance to irrigators for assistance with federal cost-sharing improvement programs;
    $1.2 million for water forecasting and measuring efforts;
    $1.3 million to update reuse regulations as well as to fund a training program for local water providers to better understand AWWA’s methodology for water loss control; and
    $1 million to support the Alternative Agricultural Water Transfer Methods Grant Program.

    CFWE: Collaborative Water Management Tour, Roaring Fork Watershed September 12, 2016

    Map of the Roaring Fork River watershed via the Roaring Fork Conservancy
    Map of the Roaring Fork River watershed via the Roaring Fork Conservancy

    Click here for the inside skinny and to register. Draft agenda. From the website:

    Join the Colorado Foundation for Water Education for a one-day tour of the Roaring Fork Watershed that will showcase exemplary collaborative water management projects. Gain an understanding of how multiple public and private entities are working together on water quality, water quantity, and riparian habitat improvement projects. The itinerary will showcase collaborative stream management plans and water management projects with municipalities, landowners, state and federal agencies, recreationists, watershed groups, and the local community. Tour attendees will get an in-depth look at how water managers and leaders are putting the Roaring Fork Watershed Plan into action.

    stopcollaborateandlistenbusinessblog

    The August 2016 Headwaters Pulse is hot off the presses from CFWE

    headwaterspulse092016cover

    Click here to read the current newsletter. Here’s an excerpt:

    Paying for what’s ahead

    Money. We all know it doesn’t grow on trees. As Colorado works to balance funding priorities for public safety programs, human services, transportation, education, and other government spending areas, Coloradans will need to come up with about $20 billion by 2050 for water projects across the state. The question is: How will we do it, and what will it mean for our bank accounts? That $20 billion figure is what the Colorado Water Conservation Board estimates is necessary to implement Colorado’s Water Plan.

    “[The water plan] identifies a lot of solutions for the state and comes with a very high price tag,” says Margaret Bowman, a consultant working with the Water Funder Initiative to develop impact investing in the West. “Now the state’s got to figure out how to finance it.”

    headwaterssummer2016economicscover

    Our summer issue of Headwaters magazine takes an in-depth look at water finance and other aspects of water economics. Click here to read the issue’s feature article “Paying for What’s Ahead” by Headwaters associate editor Caitlin Coleman as she explores traditional water financing mechanisms like bonds, loans and grants, plus new innovative pathways to securing funding through private investors, public-private partnerships, and philanthropic institutions. And read the rest of the issue for more water economics coverage such as water rates, water markets, and other valuation methods that attempt to put a price on an indispensable good.

    Headwaters Summer 2016: Accounting for Water (The Economics Issue)

    headwaterssummer2016economicscover

    Click here to read Headwaters from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education. From the website:

    The Summer 2016 issue of Headwaters Magazine examines the economics of water. In addition to looking at water’s role in Colorado’s economy, this issue covers creative funding opportunities to pay for sustainable water infrastructure as well as watershed planning and river restoration. Dive into how water is priced through water markets, rates and valuation methods—including those that account for non-market values—and explore both advantages and considerations in pursuing regionalized, multi-partner projects. Flip through or download the issue here.