USFWS Mountain-Prairie / Creative Commons

In this episode of Pandora's Box, host Lyn Patrick talks with Dr. Celia Chen, Ecotoxicologist in the Department of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College, about her research on mercury in the environment, how it gets into the fish in our lakes and rivers, and its potential impacts on human health.

  • San Juan County, Utah Commissioner Phil Lyman is declining his County Commissioner of the Year award.
  • The Bureau of Reclamation has released a report indicating that the Gold King Mine wastewater spill was avoidable.

Jessica Petersen / Creative Commons

The Dolores Water Conservancy District manages the water in McPhee Reservoir, which serves the farmers, ranchers, and municipal water systems here in southwest Colorado. KSJD's Tom Yoder talks with Bruce Smart, board president of the Dolores Water Conservancy District about how the DWCD works to balance the water needs of our communities, and why they are asking voters for a mill levy rate fix.

Awilson / Creative Commons

In 1885, the Montezuma Valley Irrigation District completed a tunnel that moved water from the Dolores River to the Montezuma Valley. This trans-basin diversion allowed the town of Cortez and the entire valley to grow and thrive.  But this transfer, and later McPhee dam, changed the Dolores River. A hundred and fifty years later, the community is working to find a balance between keeping the water it has long relied on, and meeting federal requirements for healthy fish and a protected river downstream. Reporter Stephanie Paige Ogburn has more on those efforts.

  • Montezuma County Commission restricts audience comment during meetings to 10-minute public comment period, and decides not to formally support the Dolores Water Conservancy District's ballot measure to fix it's mill levy rate.

  • Study shows that community costs of excessive drinking are especially high in Colorado and New Mexico.
  • Visitors will soon be paying more to camp in Colorado’s State Parks.
  • EPA says water sent to Navajo Nation farmers after Gold King Mine spill met federal and tribal standards for livestock and irrigation.

  • Researchers call for more studies to see how climate change may affect the Colorado River in coming decades.
  • Federal agencies attempt to clear up confusion over which waterways fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.

  • Water attorney urges local residents to be proactive in creating a National Conservation Area on the lower Dolores River.
  • Cortez area weather has been abnormally warm and dry.

  • Colorado Water Conservation Board awards instream flow water right on the Dolores River to benefit native fish.
  • Fish surveys after mine waste spill into the Animas River show good and bad news.
  • Colorado Senator calls for funding for a water treatment plant in the Gold King Mine area.

  • Cortez Re-1 School District needs school board applicants.
  • Documentary film highlights water issues in Colorado.
  • Cucumbers linked to salmonella outbreak in the Southwest states.