Sterling Ranch and Rocky Mountain PBS came together Feb. 27 to help educate the people of the Front Range on water issues throughout the state as part of Water Week 2020. At the event, RMPBS screened …
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Sterling Ranch and Rocky Mountain PBS came together Feb. 27 to help educate the people of the Front Range on water issues throughout the state as part of Water Week 2020.
At the event, RMPBS screened a portion of their new episode of the “Colorado Experience” on the history of water in Colorado. Similar events took place across the state that night, including in Pueblo, Durango, Grand Junction and Gunnison.
The goal of the event is “to increase the level of civic dialogue happening around an issue that is really vital to all of our sustainability as a state,” CEO of RMPBS Amanda Mountain said.
Water Week was developed one year ago when RMPBS organized a statewide listening tour aimed at understanding which topics are most important to residents.
“Water repeatedly surfaced as both an historic and contemporary issue, which led us to invest in programming and partnerships to continue these conversations around this critical topic,” Mountain said.
The event was held at Sterling Ranch, a development in northwest Douglas County that has incorporated water management into its master plan.
“Anybody who grew up in Colorado knows the importance of water,” said Harold Smethills, president of the community’s board, during the event. “It’s everything.”
Because Sterling Ranch prioritized water management in creating the community, it now uses less than half the water of any other community in Colorado, Smethills said.
“The water you don’t use is sometimes the most valuable water you have.” he said. “It’s called conservation.”
Conservation of water means planning for existing water sources while water management means planning for the future, said Sterling Ranch spokesperson Paul Sutur.
RMPBS screened a few minutes of the episode, titled “Western Water — and Power,” which is about an hour long. It begins with a history of water in Colorado, beginning in the days of settlement, when disputes began between the Western Slope and the Front Range over water use. The full episode is available at rmpbs.org/coloradoexperience.
“Conservation means you have something you never should have had in the first place,” Smethills said. “Please don’t use it.”
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