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In Northwest Colorado, a surprisingly diverse group of water users comes together every other month for a marathon meeting to discuss the future of water in their basins. These people are working to manage our water. They are your water table. The group, one of nine river-basin roundtables across Colorado, has the mission to develop "locally-driven collaborative solutions to water supply challenges." It is the inspiration for a new series of short educational videos called Your Water Table.
"Water is essential to life," said Kelly Romero-Heaney. She is a representative on her regional roundtable and serves as the chair of its Public Education, Participation, and Engagement committee. She said: "How we share this increasingly scarce resource will determine the future of our livelihoods in the Yampa, White, and Green River Basins."
The series, produced by a local film collective with funding from the Yampa White Green Basin Roundtable and American Rivers, undertook an ambitious goal. "Capturing some of the essence of water policy in less than four minutes per episode— we knew this was quite a challenge," said series director Greg I. Hamilton. Topics range from river recreation and endangered fish to drinking water, hydroelectric dams, and crop irrigation. "These are complex water issues, and we wanted to make them accessible to anyone," added Hamilton.
Your Water Table finds accessibility through its characters: From engineers and hydrologists to ranchers and recreationalists, they are all experts. They are also family members, neighbors, and local citizens; the series seeks to get acquainted with its characters on this human level as well as accessing their specific areas of expertise. "Good water policy requires diverse and inclusive participation," said Romero-Heaney. "We hope these videos spur more of it."
The series premieres Monday, March 22— World Water Day. All six episodes along with discussion guides are available free at YourWaterTable.org. The 21-minute documentary will have its broadcast premiere on Monday, 3/22/21 at 5:00pm (Mountain) free on MTN-TV: 1.7 million homes in the Denver area can find it in high definition on antenna channel 28.1, or statewide on the free Roku app. The series is also available free on Amazon FireTV.
As fourth-generation rancher Mike Camblin says in the episode on agriculture: "Water’s going to be more and more precious as the years go by. So let’s manage it so everybody can have a little piece of it."