Water Information Program
The Water Information Program (WIP) provides essential opportunities for water education to the community. WIP is a public information program sponsored by a variety of organizations that include agricultural, electric/energy, environmental, and water sectors in the nine-county Dolores/San Juan River basins in southwestern Colorado. The purpose of WIP is to explain, promote, and publish objective and unbiased information and hold educational water workshops and festivals.
A partial list of WIP services and programs includes:
- Children’s Water Festival: For 24 years the Water Information Program has produced the Children’s Water Festival on behalf of the Southwestern Water Conservation District. The festival takes place the first Wednesday in May and has been held at Fort Lewis College. Over 800 fifth grade students from across the nine-county Dolores/San Juan river basins participate, with more than 30 presenters and 50 volunteers who lend support to make this fun event such an annual success. Volunteers are always needed!
- Water Law in a Nutshell Course: Led by Mr. Aaron Clay, Attorney at Law and former 26-year Water Referee for the Colorado Water Court, Division 4, this workshop offers an online setting to learn about aspects of the law related to water rights and ditch rights as applied in Colorado. Subject matter includes appropriation, limitations, abandonment and enforcement of various types of water rights, special rules for groundwater, public rights in appropriated water, interstate compacts and more. This workshop is offered a few times throughout the year and qualifies for continuing education credits for realtors, appraisers, and lawyers. There is a separate water law course specific to realtors offered as well.
- Forests-to-Faucets Teacher Training Workshop: This is an annual intensive two-day in-the-field teacher training on local watersheds that qualifies for continuing education credit. The workshop builds teachers’ capacity for teaching watershed science by providing place-specific knowledge and activities that can be easily integrated in science and social science curricula.
- Website: In addition to current events and news, there is a plethora of useful water-related information at waterinfo.org.
- Newsletter: This e-newsletter covers a wide variety of local water-related news.
- Brochures: Come by the office to pick up brochures on a wide variety of water-related topics, including rainwater harvesting, ditches and diversions, and water conservation.
- Lending Library: Now with more than 200 water-related books and movies available for checkout.
- Water Display: This regularly updated display is used at numerous events throughout the region and year, such as the SWCD Southwest Water Seminar and local libraries.
Operating under the auspices of SWCD, WIP was established in 1994 by several water-related organization and entities. SWCD provides matching funds to all contributions made by local entities. Thank you to the following organizations for their collaboration and commitment to WIP’s success:
- Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District
- Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority
- Dolores Water Conservancy District
- Durango Water Commission-City of Durango
- Empire Electric Association
- Florida Water Conservancy District
- Four Corners Water Center at Fort Lewis College
- Harris Water Engineering
- High Desert Conservation District
- Kogovsek & Associates
- La Plata Archuleta Water District
- La Plata Conservation District
- La Plata Electric Association
- La Plata Water Conservancy District
- La Plata West Water Authority
- Lake Durango Water Authority
- Mancos Conservation District
- Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District
- Pine River Conservation District
- Pine River Irrigation District
- San Juan Water Conservancy District
- SGM – Bikis Water Consultants
- Southwestern Water Conservation District
- The Nature Conservancy
- Trout Unlimited
- Town of Silverton
- Town of Telluride
- Wright Water Engineers
For more information on any of these programs or services, visit the website, call WIP Program Manager Elaine Chick at 970-247-1302 x3 or feel free to stop by at 841 East 2nd Avenue in Durango. Also, follow the Water Information Program on Facebook and Twitter!