Web video series chronicles summer river journey
A new, five-part web-based film series is being released by Glenwood Springs native Zak Podmore and his fellow river researchers about their journey last summer from the headwaters of the Colorado River to Lake Powell.
A trailer is due to be released today promoting the upcoming series, “Powell to Powell: Portraits of the Upper Colorado.”
Starting Feb. 4 and continuing each Monday through March 4, a new 5- to 6-minute episode will be released focusing on different aspects of the river journey and the team’s findings.
Podmore was joined on the journey by fellow Colorado College grads Will Stauffer-Norris, David Spiegel and Carson McMurray.
Starting in June 2012, they set out on a six-and-a-half week river journey from a small, high-altitude lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, called Lake Powell, to the much bigger recreation mecca and water storage facility known as Lake Powell in the Utah desert.
Along the way, they collected water samples and spoke with various river experts and users, including ranchers, recreation groups, conservation organizations and government officials.
The impacts on Colorado’s Western Slope and downstream users from transbasin water diversions to Colorado’s Front Range was a major focus of the research trip.
An estimated 60 percent of the Colorado River’s water is diverted through a complex series of reservoirs and diversion tunnels to meet the water needs of Denver and other Front Range cities.
Following last winter’s extremely low snowpack and a summer-long drought, the impacts of those diversions were evident on the journey, the researchers noted during a July stop in Glenwood Springs.
The group also documented the journey with video, including numerous interviews, which are highlighted in the new web series. It closes with a trip from one end of Lake Powell to the other using a solar-powered raft.
In late 2011 and early 2012, Podmore and Stauffer-Norris also journeyed from the headwaters of the Green River in Wyoming to the Colorado, all the way to the now mostly dried-up delta in Mexico where the river no longer meets the sea.
The research efforts have been part of an ongoing Colorado College State of the Rockies Project study of the Colorado River. More information about their work can be found at http://www.downthecolorado.org.
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The Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge experienced vandalism in the form of significant water damage after a man removed a pipe valve with a fire extinguisher flooding four hallways. The lodge however remains open and operational.