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Healthy Forests, Healthy Water

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Driving Question: Who keeps our forests healthy and why? Prior Knowledge & Engagement Resources. Denver Metro Water Festival 2014. Healthy Forests Definition Presentation. Forest Health and the Mountain Pine Beetle Resources. Why Healthy Forests Matter. Pine Beetle Study Materials. Forest Health/Forest Fire Exploration. Global Forest Change in the Classroom. Western Water Threatened by Wildfire. Colorado Wildfire Risk Map. Colorado Wildfires Threaten Water Supplies. This story is part of a special National Geographic News series on global water issues.

Colorado Wildfires Threaten Water Supplies

Last week, aerial views of Rampart Reservoir, a critical water-storage facility for Colorado Springs, Colorado, showed spot fires billowing tentacles of smoke over the lake’s forested shores. "It smelled like a big smelly cigar," said Andy Funchess, a water systems field operations manager for the Colorado Springs water utility. Funchess spends his workdays monitoring and maintaining the city’s 25 reservoirs and hundreds of miles of pipeline and canals. As strong winds helped the Waldo Canyon Fire puncture black holes into the evergreen landscape around the reservoir, Funchess gave up on trying to predict the fire’s erratic behavior and was evacuated. The Waldo Canyon Fire, which started 11 days ago and has swept over nearly 18,000 acres, is now 70 percent contained.

(See the Denver Post’s real-time fire map.) “We’ve seen the lingering effects of forest fires in our watersheds,” Chesney said. Water Supply Study. Water: A Zero Sum Game. How Watershed works—Help. Colorado SNOTEL Watershed Time Series Snowpack Graphs. NRCS National Water and Climate Center. Conservation Study Resources for Culminating Activity. Colorado Water Conservation Board. Municipal and Industrial (M&I) Colorado’s population is expected to nearly double to between 8.6 and 10 million people by 2050, with the majority residing in the Arkansas, South Platte and Metro Basins.

Colorado Water Conservation Board

This population growth will drive a significant need for additional water to meet future M&I demands. Colorado also needs water for Self Supplied Industrial (SSI) uses, including energy, snow making, breweries and other large industries. Colorado’s tremendous energy resources include traditional sources, such as crude oil, natural gas and oil shale, as well as renewable sources, such as geothermal, wind power, solar power and ethanol/biofuels. According to the Energy Study, oil shale development in northwestern Colorado alone could require up to 170,000 acre feet/year of water development by 2050. From Forests to Faucets: Partnership with U.S. Forest Service. As the water provider to 1.4 million people in the Denver metropolitan area, Denver Water directly depends on healthy forests and watersheds.

From Forests to Faucets: Partnership with U.S. Forest Service

Denver Water’s key collection and delivery infrastructure receives water from snowpack and streams on U.S. Forest Service lands. Colorado Shrinks The Risk Of Wildfire With Investments In Watershed Services - Ecosystem Marketplace. 1 January 2015 | Water flowing from Colorado watersheds are critical to many US states.

Colorado Shrinks The Risk Of Wildfire With Investments In Watershed Services - Ecosystem Marketplace

Snowmelt sliding down the Rocky Mountains feeds rivers like the Colorado and Arkansas that supplies western states with a water source. But the catastrophic wildfire that has been tearing through the southwestern state in an increasingly more violent way puts the headwaters of these waterways in jeopardy. The late 1990s and early 2000s saw two fires that together burned 150,000 acres of forestland and dumped 40 years’ worth of sediment into the Strontia Springs Reservoir. Denver Parks and Recreation. Agricultural Water Conservation Clearinghouse. Colorado Agricultural Water Alliance (CAWA) Jump to navigation.

Colorado Agricultural Water Alliance (CAWA)

Colorado projects to help reduce risk to water supplies from wildland fires. LOVELAND, COLO. , JULY 25, 2014 AT 2:00 PM EDT - As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution while better preparing the nation for the impacts of climate, like longer, hotter and drier wildfire seasons, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael Connor today visited northern Colorado to see firsthand the efforts to protect the Colorado-Big Thompson Project water system, and announce an additional $187,500 for Colorado-area projects.

Colorado projects to help reduce risk to water supplies from wildland fires

His visit comes one year after a key partnership was announced (link is external) to protect the important watershed area from the effects of wildfire. The area has experienced several wildland fires in the past few years, including the destructive High Park Fire in June 2012. "A year ago this month, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack came to Colorado to sign the Western Watershed Enhancement Partnership Memorandum of Understanding," said Deputy Secretary Connor. One World One Water Center. Mission Statement‌ The One World One Water Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship at Metropolitan State University of Denver strives to prepare an educated, empowered, solution-oriented Colorado citizenry to protect and preserve our precious water resources.

One World One Water Center

MSU Denver fulfills the mission in three ways: Offer an interdisciplinary, hands-on Water Studies minor for students from diverse backgrounds and in any major;Provide co-curricular enrichment activities to the entire student population of the Auraria Campus, which includes MSU Denver, the University of Colorado – Denver, and the Community College of Denver;Enhance water stewardship on and beyond campus for the effective use of water resources. The Water Studies Minor will provide students with skills necessary to become more knowledgeable of Colorado’s limited water resources, and how to preserve this most precious resource. Celebration of Learning. Denver Metro Water Festival - Denver youth water festival.