Wading in the Water

“Wading in the Water” is a collaborative radio series produced by KBUT and High Country Conservation Advocates. The short, locally-produced segments are currently airing on KBUT on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 7:30 a.m. and 6:18 p.m. 

Water has always been a controversial matter in the West. ”Wading in the Water” seeks to shed light on the topic from a Gunnison Valley perspective by sparking a dialogue in our headwaters community about one of our most important resources and the responsibility we have to protect it. This summer’s series will focus on the new Watershed Management Planning process currently underway.

Get Involved With Watershed Management Planning!

Stakeholder input is a crucial component of the watershed management planning process. In the East River Watershed, we’re asking YOU to provide input on how we can collaborate to manage our water resources.

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Wading in the Water #45: Watershed Management Planning Introduction
There’s a new and exciting water project starting in the Gunnison Basin. Watershed Management Planning is a collaborative effort amongst many different water stakeholders in the valley that assesses how to protect our water uses and environment, when facing increased pressure from climate change and increased local water demands from a growing populations. This past winter, the Upper Gunnison River Watershed Management Planning Committee received a grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board to support watershed management planning in our basin. This summer’s Wading in the Water will take a look at this entire process: what is it, why is it important, how are we doing it, and who’s at the table? In this introductory episode, Chris Sturm from the Colorado Water Conservation Board gives us an overview of this process and how it’s happening across the state as part of the Colorado Water Plan.

Wading In The Water #46: How Increasing Populations Will Impact Our Water Systems in the Future
On last week’s episode, we learned about what watershed management planning is. In episode #46, we’ll start to take a look at why it’s important. It’s no doubt that the population of Colorado is growing rapidly, and that will affect our water supply and use in the future. Rosemary Carroll, local scientist and board member of the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District, explains why we need to take a hard look at anticipated population growth when it comes to watershed management planning.

Wading In The Water #47: How Climate Change Will Impact Our Headwaters
In Episode #46, Rosemary Carroll connected the dots for us between anticipated population growth, climate change, and changing hydrological cycles. This week, Caroll is back, and she expands on last week’s episode by telling us more about the important things to keep in mind in watershed management planning when it comes to climate change and the future of our river basin.

Wading In The Water #48: Future Water Changes Outside of the Gunnison Basin
By now we know that in Colorado, and locally, our population is growing, our climate is changing, and this is going to impact our water supply in the future. But these changes will also have implications outside of our community in the Gunnison Basin. The Gunnison River is the 5th largest tributary to the Colorado River, which is not only a major water source for Colorado, but also for Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nevada, California and Mexico. Changes in our headwaters will not only affect our community but the entire Colorado River basin as well. In episode #48, John McClow, of counsel for the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District, discusses our basin’s obligations to downstream states and users.

Wading in the Water #49: How Does Watershed Management Planning Work?
So far on Wading in the Water, we’ve learned what watershed management planning is, and why it’s important…so now that we’re doing it here in our basin, how does it work? In episode #49, Julie Nania, water program director for High Country Conservation Advocates and one of the coordinators for the watershed management planning committee, talks about assessments and inventory work, the first phase to watershed management planning.

Wading in the Water #50: Gunnison Basin Overview
In the next few episodes of Wading in the Water, we’ll start taking a look at the different sub-basins within the Gunnison Basin that are being assessed for watershed management planning. But first, let’s take a step back to look at our basin as a whole. To understand this best, in episode #50, George Sibley, long-time Gunnison Valley local and board member of the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District, explains why our headwaters are special.

Wading in the Water #51: East River Watershed Overview
The watershed management planning process is starting to focus specifically on assessments for the East River, Ohio Creek, and Lake Fork watersheds. In the next few episodes, we’ll give you an overview on each of these sub-basins. In episode #51, Ashley Bembenek, local water quality specialist, gives us an overview of the East River watershed. Stakeholder outreach for the East River watershed will be completed this summer and field work will commence in 2018.

Wading in the Water #52: Ohio Creek Watershed Overview
We’re learning about the various watersheds in the Gunnison Basin that are being assessed in the watershed management planning process. In episode #52, Jesse Kruthaupt from Trout Unlimited, gives us an overview of the Ohio Creek watershed, another focus area for the watershed management planning process. Field work and stakeholder outreach for the Ohio Creek watershed will be completed this summer.

Wading in the Water #53: Lake Fork Watershed Overview
The Lake Fork watershed is an important, but sometimes forgotten area of the Gunnison Basin, and is another focus area for the watershed management planning process. In episode #53, Camille Richard, executive director of the Lake Fork Conservancy, gives us a run-down of the Lake Fork sub-basin. Field work and stakeholder outreach for the Lake Fork sub-basin will be completed this summer.

Wading in the Water #54: Agricultural Water Uses
In all of the episodes of Wading in the Water thus far, we’ve discussed different water uses in the Gunnison Basin, and now we’ll take a deeper look. Up first, Bruce Allen, a 5th generation rancher in the Gunnison Valley, tells us more about agricultural water uses. There are many different values and water uses in the Upper Gunnison Basin, and watershed management planning aims to bring all stakeholders together to ensure the best case scenario for the future.

Wading in the Water #55: Recreational River Uses
In episode #54, we learned about different agricultural water uses in the Upper Gunnison Basin. This week, we discuss a different stakeholder perspective: recreation. Recreation revolving around our rivers takes many forms, from rafting to stand up paddleboarding. To learn more, here’s Billy Rankin, local guide and risk manager for Irwin Guides.

Wading in the Water #56: Recreational River Uses (pt. 2)
While we typically associate rafting and fishing as river recreation, like we discussed in episode #55, did you know that rivers play a large role in skiing as well? This week, Matt Feier, director of planning at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, tells us about the connection between rivers and snow…the man-made variety of snow that is.

Wading in the Water #57: Municipal Water Uses

We all drink water, take showers, enjoy our town’s parks…municipal water use has a big presence in our daily lives. In Episode #57, Shea Earley, wastewater system manager for town of Crested Butte tells us more about municipal water uses in the valley.

Wading in the Water #58: River Ecosystems and Watershed Management Planning

In the past few episodes of Wading in the Water, we’ve heard the perspective of different water uses including agricultural, recreational, and municipal. In this episode, Julie Nania, water program director for HCCA, discusses the importance of final stakeholder perspective, the environment, and what factors we’re looking at when it comes to watershed management planning.

Episode Archive