Colorado River District to Host Virtual Gunnison State of the River

Webinar will explore important issues facing Gunnison River water users and the River District’s effort to provide water security in the Basin

Montrose, Co. — Learn about current Gunnison Basin water issues, ongoing drought and challenges facing West Slope water users at the virtual Gunnison State of the River meeting hosted by the Colorado River District at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 24 on Zoom.

The webinar is free. Registration is required and can be completed at bit.ly/GunniSOR. If you’re busy for the live event, register to receive a recording of the webinar in your email inbox.

The Gunnison State of the River is traditionally held as a community event, but the safety precautions brought about by the novel coronavirus have the Colorado River District resorting to a virtual platform. The Colorado River District hosts annual State of the River meetings to engage Western Colorado residents in water issues that get to the heart of water planning in this arid region. Attendees will better understand drought, the economic impact of a healthy water supply and the need to protect our water future on the Western Slope.

Agenda:

  • Bob Hurford, Division 4 (Gunnison Basin) engineer with the Colorado Division of Water Resources, will talk about the weak winter snowpack, the dry spring and how these factors are affecting streamflow, reservoir storage and water rights administration.
  • Andy Mueller, general manager of the Colorado River District, will address the “Protection of West Slope water as we face an uncertain future.”
  • Molly Mugglestone, director of communications and Colorado policy for Business for Water Stewardship, will present on a study that found Colorado’s rivers are major economic drivers producing nearly $19 billion in output annually from people recreating on or near rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs and waterways.
  • Tom Alvey, head of the projects committee for the Gunnison Basin Roundtable, and Jim Pokrandt, community affairs director for the River District, will discuss hot water topics in the basin including drought, fruit freezes, emerging hop and hemp crops, the roundtable’s water plan for the region, and the River District’s Lower Gunnison Project.
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