0902CDAlowersouthplattwater.cfm Second Lower South Platte Watershed meeting set for Sept. 16
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Second Lower South Platte Watershed meeting set for Sept. 16


A second meeting has been scheduled giving residents the opportunity to be involved in making decisions about water quality issues in the Lower South Platte River watershed. The meeting is open to the public and is scheduled for Sept. 16, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Gary DeSoto Community Center, 1120 Pawnee Avenue, Sterling, Colo.

Landowners, agencies, organizations, businesses and residents are invited to discuss water quality concerns and priorities for managing natural and agricultural resources in the Lower South Platte basin. State Representative Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling has been invited to speak on the importance of water quality to the economic viability of the entire watershed. Dick Parchini, Watershed Program Manager, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Water Quality Control Division and Cindy Lair, Colorado State Conservation Board Program Manager, will also be in attendance.

"This is the second of several public input meetings to be held in different locations in the Lower South Platte Watershed over the next four months as we work to develop and write the Lower South Platte Watershed Plan," stated Mark Cronquist, Conservation Specialist with the Colorado State Conservation Board and the Colorado Department of Agriculture. "During the first input meeting at Ft. Morgan in July, a variety of water concerns were brought up by the participants. A sample of these concerns include high nitrate levels, salinity problems, and the possibility of surface water transfers to surface basins adversely affecting high quality ground water sources. Ultimately, the plan will be used to protect and improve water quality despite increased demands for water throughout the area."

The watershed planning project, funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Water Quality Control Division, through the Colorado Nonpoint Source Program, will encompass an estimated 3.45 million acres from the Greeley north and east to the Colorado-Nebraska state line and all or portions of nine smaller tributary watersheds within the planning area. Additional information can be viewed at the project's website, sponsored by West Greeley Conservation District, at www.lspwp.com.

The goal of this planning process, scheduled for completion in November 2010 with the publication of the Lower South Platte Watershed Plan, is to empower a group of landowners, managers, conservation professionals and residents to implement and oversee the plan in their watershed and review the plan on a regular basis to determine if changes are needed to keep the plan functional.

"The plan will assemble currently available data and resources to better understand the overall water quality flowing through this watershed. The plan that is developed will be a dynamic tool for those living in the basin to use in addressing current and future water quality issues," Cronquist said.

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