Tag Archives: Colorado water rights

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.