March 2023 – Nine Basin Bulletin



Happy Thursday and thank you for your support of the Nine Basin Bulletin! The Nine Basins Bulletin is the newsletter from the Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Water Information Program (WIP), it contains the latest updates from southwest Colorado, job & funding opportunities, and partner spotlights!


SWCD’s Southwest Water Seminar

Seeking Common Ground in Crisis

We invite you to the 39th Annual Water Seminar, ‘Seeking Common Ground in Crisis’. Whether you are new to the water world or an expert there is space for you, but it is filling up quickly, so reserve your spot today! Presenters will cover a variety of topics including reusing water, the Colorado River, environmental issues, and much more! There will also be space to voice your concerns, ask questions, and have your perspective heard.

Click here to Register

Volunteer for the 25th Annual Children’s Water Festival – May 10, 2023

This year marks the 25th year the Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD) has been hosting an annual children’s water festival in Southwest Colorado.

The Children’s Water Festival presents a unique opportunity to educate fifth grade students about local water issues and the environment and helps them understand how they can protect water supplies and their environment.

We need our community members help!



In an oversimplified explanation, they can subtract one photo from the other – giving stakeholders the depth and density of the snowpack at 50m resolution (50m squares). Historically, Colorado has relied on ground measurements, which are miles (if not hundreds of miles) apart. This data can be used to better understand and prepare for spring runoffs and late summer water supply.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, pun intended – to find out more about CASM please read their final report, linked below, or their website, linked in the title!

Final Report

Legislation Would Invest $60 Billion in Our Forests To Reduce Wildfire Risk, Restore Watersheds, and Protect Communities

Washington, D.C. — Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Climate, Forestry, and Natural Resources, and Colorado U.S. Representative Jason Crow introduced the Protect the West Act to make a $60 billion investment in our forests to reduce wildfire risk, restore our watersheds, and protect our communities. U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are cosponsors of the bill.

“In the West, our forests, grasslands, and watersheds are as important to our economy as the Lincoln Tunnel is to New York. But they are under threat – not only from climate change, but also consistent underinvestment from the federal government,” said Bennet. “As we face a 1,200 year megadrought and wildfire season that never seems to end, we need to break from the status quo and make a major investment in the restoration of our forests that matches the scale of the challenge. We have no time to waste.”

“As wildfires intensify, Colorado’s residents, economy, and fundamental way of life are in jeopardy. It’s time to act now to fight the worsening effects of climate change and protect our families and communities,” said Crow. “The Protect the West Act will bolster Colorado’s economy and protect our environment for generations to come.”

“Preserving Colorado’s forests and watersheds protects our water supplies and bolsters our booming outdoor recreation industry for generations to come—it’s a win-win. That’s why we need to invest in preventing wildfires and safeguarding our public lands and waterways,” said Hickenlooper.

“Major investment is urgently needed to protect Western forests and watersheds from increasingly dangerous wildfires and droughts,” said Wyden. “The Protect the West Act will ensure Congress funds much needed fire mitigation and restoration efforts — so communities stay safe and so that future generations can continue to enjoy Oregon’s beautiful natural treasures.”

America’s forests and public lands are essential infrastructure – supporting an $862 billion outdoor recreation economy and $164 billion agricultural economy. They are also vital to America’s waterways: the four major rivers that start in Colorado’s National Forests – the Colorado, Platte, Arkansas, and Rio Grande – collectively supply water to 19 states and parts of Mexico. Eighty percent of Coloradans rely on water that comes from National Forest land.

Read the Full Article



Map from Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies March Update- Generated 2/28/23 at HPRCCD using provisional data, link above







Matt Nesbitt, General Manager – Lake Durango Water Authority

Nesbitt: I joined my metro district board and started asking questions? I wanted to know how and why we had restrictions in years past? I wanted to know about water quality, distribution and maintenance plans. I wanted to get involved and be a part of the solution since we are seeing very scary times in the near future with the Colorado River. I also like the balancing act of it and I try to understand the agricultural needs and recreational needs.

We want to thank Matt and Lake Durango Water Authority for being a loyal partner for the Water Information Program! More information on Lake Durango Water Authority can be found here.

Read the Full Q&A Here