Gunnison River Basin News

Your Source for Information on Water Resources in the Gunnison River Basin
january 2021
Opportunities & challenges for 2021 & Beyond! 
Kathleen Curry

Dear Friends of the Gunnison River Basin,
As we turn the page and enter this new year, I want to first express my hope that everyone reading this is healthy and doing ok!

I know we hear a lot of negativity in this world, especially regarding Covid-19, but I would like to share a positive, personal story instead.  Three weeks ago, our home phone rang out of the blue; it was one of our dedicated county health department employees calling to schedule a vaccine appointment for my elderly father-in-law. We hadn’t even called them, amazingly his first shot was administered the next day.

I applaud this organized effort by our local institutions to try and help the most vulnerable and would like to publicly thank them. With efforts like this it gives me hope we can not only attack the virus but we can cooperatively address our important water issues.

The Gunnison Basin Roundtable starts off the new year with some daunting goals and significant changes.  One of our key members will no longer be at the table (or on the screen). Bill Trampe, an agriculturalist from Gunnison County, who has served on both the Roundtable and the Interbasin Compact Committee on behalf of the Gunnison Basin for nearly two decades, has decided to step down.  His selfless service, countless hours of work and tireless commitment to this basin, the agricultural industry, west slope water users and the entire state will be sorely missed.  Bill would think of things that never dawned on the rest of us and would face tough issues head on.  Although we look forward to welcoming the new designee from the Colorado River District that had appointed him, we know “Trampe,” as he was simply known, cannot be replaced. We sincerely wish him all the best in his continuing endeavors.

As we move forward, and in light of health concerns, the Roundtable will continue to conduct its meetings remotely.  When we meet virtually on Monday January 18th at 4:00pm, we will hear updates regarding the Basin Implementation Plan as well as a presentation from Harvey Economics regarding possible economic impacts associated with changes in water demand. As always this bi-monthly meeting is open to the public at

Regardless of the chaos in Washington D.C., and the pandemic uncertainties, the Gunnison Basin Roundtable will continue to keep the lines of communication open regarding the pressing water supply issues that are facing us.  We are currently focused on updating the Basin Implementation Plan, which entails cataloguing potential water infrastructure needs and identifying the priorities for water management in the basin, and we continue to serve as a resource for project funding. While Colorado state funds to be distributed by the roundtable are limited by Covid issues, fund availability is likely to improve in the future. The roundtable has also elevated the issue of forest health and will be incorporating forest management into our planning efforts.

Additional important water policy issues are font and center: the continued exploration of demand management, related water markets and speculation, dropping basin reservoir levels at Blue Mesa, Lakes Powell and Mead, climate-induced changes to snowpack and stream flows, the need for water infrastructure improvements and the on-going threats of wildfire.

The Gunnison Basin Roundtable will continue to serve as a forum for these conversations and as a place for people that care about water to connect. We look forward to a better year for us all and I thank the roundtable members and public for their participation.


Kathleen Curry, Chair Gunnison Basin Roundtable
54542 US Highway 50, Gunnison, CO  81230
Cell 970-209-5537, Land Line 970-641-0699
[email protected]

Bill Trampe: a true friend of the Gunnison Basin steps down after decades of service 

Honoring Mr. William Trampe’s Service on the Gunnison River Basin Roundtable

Whereas: William Trampe has dedicated countless hours of his personal time over the past fifteen years representing the interests of the Colorado River Water Conservation District on the Gunnison Basin Roundtable;

Whereas: Mr. Trampe has offered invaluable ideas, recommendations, and guidance to the Roundtable since its inception;

Whereas: Mr. Trampe has been a dedicated advocate and voice for the agricultural industry and has provided unique insight and perspective on water matters in Colorado his entire career;

Whereas: On behalf of the Gunnison Basin, Mr. Trampe has been an effective and influential member of Colorado’s Interbasin Compact Committee since 2006;
Therefore, be it resolved: That on November 16th, 2020, the members of the Gunnison Basin Roundtable voted unanimously to extend our sincerest appreciation and thanks to Mr. William Trampe for his many years of service, and his unrelenting advocacy on behalf of the agricultural industry and the Gunnison Basin. His wisdom and active participation will be greatly missed by members of the Gunnison Round Table

Upcoming Events
Gunnison Basin Roundtable, Monday, January 18th, 4:00-6:30pm
Please join us via GoToMeeting. Nine basin roundtables were established by the state to facilitate discussions on water management and strive for locally-driven collaborative solutions. Your participation is encouraged.

Colorado River Water Conservation District – January 19-20 via Zoom
Upper Gunnison Water Conservancy District Board Meeting – January 25, via Zoom
Colorado Water Conservation Board Meeting – January 25-26, streamed live via YouTube

Recent Water News
Colorado snowpack trending wrong way to counter drought
Kathleen Curry picked for Colorado River District
Gunnison River, with elevated selenium levels, faces review for reclassification
Farmers Swap Out Irrigation Methods To Keep The Colorado River From Growing Saltier
Exceptional drought conditions seemingly cover Delta County more than in recent years
Climate change is hitting the Colorado River ‘incredibly fast and incredibly hard’

Funding Opportunities in the Gunnison River Basin
Check out the funding page on our website for info on Colorado Water Plan Grants, US Department of Agriculture federal grants and loans, and Colorado Water Conservation Board state grants and loans.

River Resources and Social Media Connections
River levels and real-time data, Facebook and Twitter.

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