Water Program

Did you know that the Gunnison River is the 5th largest tributary to the Colorado River? That makes the Gunnison Basin headwaters of the highest priority for our community to keep healthy for generations to come. The High Country Conservation Advocates Water Program aims to enhance the health of stream and riparian ecosystems by protecting healthy instream flows, improving water efficiency and conservation through local partnerships, and by using the best science available to collaborate with water resource managers about water management planning.

In our over 25 years of advocacy on behalf of the Gunnison Basin’s rivers, we have influenced state and federal water policy by speaking from a local perspective with deep science-based expertise. Check out the links above to learn more about what we’re currently working on. For more information about what HCCA works on with water quality issues, check out this link under our Red Lady page.

Headwater Headlines: Rights for our Rivers

In an age where our creeks are over-appropriated and water users are competing for resources, streams can be dried up by diversions, leaving fisheries and macroinvertebrate communities in a tough spot. One way to protect these ecosystems is to appropriate water for...
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Headwater Headlines: what we do affects our friends downstream

When contemplating the “snowmaggedon” we were experiencing last January to current conditions, it’s easy to be concerned about our snowpack. Earlier this month the Gunnison River Basin’s snowpack was 35% of normal and ranked the lowest on record for this time of year....
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HCCA’s Water Program: Protecting the Upper Gunnison Basin for 26 Years

Featured Photo: Jeremy Wallace Whether it’s the snow we ski on in Red Lady bowl, the early season runoff that flushes Oh-Be-Joyful Creek, or water collected in our tiny cutthroat tributaries, these waters nourish our ecosystems here and downstream. As citizens of the...
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Email Julie Nania

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Julie Nania

Julie Nania

Water Program Director

After graduating from University of Colorado Law, Julie has spent the past three years as part of the research faculty at the University of Colorado through appointments with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and Colorado Law’s Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment. Her work at the University involved collaborating with a range of local communities to address natural resources and climate issues. Most recently, she worked with Native American communities to advocate greater instream flow protections for reservation rivers and to address drought and climate issues on the Navajo Nation.

Julie is originally from Liberty Lake, Washington. She received her B.A. in International Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. When she is not protecting the natural beauty of the rivers in Gunnison County, she plans to spend her time exploring new trails and carving up Colorado’s finest slopes.