NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

KUNC's Colorado Edition: The Water Episode

Luke Runyon

In this special episode of Colorado Edition, we're talking about a resource whose availability and scarcity helps define western life: water.

When it comes to champions of water conservation, one humble household staple should receive way more accolades than it actually does. Improvements to toilet technology – yes, that’s a thing – have meant that while the population of the West is booming, water use isn’t. Luke Runyon explains why in his ode to the toilet.

Speaking of a booming population, one way Colorado’s ever-expanding cities secure water rights is through "buy and dry," a tactic where cities buy up water rights from others – often farmers – to support growth. Luke Runyon, Esther Honig and Matt Bloom break down what you need to know about buy and dry.

Buying water rights from Eastern Plains farmers isn’t the only way cities are trying to meet demand of their growing populaces. Some get creative – by purifying sewage into drinking water. But as more cities move in this direction, they’re having to face people being super grossed out by the idea. Rae Ellen Bichell breaks down the science behind the ick factor.

Our intro music is "Remember Me" by Colorado musician Kalatana. Our outro is "Good Grief" by Ryan Little. Other music this week:

  • "Follow The Towers to the Moon" by Forrest Robots
  • "Backed Vibes Clean" by Kevin MacLeod
  • "Flutterbee" by Podington Bear

This episode is hosted and produced by Brian Larson, with additional production by Karlie Huckels, Erin O'Toole and Ashley Jefcoat, who also manages digital.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a weekly look at the top stories from our newsroom. It's available every Friday on our website, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or wherever (RSS) you get your podcasts. You can hear it on the air every Sunday at 9 p.m. on KUNC.