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Colorado River

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.

Colorado River Water Conservation District

Colorado candidates running for state and federal office are in Snowmass Village this week, talking about water.  Seven candidates spoke on Wednesday including Representative Scott Tipton and his challenger, Abel Tapia. Senator Mark Udall also made an appearance, as did his opponent, Congressman Cory Gardner. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen was there and filed this report.

Mountain Edition - June 5th, 2014

Jun 5, 2014

High water on the Crystal River has forced the Gunnison County Sheriff’s office to call off a search for a missing kayaker.

Rivers in the Valley are dangerously high. One stretch of the Colorado River is too full to float, so a commercial rafting company changed its route.

A local photographer is back from the Colorado River Delta, where he witnessed the Colorado River reconnect to the sea.

Jimmy Carter and Amory Lovins are a few guests set to speak at this summer’s American Renewable Energy Day in Aspen - we’ll have a preview.

And, more than a dozen new art sculptures were installed on Carbondale’s busy streets this week.

Finally, we’ll take you to Hunter S. Thompson’s old homestead for a cookout hosted by a marijuana advocacy group.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition... right now.

Marci Krivonen

This winter’s mega snowpack in the mountains is melting and filling reservoirs and rivers around the state. For whitewater rafting companies the big flows are good for thrills. But, some stretches are river are too full to float. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Longtime rafting guide Bob Morse is giving his safety spiel to a small group preparing to board a bright yellow raft. For some, it’s their first time rafting.

"I’m excited. Today’s my 34th birthday," says rafter Ellie Burnett.

Pete McBride

Last month the Colorado River met the sea for the first time in about two decades thanks to what’s called a “pulse flow.” Local photographer and filmmaker Pete McBride was there to see it. He was taking photos for an upcoming article in Outside Magazine. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen spoke with him this week, about the experience.

Peter McBride

The Colorado River is expected to reconnect with the sea today, for the first time in several years. Two months ago, water officials sent water down the expansive delta to improve habitat. The last stretch of the river has been dry for decades thanks to overuse. It’s used to supply drinking water, irrigate farmlands and generate power. In 2011, photojournalist and Basalt resident Pete McBride documented the dry delta in his film Chasing Water.

Colorado River Water Conservation District

The public is weighing in how to solve the problem of less water in the future. People offered suggestions for Governor Hickenlooper’s Colorado Water Plan at a town hall meeting in Aspen Thursday. A growing population and climate change are straining the resource in Colorado, and an enormous water gap is projected, between how much water Colorado has and how much it needs. The Water Plan will use information collected by nine basin roundtables organized around various watersheds. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Jim Pokrandt.

www.colorado.com

A new list names the Upper Colorado River basin the second most endangered stretch of water in the country. The conservation group American Rivers released its annual “top-10” list Wednesday and local rivers like the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan are part of basin that’s threatened.

"All of these rivers have potential targets on them for more diversions," says Ken Neubecker, a coordinator for American Rivers.

Google Image/suehess.com

As the state prepares a statewide water plan, a local non profit wants to make sure our rivers and streams in the Valley are protected. Basalt-based Roaring Fork Conservancy is pinpointing environmental values, so, as the state searches for more water to fill growing needs, local waterways stay full. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

In his State of the State address earlier this month Governor Hickenlooper touched on water.

"Now, if words were water, the state would never run dry," he said.

Marci Krivonen

The Colorado River and its future imbalances were the focus of a Senate hearing in Washington D.C. Tuesday. The river supplies water for cities and farms in seven states and parts of Mexico. Lawmakers went over a 2012 study that projects water demand will outpace supply in the coming decades. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Mountain Edition - July 11th, 2013

Jul 11, 2013

If you get a DUI, your blood sample isn’t going to the state lab any more... that’s because the Colorado health department wasn’t handling them properly. We’ll get an update on what that means for drug and alcohol cases.

Indian Tribes across the west are strengthening their sovereignty by getting involved in natural resource development on or near reservations. The tribes in Colorado are involved in two hydro projects.

And fires may be burning differently-- because of changing weather, trees, and other factors. That means changes are in store for how firefighters take on wildfires.

Carbondale writer Jon Waterman has a new book out--after detailing the winding journey of the Colorado River, he’s put together what he calls a handbook for a life intertwined with the outdoors.

And, We’ll get a preview of three exhibitions opening in Basalt this weekend... they’re all by women artists.


The Roaring Fork Conservancy

More than 100 people jumped into rafts on Saturday for an annual float down the Roaring Fork River. Only, this float wasn’t just an excuse to cool off on a hot day. It was meant to be a learning experience or a classroom on water. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Alongside the river in Glenwood Springs, volunteers lug a big raft full of people to shore. They’re part of the Roaring Fork Conservancy’s 9th annual River Float. The non profit fills more than a dozen boats with participants and an ambassador who talks about the in’s and out’s of the river. 

Water Meeting Will Tackle New State Water Plan

Jun 4, 2013
Marci Krivonen

Water managers, users, and other decision makers from across Colorado are meeting today in Keystone. It’s part of ongoing efforts to make sure water’s being used in a smart way across the state. And now officials are starting to put together a statewide water plan, as ordered by Governor John Hickenlooper. John Stulp is the governor’s water advisor--and he’s overseeing Wednesday's meeting.

Colorado River Water Conservation District

Water officials are laying out a plan for meeting the growing demands of the Colorado River in the future. The group met yesterday in California. The meeting was prompted by a study out last year. It predicts looming shortages on the River, which supplies water to 40 million people, as well as farmers and ranchers in Western states. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

A group of scientists are flying over mountains in California and Colorado this spring, measuring snowpack with high-tech gadgets. NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory mission started last month over the Sierra Nevadas and Southwestern Colorado’s Uncompahgre River Basin. The idea is to measure the snow in a way that’s never been done before, to get an idea of how much water is stored there. Snowpack accounts for 75 % of the Western United States’ freshwater supply. And, as demands for water grow, scientists are working on solutions.

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