Colorado River

Colorado River Water Conservation District

Ahead of a deadline to finalize the Colorado Water Plan, elected leaders from the Western Slope are emphasizing their opposition to transmountain diversions. The plan aims to find ways to supply water to the state’s growing population. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Marci Krivonen

High school students from around the valley got a lesson on drought and water scarcity in the West Thursday. The organization Ecoflight brought in experts, and college students just returned from a flight over the Colorado River basin. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Carolyn Cuskey

A new water agreement will send additional water from Ruedi Reservoir near Basalt, to endangered fish in the Colorado River. 

Pete McBride

Incentives from the federal government for farmers who grow crops like cotton are contributing to the depletion of the Colorado River. A Propublica report this spring investigated the issue. The article’s author was at the Aspen Ideas Festival Tuesday (6/30). Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Creative Commons/Flickr/jimmy thomas

The man who died rafting the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon this weekend was from Illinois. The Garfield County Coroner reports 56-year-old Dennis Janes drowned after he fell from a raft Saturday. The accident happened east of the Grizzly Creek rest area. Janes was one of three people in the raft, which was not from a commercial company. He was wearing both a life vest and a helmet. River flows are strong this spring because of plentiful moisture and upstream reservoir releases.

Valerie Perry

Pete McBride has had an invigorating last few months. He’s been on the road with his film, “Delta Dawn,” about his journey down the Colorado River, and seeing its waters meet the ocean for the first time in decades. McBride’s film has garnered several awards. He talks with Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher about the feedback he’s gotten from moviegoers and film festivals.


Rios to Rivers

Weston Boyles, Executive Director of Rios to Rivers

Ríos to Rivers is uniting young kayakers from Patagonia, Chile and Colorado with kayaking expeditions in Chile on the Río Baker and in the US on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. The Chilean kayakers will see for the first time a mega-dam and the resultant impacts on the river. US students will experience the majesty of an undeveloped river flowing through a pristine wilderness. The group will learn about the ecological impacts of dams, explore viable renewable energy sources, and take part in cultural exchange.

Your Morning News - December 12th, 2014

Dec 12, 2014

Parking Scam Investigation Nets Big Numbers, Many Cards

More than 4,000 debit cards were used in a massive Aspen parking fraud scheme between September 2013 and November 2014. Aspen’s Police Department has released an update on the case. According to a credit card processing company, nearly 200 of the cards had more than a $1,000 worth of charges used to get free parking in downtown Aspen. Police Spokeswoman Blair Weyer says investigators are using the new information to pinpoint who was gaming the system.

Marci Krivonen

A Basalt-based conservation group is putting some science behind water problems on the Crystal River. A drought in 2012 made clear the need to improve the river’s health, when stream flows dropped to a trickle. 

The problem with the Crystal River that runs through Redstone and Carbondale, is sometimes there’s not enough water and too much dirt. Heavy sedimentation can smother fish and aquatic insects. In 2012, American Rivers named the river one of the most endangered in the country.

The Roaring Fork Conservancy wants to do more than just raise awareness, so it created a management plan. Right now, the group’s gathering data about the riverbed. Heather Tattersall is with the Conservancy.

"So (we’re) making a computerized model of what the Crystal River looks like, as far as where there are pools, where it’s flat, where it’s deep. So we’ll be able to take that model of the river and say, ‘Ok, if we add this much water to it, how much fish habitat do we create? If we take water away from it, where does it get hurt?’"

Once the modeling is complete, the Conservancy may take steps like restoring the river bank or narrowing a river channel.

Colorado River Water Conservation District

NOTE: In the on-air version of this story we incorrectly stated the date of a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announcement about Colorado River cut-backs to lower basin states. That announcement happened in 2013, not this year. (8/26/14)

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced this month water releases from Lake Powell to Lake Mead will increase next year, after historically low releases in 2014. Lake Mead has reached record low levels this summer. The Colorado River supplies these large reservoirs. At a water conference in Snowmass Village last week, drought and the Colorado River were discussed. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.