Colorado water

Here’s some noteworthy pieces of local news about the Colorado River and the start of dry-up:

1. The Colorado River District has $125 million (federal funds) to pay ranchers and farmers to dry up land to put as much as 833,000 acre-feet in the Colorado River. 

2. This is a short-term solution, over one to two years, to put some water into Lake Powell and Lake Mead, if downstream California, Arizona and Nevada cut back. 

3. The 2022 snowpack suffered a dry spell in January-February, then snow rapidly melted in early April causing only 60-65% of the snowmelt to reach the river. This could happen again.

I am not a water expert, but it does not take much to see that the West is struggling with who is going to get water, and where it is going to come from. Colorado must meet its obligations to supply water to downstream states and to the Front Range — no matter how much snow we get! 

So, how will Western Slope agriculture look after we deliver more water? This first dry-up is just teaching the Western Slope how to give up more of its water. With a 20-year drought, why did the West continue to use more than the snowpack available to give? Why did all the states not cut back on water use, 10% every year?

What are long term solutions to save the ecosystem? Why were we not financing water efficiency projects, fixing the leaks and forcing better planning? Why were we not collaborating? Why was no one screaming about this? We have not had enough protection for our water resources! 

Now, some good news. In November 2020, Western Colorado voters passed ballot 7A to raise funds for the river. The Colorado River District grants these funds to Western Slope residents’ water projects.

Did downstream states do what Western Slope voters have done? Did the Front Range  do the same? There are already 24 transmountain diversions from the Rockies to the Front Range. The Water Districts’ dry-up plan does not ask for Front Range cutbacks or for solutions to their increasing water demands. The climate is going to dictate some of the answers, but this is only the beginning of dry-up.

Joani Matranga, Carbondale

New high for Colorado

Last year, 2022, resulted in a 17% increase in roadway deaths for our state, the count: 745.

This new high translates to deadly lows for the hundreds whose lives have been impacted. What those who survive live with now: loss of connection, loss of income, loss of stability.

Please, Take A Minute, think about daily driving and how we take to the road. 

If we drive with community, compassion and courtesy at the forefront of our thoughts, imagine what we could create.

Ease off the gas, Slow Down in Town.

Diane Reynolds

Take A Minute/Slow Down in Town

Operation Christmas Child

I am writing to thank Carbondale​​​-area residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Generosity throughout contributed to a successful shoebox gift collection season at drop-off locations for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child. Across the U.S., the project collected over 9.3 million shoebox gifts in 2022. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2022, the ministry is now sending nearly 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children worldwide.

Through shoeboxes — packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items — Carbondale​​-area volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Through the continued generosity of donors since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 209 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories. This year, Samaritan’s Purse delivered its milestone 200 millionth shoebox, which was packed on a country-wide tour and then hand-delivered to a young girl in Ukraine.

Across Colorado​​​, shoebox packers often shop for deals on shoebox items throughout the year, and many serve at a deeper level by becoming a year-round volunteer. Information about ways area participants can get involved year-round can also be found at or by calling 303-745-9179.

Although local drop‑off locations for gifts are closed until Nov. 13–20, 2023, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by conveniently packing a shoebox gift online in just a few simple clicks at

These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

Lizette Miller

Boone, North Carolina

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