Get answers to your questions about water

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Join us Thursday, June 27, for an informative presentation on how water works in Custer County.

For many property owners in the county, a critical question is, “Do I have water?”

If the answer is yes, the next question is, “Will I have water when my neighbor drills their well?”

Unfortunately, getting accurate answers to those questions is difficult due to a lack of up-to-date information about how water works in the Wet Mountain Valley, particularly in the fractured rock areas away from the valley floor. As water use in Custer County increases and the demand for water from other parts of the state grows, answering questions like these becomes more and more important.

A key component of San Isabel Land Protection Trust’s new Sustainable Water Program is finding and sharing the best available science and information with the people who live or own property in the region.

To that end, staff hydrologist Valda Terauds will share what she has learned so far about how water works in Custer County. “Hydrogeology in Custer County – a Tale of Many Aquifers” will be from 6 to 8 p.m. June 27 in the community room at Cliff Lanes, 25 Main St. in Westcliffe.

Terauds’ presentation will look at such questions as:

  • Where does my water come from?
  • How does water move?
  • How is our water used?
  • How much water is available?
  • How reliable is our water supply?
  • What are the threats to our aquifers and wells?
  • How do we sustain our water resources for the long term?

The presentation is part of a series of ongoing community conversations initiated by San Isabel’s Sustainable Water Program. Through the program, San Isabel seeks to strengthen our environment, community and economy; foster regenerative land practices; and focus on the long term.

Terauds has 33 years’ experience in water resources and environmental management in public and private sectors. She has worked on regional water planning, water rights, water contracting, and water and wastewater reuse strategy development. She also has managed hydrographic surveys to establish surface and groundwater rights in over-allocated stream systems and groundwater basins in the Southwest.

For more information, contact Valda Terauds at 719-783-3018.

Photo: Grape Creek marks the boundary between the alluvial aquifer (green area) and the relatively dry fractured rock areas. ©2016 Greg Smith

Janet Smith

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  • “Placing a conservation easement on our family ranch assures us of what WON'T happen to the land and water when we're gone.”

    – Bill Donley, fourth-generation rancher