KDNK Community Radio and Aspen Public Radio teamed up to bring listeners this in-depth series looking at the threats to the region's water. Reporters from the two stations examined how population growth, climate change, the loss of agricultural land, developments and the energy industry all put strains on Colorado's limited resource. The demands on water that impact states like Arizona and California are moving upstream and are just decades away in Colorado.
The series is underwritten by the Colorado River District. This series is also brought to you by the Aspen Thrift Shop in collaboration with the Manaus Fund.
Bente Birkeland, Mathew Katz, Marci Krivonen, Mitzi Rapkin, Steve Skinner, Kristina Tabor and Conrad Wilson.
Alisa Barba, Co-Editor of Indie Edit
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The Crystal River was named one of the top ten most endangered rivers in the nation earlier this month by national conservation group, American Rivers. At issue is whether or not to build a dam and reservoir between Redstone and Marble. Pitkin County officials, local groups, and American Rivers say the dam will ruin the river. But, the West Divide Water Conservancy District and the Colorado River Conservation District say their project will improve the river's health and ensure water for downstream uses during dry years.
Brent Gardner-Smith has been covering the story and other local water issues for Aspen Journalism. He joined KDNK"s Amy Hadden Marsh recently for a conversation about the proposed dam.
Though mountain weather is famously unpredictable, Colorado is preparing for a drought season already being compared to 2002's remarkably dry year. Here in Carbondale, town officials are discussing what measures need to be taken, and at tonight's regular board of trustees meeting, they'll be discussing this season's water conservation efforts.
KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke to Mark O'Meara, the town's public utilities director, to find out what kind of measures we'll likely see.
The Crystal River was named one of the most endangered rivers in America this week. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh brings this report.
The Roaring Fork Watershed Collaborative--which includes representatives from municipalities, local non-profit the Roaring Fork Conservancy and others--released 2 new reports Thursday afternoon. As KDNK's Eric Skalac reports, the group has compiled more than 200 recommended actions for protecting the Roaring Fork watershed.
One byproduct that operators drilling for oil and gas have to deal with is something called produced water. It comes in many varieties, and it's currently treated for reuse in drilling operations. But some are hoping to find a way to treat it and reuse it for agriculture and maybe even for drinking water. As KDNK's Eric Skalac reports, Garfield County is working towards making that a reality.
A water war of national proportions began this week when the National Ski Area Association filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service. At the heart of the battle are water rights. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh has this report.
Students from the Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment take us on a tour of the Crystal River with Sharon Clark of the Roaring Fork Conservancy and Mark Lacey of the US Forest Service.
Most of the state's population lives along the Front Range. But 80 percent of the water falls on the Western Slope. That means a lot of the water is diverted under the Continental Divide.
This year's high water in Colorado provided ecological benefits to the state's rivers, but some ran nearly dry because of diversions to the Front Range.
Brent Gardner-Smith of Aspen Journalism has more
There's certainly an emotional connection to water, especially moving rivers. As Part 9 of our Water in the West series, KDNK's Steve Skinner looks at why we love water and the art it has inspired.
Ask around and you'll find out that water rights can bring up passionate, and even angry stories. But folks who don't have to deal with them may be confused by what they actually are. Today our series, Water in the West, continues as KDNK's Mathew Katz has this explanation of one of Colorado's most complicated laws.