The Western Slope Conservation Center and the Blue Sage Center for the Arts hosted Valley Voices, a public discussion on “Water Storage and Water Security in the North Fork Valley” on April 21, at the Blue Sage. It was a packed house at the Blue Sage where guests listened to 4 speakers deliver presentations about a wide range of water security topics.
Alex Johnson, Executive Director of the Western Slope Conservation Center, started off the evening with a discussion on the North Fork River Watershed location in relation to the Colorado River Basin. Dr. Jeff Sellen of Western Colorado State University was up next with a presentation on Climate Change and its potential effects on western water.
Tom Alvey, director of the North Fork Water Conservancy District, gave a history of the 1922 Colorado River Compact and the mechanisms that have been put in place for future calls on water. Tom also gave a history of the Paonia Reservoir, its challenges, and the future plans to control sediment loading in the reservoir as well as downstream in the North Fork River.
Beth Karberg, the Lower Gunnison Basin Field Salinity Coordinator for the CO Department of Agriculture, finished of the speaker line up with a presentation about local threats to water security, irrigation efficiency programs, and keeping agriculture viable in times of change.
The evening ended with a panel question and answer session. The speakers fielded questions ranging from immediate concerns at the Paonia Reservoir to big picture issues within the Colorado Water Plan. With the North Fork Valley irrigation season in full swing for 2017, there are no shortage of eyes on the future of water in the North Fork Valley. Find out more about our Watershed Programming here! Interested in becoming part of the Watershed Committee team? Contact Jake Hartter, our Watershed Coordinator to find out how. 970-527-5307 ext. 208