2023 Water News

Check out some of our favorite water stories from 2023.

Grand County Irrigators Release Stored Water to Boost Fraser River Flow

 Colorado Water Trust | September 2023

Collaboration is key when working to keep flows in the Fraser River healthy for the environment.

Headwaters: At the Colorado River’s source, oil trains would pose risks to both sides of the Divide

Colorado Newsline | June 2023

Fears of a ‘catastrophic derailment’ of Uinta Basin Railway tankers might be highest in Grand County

Every drop of the Colorado River counts. So what about evaporation?

Popular Science | May 2023

With warming temperatures, water loss due to evaporation is becoming more talked about. How much water is actually being lost?

100 years of the Colorado River Compact

 Nov 24, 2022

The Colorado River Compact was signed 100 years ago. Learn about what lead to the Compact, the impact, and its future.

Los Alamos team models drought, climate change on the Colorado River

New Mexico Political Report | May 2022

Scientists in Los Alamos are using machine learning to model the complex factors that cause drought.

Colorado connectivity channel gets go-ahead after environmental assessment

Sky-Hi News | May 2022

The Colorado River will be reconnect by creating a channel that will go around Windy Gap Reservoir. The project will help improve the health of the river by allowing sediment to flow freely and fish to move upstream.

Will massive Western wildfires leave more or less water in rivers? 

The Colorado Sun | May 2022

Wildfires have a large impact on their environment, including decreasing water quality. Scientists are investigating if wildfires also have an impact on streamflow.

Nebraska Calls in Water Rights from Colorado

January 2022

Nebraska announces $500 million plan to build a canal to divert water from the South Platte River. The 99 year old South Platte River Compact gives them claim to water rights.

Review of 2021 Water Events

Western United States | 2021

We invite you to learn more about the different events that happened in 2021 related to water through this collection of articles.

The Southwest’s Most Important River Is Drying Up

CNN | August 2021

The Colorado River irrigates farms, powers electric grids, and provides drinking water to 40 million people. But as its supply dwindles, a crisis looms.

TomTalks on Water Issues

One World One Water Center | August 2021

In partner with One World One Water Center, we invite you to learn about the many facets of water from the industry experts themselves.

Extreme Drought in the Western States Surpasses 2003 Record

Scientific American | July 2021

Due to increasing drought conditions, more fire and fishing restrictions are imposed across at least eight national parks in the western states due to low flows and warmer water temperatures. More fires and smoke in the next three months are predicted.

Colorado River’s Voluntary Fishing Closure Could Be First of Many

Sky-Hi News | July 2021

Low river flows and high temperatures can mean dangerous waters for fish. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has implemented a voluntary fishing closure on the Colorado River from Kremmling to Rifle and warns that additional closures could come soon.

Grand County Declares Stage Two Drought – Severe

County Commissioners | June 2021

Due to below-average snowpack and extremely dry soils, the county has declared a region-wide fire ban and requires residents, businesses, agriculture, and visitors to use less water.

First-Ever Colorado River Water Shortage Is Now Almost Certain, New Projections Show 

CNN | May 2021

If the next major study projects water levels in the lake below 1,075 feet on January 1, it would trigger the first-ever shortage declaration on the Colorado River, meaning some communities would begin to see their water deliveries cut significantly next year.

Telling the Story of What Was Lost As a Result of Our Thirsty Colorado Cities

Mountain News | May 2021

Headwaters River Journey seeks to deliver an appreciation for the natural environment of the Fraser and other mountain valleys and the cost to these ecosystems. It does so with an abundance of hands-on experiences.

Las Vegas Pushes to Become First to Ban Ornamental Grass

Denver Post | April 2021

Officials say the turf requires four times as much water as drought-tolerant landscaping like cactus and other succulents. By ripping it out, they estimate the region can reduce annual water consumption by roughly 15% and save about 14 gallons per person per day.

Wildfires Are Devastating… Rain After a Wildfire Can Be Catastrophic

State of Colorado & FEMA | 2021

The 2020 wildfire season was incredibly devastating to the Colorado landscape, homes, infrastructure, and the economy. Whether your home or business was undamaged, partially damaged, or destroyed by fire, spring rains and snow runoff on a wildfire burn scar can produce flash flooding both downslope and downstream, particularly in areas that are not traditionally prone to flooding causing further catastrophic damages.

