May 20: Eagle River Valley State of the River Public Meeting

How communities impact water is theme of Monday discussion.

The annual Eagle River Valley State of the River community meeting will take place at 5:15 p.m. Monday, May 20, at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards. Presented by the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, the Colorado River District, and the Eagle River Watershed Council, this annual community meeting is free and open to the public.

A casual reception begins at 5:15 p.m. with light dinner, soft drinks, and information tables that include the town of Vail’s Restore the Gore program and a feedback exercise to help identify water values and impacts for the Eagle River community water plan. Presentations will follow from 6 to 8 p.m. No RSVP is required.

To view a recording of the meeting, check local TV listings for the High Five Access Media schedule or view it online at your convenience.

• Karl Wetlaufer, USDA – NRCS Colorado Snow Survey (presentation)
• Chris Treese, Colorado River District (presentation)
• Linn Brooks and Siri Roman, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District (presentation)
• Pete Wadden, Town of Vail (presentation)
• Lizzie Schoder, Eagle River Watershed Council, and Seth Mason, Lotic Hydrological (presentation)

Karl Wetlaufer with the Colorado Data Collection Office of the USDA-NRCS Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program will address what this winter’s snowpack means for rivers and water supply, both locally and downstream in the Colorado River system. Colorado River basin inflow into Lake Powell is projected to be 129 percent of average through July, while lake Powell and Mead levels continue an overall downward trend.

Chris Treese will discuss how the seven basin states involved in the 1922 Colorado River Compact have been working to mitigate shrinking supplies through recently approved drought contingency plans. Treese manages external affairs for the Colorado River District, which was established in 1937 to protect Western Colorado water throughout its 15-county service area.

Local experts will address how communities impact the Gore Creek and the Eagle and Colorado rivers. Eagle River Water & Sanitation District staff will discuss water supply planning and stream health in the upper Eagle River valley, while the town of Vail’s Pete Wadden will share the town’s approach to restoring Gore Creek, which was designated “impaired” in 2012.

Lizzie Schoder and Seth Mason of the Eagle River Watershed Council will bring all the topics together in an update on the Eagle River community water plan. The multi-year project seeks broad community input and is funded by local municipalities, Eagle County, Homestake Water Project, Climax Mine, Vail Resorts, Colorado River District, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, and the Colorado Water Conservation Board

For more information contact Diane Johnson at 970-477-5457.