Colorado River District to host Water with Your Lunch webinar about water security for West Slope communities

From growth to wildfire, learn how West Slope communities are overcoming and addressing threats to our water supplies.

Glenwood Springs, CO — The Colorado River District will continue its Water With Your Lunch webinar series at noon, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, with a discussion of three different regions in the District and how those communities view their drinking and agricultural water supplies, threats to them and how to plan for a water-secure future.

Registration is required and can be completed here: bit.ly/WWLsecurity. If you cannot tune in to the webinar live, register to receive a recording of the webinar in your email inbox.

Water security means many things to the Colorado River District, whose mission is to make sure western Colorado’s water sources are protected for household use, agriculture, recreation and the environment.

River District General Manager Andy Mueller will moderate a panel of three speakers:

  • Andrea Lopez is the external affairs manager of Ute Water, the largest public water provider in the Grand Valley and the largest between Denver and Salt Lake City. She will discuss Ute Water’s long-range planning for population growth and the threat of drought. In recent years, Ute Water took advantage of a River District-organized effort to secure the last round of available water storage in Ruedi Reservoir to protect supplies for the future. For many years, Ute has been working on permits to enlarge a reservoir on the Grand Mesa, its chief source of supply. Ute is also a leader in drought planning and water education for its consumers.
  • Jonathan Godes is the mayor of Glenwood Springs. He will discuss the immediate threat to the city’s water supply posed by the Grizzly Creek wildfire in Glenwood Canyon this summer. The city’s main sources of water are Grizzly and No Name Creeks in two adjacent draws located in the heart of the ignition zone. The city had to draw on backup supplies from Ruedi Reservoir and implement water restrictions in city limits. The threat to the water supply has now migrated to the burn scar and what happens if rains bring down debris flows that could foul infrastructure and affect water treatment.
  • Sue Hansen is a county commissioner in Montrose County and has made awareness of Montrose County’s water supplies a priority for herself and the community. She will discuss how this summer’s fires have heightened the need for people to know where their water comes from. She will also comment on the irrigation water infrastructure work ongoing in her county through the Colorado River District’s Lower Gunnison Project and how that fits into the bigger picture of securing the county’s water future.

“The Colorado River District was formed in 1937 to protect the water security of western Colorado,” Mueller said. “In this webinar, we will be talking about the water security that is required to make sure water reliably comes out of our faucets and irrigates our crops. The more people know about where their water comes from, the better the River District is positioned to win the fight to protect it.”

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