Free Online Course Offers in Depth Look at Water in the West

Water-MOOC-video

Why is water at the heart of so much conflict in the American West? How have major cities and extensive agricultural systems been able to thrive despite most of the region being either a desert or semi-desert environment? How will a warming climate affect the availability and use of water in a region populated by tens of millions of people? Join “Water in the Western United States,” a free, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) featuring leading University of Colorado Boulder scientists who will provide an overview of the science behind water and climate. In addition, they will discuss the … [Read more...]

New report charts Colorado’s climate change
 vulnerabilities

Fire Drop

Sea-level rise may not be eating away at Colorado’s borders, but climate change exposes other critical vulnerabilities in the state, according to a new report. Rising temperatures likely will take a toll on cattle and crops, for example, and could more often leave junior water rights holders with little water and few options. The new report, “The Colorado Climate Change Vulnerability Study,” was commissioned by the Colorado Energy Office in accordance with the Colorado Legislature’s House Bill 13-1293, according to a CU-Boulder news release. It’s a sector-by-sector analysis of the … [Read more...]

Register for the Climate and Colorado’s Water Future Workshop, Tour the National Ice Core Laboratory

climate-tour-2014

Learn about how climate data is extracted from the polar regions and how climate impacts water resources and the environment. Join the Colorado Foundation for Water Education on Friday, March 13 for the annual Climate and Colorado's Water Future workshop, including a tour of the National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver. Learn about how researchers use ice cores to understand the composition and temperature of Earth's atmosphere; explore drought, climate change, the water cycle and ecosystem; and come away with new tools to better teach and communicate about climate. Teachers can earn … [Read more...]

White House highlights CU-Boulder webinar-turned-MOOC in national climate literacy program

The White House

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy recently featured the University of Colorado Boulder’s new massive open online course (MOOC) about water resources as part of its newly launched Climate Education and Literacy Initiative. The initiative is part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to “lift America’s game in climate education, literacy, and training” according to the White House. The MOOC, “Water in the Western United States,” begins April 2015. The free four-week course will discuss the importance of water to society and the changing physical, … [Read more...]

“Hot Spot” Near Four Corners Produces Largest Methane Concentration in the U.S.

US maps showing methane hot spot.

Scientists at NASA and the University of Michigan have published a new study showing that an area at the intersection of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada is a "hot spot" for methane emissions. In each of the seven years studied from 2003 to 2009, the area released about 0.59 million metric tons of methane into the atmosphere. This is almost 3.5 times the estimate for the same area in the European Union's widely used Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research. The gas measured in the study comes from leaks in processing equipment, and is not attributed to fracking, … [Read more...]

New report highlights how climate change may affect water in Colorado

Report: Climate Change in Colorado

As Colorado’s climate continues to warm, those who manage or use water in the state will likely face significant changes in water supply and demand, according to a new report on state climate change released today by the Western Water Assessment and the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Rising temperatures will tend to reduce the amount of water in many of Colorado’s streams and rivers, melt mountain snowpack earlier in the spring, and increase the water needed by thirsty crops and cities, according to the new report, “Climate Change in Colorado: A Synthesis to Support Water Resources … [Read more...]

Energy and water professionals: CU-Boulder offers expanded degree options

CU_Boulder graduation

This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared on Colorado.edu. A new educational partnership at the University of Colorado Boulder will provide expanded degree options for working professionals interested in specialized graduate education focused on energy and water. Beginning this fall, qualified students can earn both a Master of Engineering (ME) degree and a Professional Certificate in Renewable and Sustainable Energy or a Professional Certificate in Water Engineering and Management. The degree and certificates can be earned either via distance education or in campus … [Read more...]

CU-Boulder teams up with Mesa County to make snow-depth data free to water managers, farmers, public

Mesa County GPS Network

New from Colorado.edu: A University of Colorado Boulder professor who developed a clever method to measure snow depth using GPS signals is collaborating with Western Slope officials to make the data freely available to a variety of users on a daily basis. CU-Boulder aerospace engineering sciences Professor Kristine Larson and her colleagues discovered in 2009 that GPS signals that bounce off Earth’s surface before hitting the receivers, once considered bothersome “noise,” could be used to measure snow depth, soil moisture and even vegetation moisture. Larson also is a pioneer in the … [Read more...]

4 Questions for Professor Mark Williams and the new guide for well owners who live in areas of oil and gas development

Dr. Mark Williams, CU-Boulder

Professor Mark Williams is the co-founder of the Colorado Water and Energy Research Center (CWERC) and co-author of the new Monitoring Water Quality In Areas of Oil and Natural Gas Development: A Guide for Water Well Users. The guide is the first of its kind and includes detailed instructions for well owners to collect water samples and to establish a reliable baseline of their water quality and quantity. We caught up with Dr. Williams to learn more about his work and why this guide is important. How did you get involved in the work that you do, in other words, what drew you into this … [Read more...]

New Guide From CU-Boulder Helps Water Well Users Test Water Quality

testing well water

CU-Boulder’s Colorado Water and Energy Research Center (CWERC) has released a new tool for well water usesrs to test their water quality. "Monitoring Water Quality in Areas of Oil and Natural Gas Development: A Guide for Water Well Users" is a free tool and is available to download or request a print copy. The guide includes a well sampling worksheet, a list of resources, information on free baseline testing, and instructions on finding a testing laboratory. It also includes lists of the analytes. (An analyte is a substance or an aspect of water quality that is the subject of analysis.) … [Read more...]