Colorado Water Trust honors Lurline Underbrink Curran with 2017 David Getches Flowing Waters Award

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photo by Chris Ainscough
Lurline Underbrink Curran
addresses the audience at the
Colorado Water Trust’s annual
RiverBank on June 13 after
being awarded the David Getches
Flowing Waters Award.

At the Colorado Water Trust’s 9th Annual RiverBank on June 13, 2017, Colorado Water Trust presented the 2017 David Getches Flowing Waters Award to former Grand County manager Lurline Underbrink Curran.

As Grand County’s manager, Curran’s job description ranged widely, from dependency and neglect issues, to roads, bridges, and jails. But she’s best known as a West Slope leader for the protection and enhancement of the Colorado River’s water resources. Through Curran’s leadership efforts, streamflows in Grand County will be supplemented by up to approximately 10,000 acre feet per year of added environmental flows – flows that will be critical to sustaining the fishery habitat in the upper reaches of the Colorado River and its tributaries during some of the most critical times of the year.

Those closest to Curran, including water users on both sides of the negotiation table, will say she changed how water resources on the West Slope are protected. Instead of court battles, Curran got to know her Front Range colleagues and found solutions that exemplify David Getches’ approach to water challenges: a creator of new alternatives to old stalemates and a collaborative reformist.

The David Getches Flowing Waters Award honors individuals or entities that exhibit David Getches’ inspirational, collaborative, and innovative spirit and determination in restoring and protecting health Colorado streamflows. David Getches helped found Colorado Water Trust and served on Colorado Water Trust’s Board of Directors for a decade until his passing in July 2011. His passion for the environment, his creativity, and his quiet, thoughtful approach to complex problems were a strong influence during Colorado Water Trust’s formative years. During his life, David served as Dean of the University of Colorado, School of Law. He had previously served as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and as an advisor to the Interior Secretary during the Clinton Administration. David Getches authored a number of books and publications on western water issues. He graciously gave his limited free time to a number of causes in which he deeply believed, including Colorado Water Trust.

Recent past awardees include Larry Clever of the Ute Water Conservancy District and Cindy Medina of the Alamosa Riverkeeper.

ABOUT COLORADO WATER TRUST: Colorado Water Trust is a private, nonprofit organization that restores flows to Colorado’s rivers in need. Based in Denver but working statewide, Colorado Water Trust pursues its mission through market-based, voluntary projects that put wet water back in Colorado’s rivers and streams.