Water, money, and power in Colorado – Water Buffs Podcast ep. 3 – Heather Sackett

Water Desk Director Mitch Tobin talks to Heather Sackett, managing editor at Aspen Journalism, about water issues in Colorado, including several stories that explore the potential transfer of water from rural areas to growing cities.

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We delve into water news with Heather Sackett, managing editor at Aspen Journalism, which is covering a variety of issues in Colorado. Topics include an investigative series that explores how investors are banking on the West’s water scarcity, a proposed new reservoir that would export water from the Western Slope to the Front Range, and whether cloud seeding can actually increase snowfall.

Episode highlights

Heather Sackett, Water Journalist at Aspen JournalismHeather Sackett, Water Journalist at Aspen Journalism
Heather is managing editor at Aspen Journalism and the editor and reporter on its water desk. Heather has worked as a reporter at the The Denver Post and she earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado.
Starts at 0:36
How “Cash Flows” series explored investors banking on western water scarcityHow “Cash Flows” series explored investors banking on western water scarcity


Starts at 1:30
Water seen as commodity and profit source, not just natural resource   (2:08)
Rights sales controversial in Grand Valley communities   (3:11)
“Cash Flows” on Phoenix exurbs seeking water, investors selling floodwater in Nevada   (5:29)
Covering western water issues as a journalist   (7:21)
Making water stories matter to average reader   (8:22)
Historical context important   (8:56)
Blend of science, government, law, environment, agriculture reporting   (9:21)
Water myths?   (10:13)
Talk about story on water transfers to Front Range cities in Colorado?   (13:12)
Water Words: “Transmountain diversion”Water Words: “Transmountain diversion”
Transmountain diversions—sometimes called transbasin diversions— divert water by drawing it from one stream or river into the watershed of another.
Starts at 14:18
How did “demand management” figure in a recent story?   (18:08)
Why do ag communities resist getting paid to not irrigate?   (20:40)
What is “alternate transfer method”?   (22:02)
Does “cloud seeding’ to work promote snowpack?


Starts at 24:09
Covering water during pandemic and protests   (26:36)
Upcoming stories?   (29:11)
Looking at measuring devices requirement a year later   (30:26)
Some ag communities decimated after selling water   (32:01)
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Share your thoughts – and consider joining us

If you’re interested in appearing on the show, please contact Water Desk Director Mitch Tobin at mitchtobin@colorado.edu. If you’d like to share your comments and questions, you can reach us at waterdesk@colorado.edu, or on Twitter and Facebook.

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