Colorado Approves up to $75 Million for Water Projects, Fire-Scarred Watersheds

Water Education Colorado | March 2021

Colorado’s fire-scarred mountainsides, small-town water districts, drought-stricken rivers and ranches, and the Colorado Water Plan will see a one-time cash infusion of $32 million to $75 million under a bipartisan stimulus program approved by Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado lawmakers.

East Troublesome Fire Watershed Recovery

Grand County & Northern Water | January 2021

 Emergency watershed restoration efforts are being coordinated in areas of Grand County, Colorado affected by the East Troublesome Fire of October 2020. Field surveys will be conducted in February to identify risks associated with post-fire impacts.

Colorado Activates 2021 Drought Response Plan

Water Education Colorado | December 2020

The State of Colorado has activated the municipal portion of its emergency drought plan for only the second time in history as several cities say they need to prepare for what is almost certainly going to be a dangerously dry 2021. Now, more than ever, Coloradoans need to implement water conservation efforts.

Water Projects in Grand County, Colorado

Learning By Doing | December 2020

A collaborative effort dedicated to maintaining and, where possible, improving the aquatic environment in Grand County, Colorado.

Colorado Water Plan

Colorado Water Conservation Board | November 2020

The Water Plan highlights what can be accomplished through collaborative efforts that are critical to keeping Colorado’s streams clean, forests healthy, farmlands thriving, and communities vibrant.

Colorado Governor Asks For Emergency Drought Relief

CPR News | October 2020

With nearly 90 percent of the state in a severe drought, Governor Polis expanded the second phase drought response plan to all Colorado counties activating the Agriculture Impact Task Force and requesting emergency relief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Grand County Backs Ballot Measure to Protect Water

Sky-Hi News | September 2020

The ballot measure would finance water projects on the Western Slope including productive agriculture, infrastructure, healthy rivers, watershed health and water quality, and conservation and efficiency.

Grand County Declares Stage One Drought

Grand County, Colorado | September 2020

Statewide drought, well below-average precipitation, and region-wide fire bans indicate the need for local residents, businesses, agriculture, and visitors to use less water.

This Giant Climate Hot Spot is Robbing the West of its Water

Washington Post | August 2020

The average flow of the Colorado River has declined nearly 20 percent over the past century, half of which is because of warming temperatures, scientists say. With the region’s snowpack shrinking and melting earlier, the ground absorbs more heat — and more of the precious water evaporates.

100% of Colorado is in Drought or Abnormally Dry

Denver Post | August 2020

Federal officials designated 100% of the state abnormally dry or in drought for the first time in eight years — “extreme” or “severe” in many areas, leading to shriveling crops, shrinking water flows in streams and rivers, and dying forests primed to burn.

Gross Reservoir Expansion Needed for Water Security for 1.5 Million People

Mountain Town News | July 2020

Denver began pursuing the expansion of the dam after the drought of 2002 exposed the vulnerability of water delivery to Arvada and other suburbs in the northwest metropolitan area that contract with Denver Water for supplies.

Fishing Grand County

Sky-Hi News | July 2020

Tips, tricks, and the best locations to fish in Grand County, Colorado such as the Colorado River starting in Rocky Mountain National Park. After runoff subsides, it fishes very well for brook trout with an occasional brown trout. Grab a rod, get outside, and enjoy our beautiful nature and flowing rivers.

Water Issues Lead to Drought, Fire Risk, and Weaker Streamflow

The Denver Post | May 2020

One of Colorado’s driest Aprils on record has led to diminished mountain streamflow and snow at 76% of the norm for this time of year and more than half of Colorado is facing drought.

Climate Warming May Hit Colorado River Basin Farmers Hardest

The Denver Post | April 2020

Shrinking mountain snowpack limiting water for irrigation and other water infrastructure concerns could threaten the U.S. food supply.

Rising Temperatures Taking A Worsening Toll on The Colorado River

AZCentral | February 2020

New research shows the Colorado River could lose about one-fourth of its flow by 2050 due to higher temperatures decreasing snowpack.

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