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State of the River Meeting Runs at CMU

Hutchins Water Center contributes to natural resource expertise in western Colorado

Grand Junction, CO- The Ruth Powell Hutchins Water Center at CMU and the Colorado River District will present the annual "State of the River" on May 14. The presentations provide opportunity for the public to learn about what to expect as the 2019 snowpack melts while exploring how an innovative partnership benefits both endangered fish and local water infrastructure. Additionally, attendees will learn about plans to adapt to long-term drying trends in the Colorado River Basin. 

After an introduction by Mesa County’s River District Director Steve Acquafresca, Bureau of Reclamation Hydrologist Erik Knight will provide an update on the 2019 snowpack and what it will mean for reservoir operations and river flows on the Colorado and Gunnison rivers. Representatives from the Orchard Mesa Irrigation District, Grand Valley Water Users Association and Colorado Water Trust will also discuss an innovative partnership.

The organizations will talk about improving the hydropower plant near Palisade, Colorado, to deliver more water to the Colorado River through Grand Junction while providing critical habitat for endangered native fish. The meeting will wrap up with an update on drought planning for the Colorado River Basin delivered by Chris Treese of the Colorado River District and local water attorney Kirsten Kurath.

“The water center is observing an interesting moment related to the Colorado River,” said Hutchins Water Center Coordinator Hannah Holm. “We’ve just had one of the best winters for snow in recent memory, which is providing a little breathing room to contemplate how to adapt to a longer-term drying trend. This meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss what kind of future people would like to see for the river.”

The meeting is open to the public and will occur in the Meyer Ballroom at CMU. A chili dinner will be served at 6pm with the program will start at 6:30pm.

Learn more about the State of the River meeting and register here.

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Written by David Ludlam