The Arkansas River is the economic lifeblood of many Coloradans. As one of the largest river basins in the state, it is quite the “workhorse” as far as rivers and the many competing interests are concerned. Its flows provide water for a broad diversity of agriculture, municipalities, recreationists, wildlife and industry uses. However, decades of utilizing the state’s most important resource have taken a toll on “The Ark”. Changes in water rights, non-point source and point source pollution have had cumulative effects on water quality and further impact the uses of Arkansas River water. Concentrations of selenium and nutrients have become more prevalent and the economic impact from these pollutants may affect producers’ bottom lines.
In 2012 the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission adopted Regulation 85 to address nutrient pollutant levels in rivers and lakes throughout the state, including the Arkansas. Regulation 85 requests implementation of voluntary best management practices to reduce non-point sources of nutrients before 2022 at which point there will be an evaluation of progress made and the potential need to adopt control regulations for agricultural practices. Fortunately, there are Federal and State resources available to assist agricultural producers in meeting water quality goals. Your local NRCS/conservation district office can help guide you with a plan and availability of technical and financial assistance.
This workshop will be held at the Otero Junior College Student Center, La Junta, CO