Colorado Foundation for Water Education

Maeve Conran / Connecting the Drops

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.

Shawn Rosvold / KRCC

Rain barrels are now legal in Colorado. This comes after several years of debate and opposition from those concerned about possible impacts on downstream water users. Now, conservationists are eyeing them and other water capture tools as a way to stretch the state's overburdened supply.

Neighborly Cooperation Keeps Alive Acequia System of Irrigation

May 10, 2016
Katherine-Claire Nynas


Water rights can be a touchy topic for Colorado families whose livelihoods are tied to the resource's availability. But in the tight knit community of San Luis in southern Colorado, a group of farmers and ranchers uses old methods of cooperation to help ensure healthy livestock and a good harvest in the arid region.

Public Engagement and the Colorado Water Plan

Apr 6, 2015
Kate McIntire / Colorado Water Conservation Board


It's been just over three months since Coloradans got a first look at the state's water plan. The draft that was submitted to Governor John Hickenlooper came after more than 800 public meetings held all across the state. But despite an extensive education and outreach campaign, just how involved is the general public in planning Colorado's water future? In his 2015 state of the state address, Governor John Hickenlooper lauded the process that brought people from around Colorado together...


Tune in to KRCC Sunday, January 25 at 5 PM for a special one-hour call-in Connecting the Drops program focusing on the State Water Plan.

The plan looks to find a way to meet the state’s growing water needs. But what does it mean for different stakeholders? Joining us for a state wide discussion on the Colorado Water Plan are James Eklund, Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Jim Pokrandt with the Colorado River Water Conservation District and Chris Woodka with...

Colorado's Water Plan

Aug 14, 2014
Colorado Foundation for Water Education


It’s been over a year since Governor Hickenlooper issued an executive order calling for the creation of a state water plan. It won’t be a legal document, but the plan is expected to make recommendations that will guide future water planning and funding decisions. The process is well underway, with a deadline to deliver a draft plan by this December.
Mike Preston, manager of the Dolores Water Conservancy District, which stores and delivers water from the Dolores River, stands...

Post-Flood Planning in Boulder County

Jul 23, 2014
Boulder County


The historic September 2013 flood reshaped waterways across Colorado’s northern Front Range, making major changes to both the manmade and natural environments. Over the past ten months, homeowners, planners and policy makers have grappled with difficult decisions over where and how to rebuild, and when to let Mother Nature take her new course.
Lyons resident Phyllis Casey stands watching the demolition of her home. The sound of heavy equipment along Apple Valley Road in Lyons...

Sam Fuqua


When it comes to water, Colorado’s kids can expect to face a challenging future; a growing population and increasing demand may mean difficult trade-offs. That’s one reason educators and policy-makers say it’s critical to teach young people about water management. On a breezy spring morning in south Denver, a line of about 30 teenagers snakes down a hill at Overland Pond, a little urban park next to the South Platte River. The kids are passing golf balls to each other really fast, and...

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With over 200 breweries and brewpubs , Colorado is one of top beer producers in the country. All that beer requires a lot of water. Brewers large and small are working to conserve the precious liquid that is crucial to creating the other precious liquid.
It’s so loud on the production line at Coors’ Golden brewery that they distribute earplugs to visitors, plus steel toes to put over shoes and a hard hat. Colorado’s best-known brewer merged with other industry giants a few years ago...

ICYMI: Connecting the Drops Call-In, Water & Energy

Apr 16, 2014


Water & Energy was the topic of a statewide call-in program associated with Connecting the Drops, a year-long collaboration on Colorado water issues from KRCC and other member stations of Rocky Mountain Community Radio, as well as the Colorado Foundation for Water Education. Guests were Ken Carlson, professor of civil & environmental engineering at CSU; Sloan Shoemaker, head of the Western Slope conservation group Wilderness Workshop; and Kent Holsinger, an industry attorney...


Water & Energy is the topic this Sunday afternoon at 5 on a special live statewide call-in program. It's part of Connecting the Drops--a year-long collaboration on Colorado water issues from KRCC and other member stations of Rocky Mountain Community Radio. Today, we'll have a panel of experts discussing the impact of energy development on Colorado water. Your calls are encouraged, and we'll provide a specific number for you to call during the show. That's today from 5-6 PM. The toll...

US Bureau of Reclamation

Using the force of moving water to generate electricity is an old idea. For much of the 20th century, hydroelectric technology led to the construction of giant dams across the American West and around the world. But big hydro projects have a big impact on surrounding ecosystems, and Colorado is at the center of a growing move toward hydropower on a smaller scale.
An old U.S. government film touting the Hoover Dam , a massive structure built in the 1930’s on the Arizona-Nevada border,...

Water Use and Electric Generation

Feb 14, 2014
Headwaters, Fall 2013 / Colorado Foundation for Water Education


It takes water to produce electricity, but how much water varies a lot depending on the fuel source and the power generating technology. In Colorado, around half a percent of our total water usage is used to generate electricity.
It’s a small percentage, says Stacy Tellinghusen , water policy analyst for Western Resource Advocates, a non-profit conservation group, but adds that it’s not inconsequential. “The total volume is around 65,000 acre feet of water per year that’s...

"In 1879, [adventurer and geologist John Wesley] Powell proposed that 'as the Western states were brought into the union they be formed around watersheds, rather than arbitrary political boundaries.'"