Dear Friends of the Gunnison River Basin,It is finally Spring!
Seeing the water run in the creeks and ditches here in the Upper Gunnison Basin is making my heart happy: the sights and sounds of it and the grass greening up in the meadows, signals that the annual cycle continues. I know it will be a short runoff, I know that the reservoirs are not likely to fill, and I know that there won’t be enough to meet all of our needs – but for these short weeks the beauty of water running in this part of Colorado can’t be beat.
The spring runoff isn’t the only thing that is in full swing at the moment – the Colorado General Assembly is currently hard at it as well. Things are busy for those of us that track the activities of the legislature and are keeping an eye on all things water. The new bills keep coming, and the time is running short to get the work done. The General Assembly is allowed to meet up to 120 days per year which means that the current session must adjourn by June 12th. There are more than 300 bills still in play, and plenty of work left to do.
Even though most of the 100 members do not have water backgrounds – I can tell you that they do care about how it is managed. Thankfully we have several people at the Capitol that have a strong interest in water – Representatives Marc Catlin, Dylan Roberts, Perry Will and Senators Kerry Donovan, Don Coram, and Cleave Simpson – have all stepped up to address our water management challenges. Bills have been passed already to restore funding to water project accounts that were previously raided. Significant dollars have been directed to fund the State Water Plan update and a number of bills are in the works that address our forest health challenges. In addition, programs to deal with soil health, drought, and climate resiliency are being established within the Department of Agriculture. And while all of these issues are being tackled in the form of pending bills – the water community is also tracking the work of a committee that was previously established by the legislature to study the impacts of water speculation in Colorado. Others are participating in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s efforts to develop a state permitting program for dredge and fill activities in waters of the state.
The actions of the Colorado General Assembly impact us all, regardless of which basin you live in. For more information regarding your legislator and the bills that have been up for discussion, check out the Colorado General Assembly website (https://leg.colorado.gov/) – it is excellent. And we will all be trying to get the most out of the runoff (and funding) while it lasts – based on the projections and the ongoing drought conditions, they won’t be here for long.
Kathleen Curry, Chair, Gunnison Basin Roundtable
Gunnison River Basin Roundtable Meeting
Monday, May 17th, starting at 4:00pm
Click here for the full agenda and log on information
Click here for additional virtual events
For recent water news please click here.
Funding Opportunities in the Gunnison River Basin
Check out the funding page on our website for info on the NEW Colorado River District’s Partnership Project Funding Program, 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.
Spread the News & Contribute
Please share this newsletter to increase water awareness and education on our most important resource. If you are not a member, please subscribe today using the form at the bottom of every page on the GunnisonRiverBasin.org website. We are always looking for feedback, water news & event information.
Please send thoughts & contributions to [email protected]. Thank you!