National #watereducation campaign focuses on individual actions — @AspenJournalism #Water22

state officials on [January 26, 2022] announced a water conservation education campaign that emphasizes the role of individual consumers in their daily household water use.

At the biannual meeting of the Colorado Water Congress, Governor Jared Polis unveiled the Water ’22 Campaign, a year-long statewide initiative that aims to educate Colorado residents about the one of the state’s most important resources. The program encourages conservation in the face of drought fueled by climate change by asking people to pledge to conserve water and protect water quality in their daily lives by participating in 22 small actions.

Polis proclaimed 2022 the “year of water” in Colorado, marking the 100th anniversary of the Colorado River Compact and an upcoming update to the state’s 2015 water plan.

“We have a shared responsibility to steward this incredible natural resource and ensure it is there for our people, our places, our ecosystems, our industries that need it to thrive, because it all starts here in Colorado with us,” did he declare.

Water ’22, which is run by Water Education Colorado, features 22 simple things individuals can do to save 22 gallons of water a day. They include things like turning off the water while you brush your teeth, fixing leaky appliances, watering outdoor lawns and landscaping at dawn or dusk, and using phosphorus-free fertilizers. The initiative is an education and engagement effort and is not designed to result in measurable water savings or water quality improvements.

The campaign focuses on voluntary actions by individual municipal water customers rather than policy changes to conserve water. And although the agricultural industry accounts for 86% of the state’s water use, according to figures provided by Water Education Colorado, Water ’22 does not include ways for agriculture to conserve water. .

“The primary goal of the campaign is to target consumers at the home use level,” said Jayla Poppleton, executive director of Water Education Colorado. “Our message to the Coloradans is that they have a role to play. It’s up to all of us to do our part.”

According to its website, Water Education Colorado is a nonprofit organization charged with ensuring a sustainable water future by educating and engaging citizens around water. It also edits the Fresh Water News website…

Jayla Poppleton, executive director of Water Education Colorado, speaks at the Colorado Water Congress during the announcement of the state’s new Water ’22 campaign. The initiative is focused on individual actions and is not designed to result in measurable water savings. CREDIT: HEATHER SACKETT/ASPEN JOURNALISM

Sponsors and supporters

Water ’22 promotional materials highlight the link between climate change, drought, wildfires and water shortages.

“The Water ’22 campaign was created to educate Coloradans about how the state’s water is one of its most important resources and to encourage conservation and protection to mitigate the impacts of climate change. climate, which has led to persistent drought conditions,” reads a press release.

There is no doubt that climate change is depriving the Colorado River of water and causing shortages.

Brad Udall: Here is the latest version of my 4-panel plot to the year of water (October-September) of 2021 of the Colorado River’s major reservoirs, natural flows, precipitation, and temperature. The data (PRISM) dates back to 1906 (or 1935 for reservoirs). This updates previous work with

Scientists Brad Udall and Jonathan Overpeck showed in a 2017 paper that rising temperatures are responsible for around a third of the decline in flows. Warm temperatures and dry soils have contributed to record spring runoff in recent years and the basin’s two largest reservoirs – Lakes Powell and Lake Mead – are less than a third full, their lowest levels on record. In 2021, federal authorities declared the first-ever shortage in the Lower Basin and began urgently releasing reservoirs in the Upper Basin to support Lake Powell and maintain the ability to generate hydroelectric power…

… Sponsors in attendance who contributed $10,000 to the campaign include Molson Coors Beverage Company and Wana Brands, a Boulder-based cannabis edibles company. It is also funded by $35,000 in state grants from the Colorado Water Conservation Board…

Several important environmental organizations in the water sector also participate in Water ’22. Water for Colorado, which represents a coalition of groups including The Nature Conservancy, Western Resource Advocates, Audubon Rockies and American Rivers, also supports it.

Ayla Besemer, water communications coordinator for Colorado, said things in the Colorado River Basin are dire and it’s important for Coloradans to know where their water comes from and to do whatever they can. they can to conserve on a personal level.

“Between the destructive wildfires, the first-ever declaration of watershed shortages, emergency reservoir releases, and the ongoing mega-drought, the need to support Colorado’s fragile water resources is so urgent it exceeds a specific donor,” she said, referring to Chevron’s funding. “We are confident that this campaign will have a positive effect on water and Coloradans’ understanding of the current situation, contributing to collaborative efforts to address climate change.”

Aspen Journalism covers water and rivers in conjunction with The Aspen Times. This story appeared in the January 28 edition of The Aspen Times and Craig Press, and the January 29 edition of Vail Daily and Sky-Hi News.

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