I just got off a river trip with a bunch of scientifically minded folk who are passionate about rivers. While we lived a wet dream of high-flow waves, sun, sand, camp games (and maybe a few good beers among those so inclined), they hooked me up with a raft of information on Colorado’s water needs and politics. Back in the research facility, bleary-eyed from staring at online documents, and stiff-necked from puzzling through a virtual tempest of predictions and planning processes, I figure that I shouldn’t keep all the fun to myself.
Let’s take a look at some boat-mates ridin’ the waves …
… and a cool slide show from the gang in green at Interior.
Flowing at 24,000 cfs (visualize a wall of 24,000 basketballs per second flowing through a canyon bottom), the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument is big enough to delight, drench, scare and otherwise satisfy the crap out of any self-respecting river-rat.
Uncontrolled by dams, the Yampa can seem more than a little alien to a lot of folk who regard rivers as a resource or a scourge, depending on where and how high the waters flow, and this is why I’ve been digitally lurking through the chambers of power for clues of just where the Yampa may fit into the grand schemes of water politics.
- The Yampa’s yearly flow is a player in the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s strategy of using “identified projects, water conservation, agricultural transfers (both permanent and nonpermanent) and development of new water supplies,” to meet Colorado’s future water demands, as is laid out in the Statewide Water Supply Initiative (SWSI 2010).
- A whole quiver of arrows is needed to mark current diversion projects on a Colorado Division of Water Resources map:
If you’ve had about enough clicking, reading and fact-checking, watch these quirky Colorado River District films on water supply fun and games, and then go dawdle in some secret oasis in the nearby faraway.
(Courtesy: Nathan Fey again [sometimes, it’s good that somebody brought a camera])