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Water 2012 Series Debuts Today!!

 “Here is a land where life is written in water...”

When Thomas Hornsby Ferril wrote the poem that adorns the rotunda of the Colorado State Capitol he knew that Colorado was home to four major rivers which headwater in the Colorado Mountains.

These include the Platte River which drains most of northeastern Colorado from three major forks. Further south, the Arkansas River headwaters at Fremont Pass northeast of Leadville. The Rio Grande River has its headwaters above the town of Creede on the eastern slope of the San Juan Mountains. The Platte, Arkansas and Rio Grande rivers are all on the eastern slope of the continental divide and drain to the Gulf of Mexico.

The fourth river is the Colorado River which has its headwaters above Grand Lake near Granby. It is the only major river which lies on the western slope of the continental divide. The Colorado River drains to the Pacific, entering the Gulf of California at the intersection of the Baja Peninsula and the Mexico mainland.

These rivers and their tributaries are not only the vitality that runs through Colorado, but also serve as the liquid lifeline to many of downstream neighbors. It is easy for many to take water and all that it provides for granted. As residents go through the course of their modern lives they have developed this illusion of abundance for what seems such a simple and common resource.

So to help busy Coloradans connect to their water resources and their abundant uses Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will declare 2012 the Year of Water.

2012 marks several important water milestones - it is the 100th Anniversary of the Rio Grande Reservoir. The Colorado Water Conservation Board, The Northern Water Conservancy District and the Colorado River Water Conservation District all are celebrating their 75th anniversaries. While the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District turns 50 this year, it gives every water conservation, conservancy, and irrigation entity a chance to be recognized for the vital service they provide each of their communities.

More importantly the Colorado Water 2012 movement is an opportunity to celebrate the value of water and recognize the multitude of uses that it provides to everyone in Colorado.

The goals of Colorado Water 2012 are to:

* Raise awareness about water as a valuable and limited resource

* Increase support for management and protection of Colorado’s water and waterways

* Showcase exemplary models of cooperation and collaboration among Colorado water users

* Connect Coloradans to existing and new opportunities to learn about water

* Motivate Coloradans to become proactive participants in Colorado’s water future

Get involved in the Water 2012 on the Rio Grande by following this series of water articles every Wednesday, and by watching the Calendar of Local events at www.rgwcei.org/water2012. The website will list tours, talks, contests, speakers and a wide variety of activities all around the Valley.

To have an event listed or to volunteer contact Leah Opitz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Judy Lopez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Let’s celebrate the water we have today as we plan for the future. Join the local Colorado Water 2012 movement.

Judy Lopez is the director of the Rio Grande Watershed Conservation & Education Initiative, 550 Worth Street (PO Box 424), Center Colorado 81125; Office 754-3400; Fax 754 3109; Cell 580-5300

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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