water

Jake Brownell / KRCC

Two Colorado based law firms filed class action suits last week over water contamination in southern El Paso County. It's the latest installment in a saga that's been ongoing since May. That was when the EPA revised their standards and announced a new health advisory for perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs. The chemicals were detected above the new health advisory levels in the drinking water in Security, Widefield, and Fountain. 

Jake Brownell / KRCC

A Denver-based law firm has filed a class action suit on behalf of residents in Security, Widefield, and Fountain over drinking water contamination.

Denise Dethlefsen / Used with permission

A new partnership aims to preserve four farms in Rocky Ford, totaling more than 660 acres.

New conservation easements between farmers Bart and David Mendenhall and the Palmer Land Trust will help ensure the water from their farms can never be sold off.

Thursday Newscast, 8/18/16, 7:04 AM

Aug 18, 2016

Newscast for Thursday, August 18, 2016, 7:04 AM:

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.

Associated Press / Stock Photo

Peterson Air Force base announced Thursday a contract for supplying bottled water to some Security, Widefield, and Fountain residents whose tap water contains Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs.

Associated Press / Stock Photo

It's been almost two months since residents of Security, Widefield, and Fountain first learned their drinking water contained potentially unsafe levels of chemicals called Perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs. And despite steps taken by local, state, and federal agencies to address the problem, many residents still wonder when they'll be able to feel confident their tap water is safe to drink. In the meantime, they're looking for alternatives.

Jake Brownell / KRCC

Hundreds of residents of Security, Widefield and Fountain attended a community meeting Thursday to learn more about potentially harmful chemicals recently detected in area drinking water.  The chemicals are called Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs, and have been linked to low infant birth weight and other health problems.

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.

Field Outdoor Spaces / Flickr/Creative Commons

A bill that would allow people to collect rain that falls from their rooftops remains hung up in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee after the chair said he wasn't comfortable with the measure. It's not clear when the committee will vote on it.

The same thing happened last year when the rain barrel bill vote was delayed. And while the bill eventually cleared the Senate Agriculture Committee over the objections of the Republican chair, it failed on the final day of the 2015 legislative session when time ran out.

IAN MACKENZIE / FLICKR - CREATIVE COMMONS

Colorado is on the road to becoming the final state in the country to legalize rain barrels, after Democrats reached an agreement on Monday with several Republicans who opposed previous versions of the measure.

Update 5.13.2016: Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed legislation finally legalizing rain barrels. Our original story continues below.

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Colorado is the only state in the country where it is illegal to capture rainwater for use at a later time. State lawmakers are once again debating whether to allow residents to use rain barrels to collect precipitation that falls from their roofs.

"This is really straightforward," said Representative Jessie Danielson (D-Wheat Ridge), one of the main sponsor's of House Bill 16-1005 [.pdf]. "You could use that water when you see fit, for your tomato plants or flower gardens."

Wednesday Newscast, 2/10/16, 7:04 AM

Feb 10, 2016

Newscast for Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 7:04 AM:
 


U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation

A new interactive website from the U.S. Department of the Interior looks to educate the public on the effects of drought in the Colorado River Basin.

Marijuana Cultivation and Water Conservation

Feb 4, 2016
Maeve Conran

    

With the legalization of marijuana in various states and forms, conservation groups and others are asking how much legal grow operations affect water consumption.  In Colorado, water managers and researchers are working together to answer that question.

Monday Newscast, 1/11/16, 7:04 AM

Jan 11, 2016

Newscast for Monday, January 11, 2016, 7:04 AM:
 


Colorado Springs Overflows with Stormwater Projects

Dec 16, 2015
Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control & Greenway District, CO Dept. of Public Health & Environment, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments

Next year's budget in Colorado Springs includes $16 million for stormwater repairs. Colorado Springs Utilities will also spend $3 million. Much of those funds are likely to go toward improving the Fountain Creek Watershed, which runs through Colorado Springs and down into Pueblo; and the list of projects that need to be done along Fountain Creek is long and expensive.
 

