A 40-year-old calculation on the back of an envelope fuels something of a gold rush in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. But instead of gold, the attraction is water. And the plan is to move it and sell it to Colorado’s growing – and thirsty – metro areas on the Front Range.
But how much water is there really? And how do we decide who gets it and who doesn't?Explore more
One of the most controversial pieces of real estate in the San Luis Valley isn’t because of anything on it above ground, but because of the water below it. Water is needed for all living things to survive. But it can also be controlled and has been by civilizations for millennia. So how do we decide where the water goes and what it can be used for?
In order to understand this, we must understand how water rights work.Explore More
When people learn that 91% of Colorado’s water is used for agricultural purposes, farmers are the first to blame for its overuse. But there’s a lot more baked into this figure than many realize. There are compromises that farmers are making, trying to ensure they are in the black financially while adapting to drought and a changing climate, in order to ensure we all eat.
So as Colorado approaches 6 million people, with most of us living in the Front Range, are people aware of the sacrifices needed to keep up with the growing demand for water?Explore more
The need to use every drop of water – multiple times over – matters. In Colorado, 80% of the precipitation falls on the western side of the continental divide, but 90% of the population lives to the east, in the Front Range. As the urban corridor continues to grow rapidly, the need for water is even more urgent. And often that water is coming from somewhere else.
So now we explore the Front Range of Colorado perspective. What are the water needs of a growing city? And is water from the San Luis Valley really the only solution?Explore More
In this series, we’ve investigated the pressures around water in Colorado – from climate change to population growth to different values – and how they shape the management of this vital resource. But where do we go from here? And how do we change the relationship we’ve had with water historically, to better reflect the realities of our future? Because we should all care about where our water comes from, where it goes, what it’s used for, and the true cost to use it.Explore More
Control of water. Who has it, who doesn’t? How was water historically used? What is it being used for today? And what about future uses? In this first bonus episode, we are talking about power and decision-making, including the controversial topic of water speculation, with James Eklund, a prominent Colorado water lawyer. The conflict over water speculation goes deeper than just dollars. It’s sometimes about values.Explore More
In January 2023, a new Colorado Water Plan was released. This document evokes hope and caution as the scarcity of water looms over our state. It’s a guide for how to bring people together and prioritize water projects across Colorado that serve the most uses and benefits. In this bonus episode, we talk with Lauren Ris, Deputy Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, to learn more about how this plan came together and its significance to our state.Explore More
When 91% of water in Colorado is tied to agriculture, what happens on the farm matters. Rethinking water means rethinking agriculture. So we’re spending time in this bonus episode talking about dirt. We sat down with Gene Kelley, a professor of Pedology and the Deputy Director of the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station at Colorado State University. In our wide-ranging conversation we discuss the innovation happening in agriculture, soil health and the impacts on water, and even the difficulties of behavior change.Explore More
Watch the live panel discussion, Uncertainty and the Future of Water in Colorado, from our 2022 Symposium featuring several guests from the podcast. The panelists discuss key issues and potential solutions for the management, policies, legal frameworks, and climate impacts on water statewide. Featuring Senator Cleave Simpson (District 35), James Eklund (Sherman & Howard), Heather Dutton (San Luis Valley Water Conservation District), and moderated by podcast host Kristan Uhlenbrock.Watch Now
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