Colorado River Basin

  • Colorado River flow declines 15 percent in last century
  • Blue Mesa Reservoir facing record low levels this Fall
  • Curecanti National Recreation Area announces closures
  • Governor candidate Jared Polis talks Western Slope issues with KDNK

  • New report indicates Colorado River to be at unprecedented low flow by next year
  • Lower Basin states expected to have water cutbacks by September 2019
  • Congress debates critical Farm Bill, set to expire next month, has little agreement
  • San Luis Valley program helps poor in state get healthy food at reduced cost

  • Flash floods, mudslides most recent results of 416 Fire outside Durango
  • Residents of Tucson, Arizona take creative approach to water conservation
  • Low-water landscaping in Southwest lessens impact of Colorado River scarcity
  • Oil and gas executive gets new job: public relations at CMU

  • First part of a series on water conservation efforts in West
  • City of Longmont finds unique way to conserve water
  • Update on wildfires; flash flood danger increased in burn areas

  • Snowpack levels picking up in North, staying dry in the South
  • Colorado River Basin might have already peaked, runoff very low
  • Bill under debate would allow voting by region, not county, for Commissioners

  • Lawsuit against Delta Commissioners dropped, transparency improved
  • Congressman Tipton talks about Trump administration with KDNK
  • Colorado River Basin to be dry very early this year

KVNF Regional Newscast: Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016

Feb 9, 2016

  • Mesa Sheriff’s Deputy shot, suspect under arrest
  • Former Western Slope doctor sentenced to prison for pain pill prescriptions
  • Report calls for big housing growth in Grand Valley
  • New website shows effects of drought on Colorado River Basin
  • A Capitol Conversation, focusing on the terminally ill  

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015

Nov 25, 2015

  • Lake City prepares for a special election
  • Agencies band together to save Colorado native fishes
  • November wildfire destroys structures, causes evacuations
  • Montrose warrant stop ends in suicide

Endangered Fish Recovery In The Colorado River Basin

Nov 23, 2015
razorback sucker, fish
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.

Water Conservation Districts Plan For The Worst

Sep 23, 2014
Joshua M via Flickr (CC-BY)

With monsoon season passing us, it might be easy to forget that Colorado and the entire Colorado River are in the middle of a long drought.  14 years long. 

Lake Mead
U.S. Geological Survey

The federal government and municipal water providers in four Western states have reached an agreement to fund Colorado River conservation projects. 

The $11 million deal was announced Thursday. Municipal water providers in Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado and the Bureau of Reclamation have agreed to fund projects to conserve Colorado River water.

Denver Water CEO Jim Lockhead said Denver is one of the four municipalities participating in the program.

Lockhead said half of Denver’s water supply comes from the Colorado River. 

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, August 1, 2014

Aug 1, 2014

  Newscast

  • Drought hits Colorado River Basin hard
  • Sam Fuqua looks at the Colorado Water Plan
  • BLM officially sells lease to Bowie

The drought-stricken Colorado River Basin is drying up faster than was thought, according to a recent study. 

NASA and the University of California, Irvine used satellite data gathered over a nine year period to track changes in the mass of the Colorado River Basin that has been experiencing severe drought since 2000.    

The scientists looked at monthly measurements between December 2004 and November 2013. They found the basin lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater, that's nearly double the volume of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir, during that period. The study said about 41 million acre feet of that lost water was groundwater.  

The basin provides water to millions of people in seven Western states: Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. It also supplies water to roughly four million acres of farmland. 

Joshua M via Flickr (CC-BY)

It takes water to produce electricity, but how much water varies a lot depending on the fuel source and the power generating technology.

In Colorado, around half a percent of our total water usage is used to generate electricity.

It’s a small percentage, says Stacy Tellinghusen, water policy analyst for Western Resource Advocates, a non-profit conservation group, but adds that it’s not inconsequential. 

Maeve Conran

A complex series of agreements govern the distribution of water throughout the state.  Along the Colorado River, farms, cities & towns, and the recreation industry are all big players.  But everyone takes a backseat to a tiny hydroelectric plant that’s over one hundred years old.  It’s the Shoshone Generating Station, and it plays a critical role on the Upper Colorado.

Headlines:

  • Colorado River Basin faces drastic water shortage
  • Montrose County names new Manager
  • Good Samaritans earn protections to clean up old mines
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