Community Agriculture Alliance: What is the State of the Yampa River?

Michele Meyer
Community Agriculture Alliance
Bill Hibbard tries his luck fishing along the snowy banks of the Yampa River in downtown Steamboat Springs on Jan. 25. For anyone interested in learning more about the river, the Colorado River District will present two State of the Yampa River events in partnership with the Community Agriculture Alliance and the Yampa White Green Basin Roundtable.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

It’s easy to take our water supply for granted. Most of us turn on the kitchen facet without thinking about it.

While there is still snow on the ground, and recent storms have added to the snowpack, the ongoing drought fades into the background of our busy lives. But water is critical to life in the Yampa Valley, and we all need to be aware of local impacts.

Understanding how the water cycle works and where our water supply comes from is important for everyone.

The Colorado River District, in partnership with the Community Agriculture Alliance and the Yampa White Green Basin Roundtable, is proud to present two State of the Yampa River events.

State of the River events are also hosted statewide each year as an opportunity for constituents (you) to learn more about West Slope water and the outlook for our rivers.

The Colorado River District works with local partners to bring these events to each river basin across our 15 counties. Each program features experts presenting on current hydrology, how much water we can expect to see in local rivers, ditches and reservoirs, and up-to-date information about regional, statewide and local water issues impacting the community.

The Yampa White Green Basin Roundtable (YWG BRT) is one of nine grassroots water policy roundtables throughout Colorado, working to develop locally driven collaborative solutions to water supply challenges.

The YWG BRT represents all water users: agriculture, municipal and industrial, environmental, and recreational. Community Agriculture Alliance (CAA) is a local nonprofit organization that works to promote and support local agriculture. CAA provides leadership and advocacy for local ag and water related issues.

This year, in conjunction with our local Ag Appreciation Week, there are two events:

• Wednesday, March 23, at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion in Craig and on Thursday, March 24, at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Both events include a free dinner with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and the program starting at 6 p.m. Please be sure to register online with the Colorado River District at

In Steamboat the Routt County Cattlewomen will be providing a local beef dinner to highlight the critical importance of water for local ranchers.

Presentations and discussions will cover the hydrology and water supply forecasts for the Yampa White Green River basins, local water management strategies, Big River issues and reservoir operations affecting your community, and opportunities for funding local, multi-benefit and multi-use projects.

You’ll also have opportunities to connect with the Colorado River District, Friends of the Yampa, The Yampa River Fund, Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District, Community Ag Alliance and other local organizations that will be hosting informational tables. They are available to answer questions and discuss local concerns.

We all have a vested interest in water, so whether you’re an irrigator, angler, boater, skier, water or energy provider, be sure to join one of the local State of the River events to learn more. The event is free, open to the public — space is limited, please RSVP.

Michele Meyer is the executive director of the Community Agriculture Alliance.

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