Fostering Fish Recovery in the Colorado River Basin

Nov 24, 2015
Laura Palmisano

Some native fish in the Colorado River and its tributaries are struggling to stay afloat.  Invasive species, dams and water diversions all complicate the recovery of endangered fish in those waterways.  One long-standing program ties together federal and state agencies with regional groups to help these cold-blooded creatures make a comeback.

Thursday Newscast, 11/5/15, 5:32 PM

Nov 5, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, November 5, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 

Winter Water for Migrating Ducks

Oct 8, 2015
Shelley Schlender / RMCR

Colorado's South Platte River basin is a powerhouse for crops and cattle.  Massive reservoirs quench the region's thirst, with farm fields generally first in line.  Wildlife?  It's often last. But a small win-win is giving waterfowl a little more room at the watering hole.  It's a program that creates warm winter ponds for migrating ducks — then gives the water back, in time for summer crops. 

Tuesday Newscast, 9/22/15, 5:32 PM

Sep 22, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 

Colorado's ban on collecting rain from residential rooftops has been a contentious topic at the statehouse, and a proposed bill for 2016 means it will likely be debated once again.

"Colorado is the only western state where rain barrels are illegal," said Drew Beckwith, a water policy manager with the nonprofit Western Resource Advocates.

"Every other western state that has our water laws has them legal, and it has not caused the Earth to come crashing to a halt."

So why is there so much controversy over collecting rainwater? The sticking point is whether doing so impacts downstream water users.

Wednesday Newscast, 9/16/15, 7:43 AM

Sep 16, 2015

Newscast for Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 7:43 AM:

Monday Newscast, 9/14/15, 5:32 PM

Sep 14, 2015

Newscast for Monday, September 14, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 

  • A bi-partisan committee of Colorado lawmakers is wrapping up statewide hearings this week on Colorado’s water plan. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
     
  • The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for much of southern Colorado tomorrow, starting at 11 and ending at 8..  Low humidity and gusty winds are in store for the region.  The National Weather Service has also issued a fire weather watch for Wednesday.

Monday Newscast, 8/31/15, 5:32 PM

Aug 31, 2015

Newscast for Monday, August 31, 2015, 5:32 PM:

  • The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says it's looking to take nearly 170 horses off land in western Colorado and move them to long-term holding in Canon City next month.
     
  • A group of Colorado water managers agreed this week on guidelines for discussions about Western Slope water transfers, which will be incorporated into the state's water plan.
     

Thursday Newscast, 7/23/15, 5:32 PM

Jul 23, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, 7/23/15, 5:32 PM:

  • A committee of state lawmakers studying water issues is wrapping up a tour in Durango, Montrose and Craig this week. The goal is to hear from local communities about the Colorado water plan and other water issues. Bente Birkeland has more.
     
  • High winds have caused the closure of some recreational areas on National Forest land in Douglas County.
     

Urbanization of Agricultural Land

Jul 16, 2015
Maeve Conran

An additional 2.5 million people are expected to move to Colorado by 2040, the vast majority of them headed for the Front Range.   As part of Connecting the Drops, our state-wide water series, Maeve Conran looks at the impact on Colorado as its landscape changes from crops to houses.

The traffic on a stretch of I-25 north of Denver is the soundtrack to the changes that farmer Kent Peppler has seen happening in Weld County. 

Developing Colorado with Water Conservation in Mind

Jun 10, 2015
clipart.com

Finding enough water to meet the demands of the booming Front Range has city planners closely looking at how new developments can be built with water conservation as a key component.  With the second draft of the State Water Plan scheduled for release in July, many water advocates are hoping to see the issue of land use addressed.
 

Colorado has experienced massive population growth in the last few years, and that trend is projected to continue.

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 to create the state's water plan:

Chris Woodka / Pueblo Chieftain

The projected growth of Colorado’s Front Range has water planners looking ahead to meet the demands of the population influx.  One way to meet the growing need is for utility companies to buy water rights from farmers and ranchers and then divert that water to cover the city’s needs, commonly called “Buy & Dry.”

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