There's a lot going on "Out In NWRA Country"!
Arkansas Valley Conduit Groundbreaking
The Bureau of Reclamation and its state and local partners held a groundbreaking ceremony in Pueblo, Colorado on April 28 for the Arkansas Valley Conduit.
Left to right, NWRA federal affairs chair and lobbyist for the project, Christine Arbogast; Colorado Water Conservation Board Executive Director Becky Mitchell; and Commissioner of Reclamation Camille Touton joined in the celebration.
Officials from the Department of the Interior, Reclamation, the State of Colorado and Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District join Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper in throwing dirt to mark the project’s construction start.
NWRA Holds 2023 Policy Conference
More than one hundred participants attended the NWRA Policy Conference in Washington, DC April 17–19 to hear from policy experts and meet with federal officials on topics important to the water community. The event kicked-off with a welcome reception on the evening of April 17, followed by speaker sessions the following two mornings. Throughout the three days, NWRA members crisscrossed Washington, DC meeting with their congressional delegations, congressional committee staff, and federal agency officials. During the two speaker sessions topics including cybersecurity, the farm bill, food safety, appropriations, and infrastructure funding were discussed. Attendees also received updates on the latest activities and priorities at the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We wish to thank everyone for making the trip to Washington and making the conference a huge success! Please be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s NWRA Policy Conference scheduled for April 8–10, 2024.
SWCD Holds Annual Seminar
The Southwestern Water Conservation District held its annual seminar March 31 on the Southern Ute Indian reservation in Colorado. Speaking to the theme of Seeking Common Ground in a Crisis are Simon Martinez, manager of the Ute Mountain Ute Farm and Ranch Enterprise (at podium); Paul Bruchez, a Grand County ag producer (left); and Ken Curtis, general manager of the Dolores Water Conservancy District (center).
During a hearing entitled, “Why We Need to Store More Water and What’s Stopping Us", NWRA member Andrew Mueller discussed the impact forest management has on the nation's largest natural reservoirs, its forests.
During his testimony, Mr. Mueller stated, "Across the West, federally owned forested lands are the dominant water source, providing approximately 52% of the total water supply.
Mueller went on to say, "Watersheds and water infrastructure on both sides of the Continental Divide have been seriously impacted by wildfire, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in restoration and mitigation expenses in the Centennial State alone.
Mr. Mueller also discussed the importance of small-bucket storage as an effective drought-mitigation tool. "Through strategic, cooperative efforts, stakeholders across the West Slope have been able to implement small-scale, effective measures to mitigate some of the immediate impacts of hotter summers and lower river levels. By applying best practices developed over decades and informed by science, we can utilize these small buckets – ranging from 10 thousand acre-feet to 100 thousand acre-feet in strategic high mountain locations – to time the releases of water to address a wide array of consumptive and non-consumptive needs along the river" he concluded.
The Bureau of Reclamation and Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District teams gather at the groundbreaking site for the Arkansas Valley Conduit in Colorado. Participants include Bill Long, district board president; Brent Esplin, BoR regional director (left of sign respectively); and Jim Broderick, Southeast District executive director (right of sign). Groundbreaking expected this spring on the project authorized in 1962. It will deliver a clean drinking water supply for 50,000 people from the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project.
City of Aurora's innovative water recycling initiative
Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Tanya Trujillo, visited Aurora, Colorado's Prairie Waters initiative where she announced an $5 million federal infusion into a water recycling project that consists of a complex web of wastewater moving through a treatment plant, downriver, a deep well, a gravel field, pipe and a freshwater treatment facility where the water is blended with pristine snow melt which then moves back to consumers taps. Click here to view full article.
Left - Assistant Secretary Trujillo accompanied by other officials touring Prairie Waters.
Right - State Rep. Jadon Crow and Assistant Secretary Trujillo.
Making the rounds on Capitol Hill
NWRA Executive Vice President Dale Nellor and NWRA Federal Affairs Committee Chair Christine Arbogast and Vice Chair Paul Arrington, meeting with Ayla Neumeyer and Samantha Hendricks in the Washington, D.C. office of Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID).
NWRA 2022 Leadership Forum and Annual Conference Recap
Congratulations to our 2022 Award and Recognition Program honorees.
Theodore C. Cooke
James W. Trull President’s Award
N.D. State Representative James E. Schmidt