Valley Voices: Water security and storage in the North Fork Valley

By Press Release


After a relatively warm and dry winter, the local streams are already flowing and snow is melting from the mountains. Whether you're in town and part of the local water supply, a farmer that depends on reservoir water or simply concerned about the growing uncertainty of water supply, recent record-breaking temperatures may have you wondering about the future. On Friday, April 21, join the members of the North Fork community at the Blue Sage Center of the Arts for a crucial talk on the future of our water as part of our seasonal speaker series, Valley Voices.

Water security and storage in the North Fork, begins at 7 p.m., and Alex Johnson, executive director of the Western Slope Conservation Center, will open the event with a water primer for understanding the complex environment in the North Fork Valley. Johnson will moderate a panel of local and Western Slope water and climate experts that dive into a range of topics of interest to the community.

Tom Alvee, the director of the North Fork Water Conservancy District, will talk about the Paonia Reservoir and sediment issues and the future of agricultural water stored there. He will provide the important context behind the reservoir, an overview of the challenges and issues in the future, and outlook for agricultural water needs.

Beth Karberg, the Lower Gunnison Basin salinity field coordinator for the Colorado Department of Agriculture, will talk about ditch systems and the piping projects within the North Fork Valley. She brings up a topic that few know much about: Why piping is necessary and how salinity control is related to water security.

Jeff Sellen, director of environment and sustainability program director at Western State Colorado University, will broaden the scope of the evening and talk about how our local challenges tie into climate change as it relates to water security.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts. For a list of speakers, visit BlueSage.org. Valley Voices is a seasonal speaker series organized by the Blue Sage Literary Committee and this panel is co-sponsored by the Western Slope Conservation Center. For more information, contact Paige Blankenbuehler, 720-333-5350, or the Blue Sage at 527-7243.