Buy and Dry: Valley Water at Risk

By Kathy Bedell, Saguache Today

Buy and Dry. These three words represent the new catchphrase in local water conversations. And these three words ebbed and flowed their way through the many discussions and presentations made at last February’s inaugural Rio Grande “State of the Basin Symposium” which was held at Adams State University in Alamosa on February 23, 2019.

The intention of the gathering was to bring together local water leaders to present overviews and updates on key aspects of the San Luis Valley’s current water conditions and challenges. That goal was met as every level from the morning group presentations to the afternoon series of breakout sessions.

“The San Luis Valley can be a leader in water discussion. Not just in Colorado, but across the nation,” stated Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, who was one of the keynote speakers.

And while the political hyperbole can sometimes dilute the critical importance of this life-giving resource, things did seem a bit different at this symposium. Maybe it was the auditorium packed with people who live closer to the earth than most, the ever-dedicated farmers and ranchers whose cowboy hats silhouetted the audience as they came together to stake their own claim on a critical component to their livelihoods: water.



Cleave Simpson, General Manager Rio Grande Water Conservation District (center) welcomes the hundreds of farmers and ranchers at the Rio Grande State of the Basin Symposium in February 2019 at Adams State University in Alamosa. Joining Simpson on stage were presenters Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser (left) and former AG and SLV native Ken Salazar (right). Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Saguache Today was there to record the morning’s presentations. These are the top experts in the field and their passion for and knowledge of this valley shines through at every level. And most notably, one common word threaded through many introductions was “generational” Most were folks that have lived in the San Luis Valley their whole lives like their parents and grandparents. Now they are in leadership roles when it comes to the SLV water discussion, representing water conservation districts, restoration projects, and engineering and legal perspectives.

These videos should help brings residents and readers up to date on what’s happening with the aquifers, the Rio Grande compact, the legal rights concerning water and what measures are in place to protect the SLV’s water.

How the Rio Grande Works

How the Rio Grande Works was presented by Craig Cotton Division 3 Engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources at the Rio Grande State of the Basin Symposium in February 2019 at Adams State University in Alamosa.

Why Should I Care about the Valley’s Water?

“Why Should I Care about the Valley’s Water?” was presented by Amber Pacheco, Rio Grande Water Conservation District (RGWCD) at the Rio Grande State of the Basin Symposium in February 2019 at Adams State University in Alamosa.

The Past and Future Fights to Protect the Water of the San Luis Valley.

“The Past and Future Fights to Protect the Water of the San Luis Valley.” Was presented by Ken Salazar, joined by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. Salazar leads this part of the conversation, reviewing the past successes and future challenges during his tenure as Colorado’s former Attorney General, US Senator and US Interior Secretary presented at the Rio Grande State of the Basin Symposium in February 2019 at Adams State University in Alamosa.

How the Attorney General’s Office Can Support a Thriving Future for the San Luis Valley.

“How the Attorney General’s Office Can Support a Thriving Future for the San Luis Valley” is presented by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.  He is joined by Ken Salazar Colorado’s former Attorney General, US Senator and US Interior Secretary presented at the Rio Grande State of the Basin Symposium in February 2019 at Adams State University in Alamosa.

Question and Answer Session

In this video, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and
Ken Salazar answer questions from the audience regarding water in the San Luis Valley at first Rio Grande “State of the Basin Symposium”

Journalist Kathy Bedell owns a digital media company in Leadville, CO that publishes Leadville Today and Saguache Today. she may be reached at info@saguachetoday.com.

Dance Classes Offered In Saguache Today

“And you all better come back next week!”

This telltale statement from one of the students, not instructors, after the first week of the new Dance Lessons was a solid recommendation for this new community class. And if the enthusiasm from the first instruction is any indication, this week’s lesson should have others joining them on the dance floor.

Saguache dance instructors Matthew Duhaime and Nancy Skogerson drew a good crowd to week one of the classes held Tuesday evenings starting at 5:15 sharp! The six-week course will run through Tuesday, May 2.

The Waltz took center stage on the dance floor for the inaugural class with eight students counting the one-two-three beat as their teachers reviewed techniques and encouraged their steps. It was clear from the onset that these instructors knew their ballroom dancing and covered everything from etiquette to embrace as their pupils got a full review in the art of dancing before hitting the floor.

Dance instructor Matthew Duhaime demonstrates some fancy footwork at Tuesday’s class.

Other dance styles to be covered include the Foxtrot and the Swing. And if you think this course is just for couples, it’s NOT! Singles are more than welcome with participants grouped into “followers” and “leaders” allowing for full participation.

So if you’ve got a big wedding coming up, want to improve your swing technique or just ready to shake off the winter season and up your moves on the dance floor, then stop in to Bebop Studio.

The dance instruction is offered on Tuesday nights at BeBop Studio, located in the back of Saguache Works/4th Street Food Store in downtown Saguache. The lessons are donation-based with a suggested offering of $5 per session.