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Colorado Edition: What Happens When They Leave?

Peter Krocek
Courtesy of the National Park Service
Campers sit on Lone Rock Beach at Lake Powell.

Today on Colorado Edition: we’ll learn about the economic impact that the absence of college students has on a college town. Plus, what the decline of Lake Powell’s water source means for the people who depend on it, and a look at who owns tribal health data.

The Economic Impact Of College Students Going Home

When you live in a college town, it can feel like students are everywhere. In a town like Fort Collins, students make up 16% of the population. And during a normal year, those thousands of students patronize local businesses like supermarkets, restaurants, and of course, liquor stores. 

But this year, due to the pandemic, many college students had to abruptly leave their college towns behind. And for several communities in Northern Colorado, that has translated to less sales tax revenue. 

Pat Ferrier has been reporting on the impact the loss of college shoppers has had on local businesses and sales tax revenues. She is a senior reporter with The Coloradoan and joined us to discuss her reporting.

Dwindling Water Reserves At Lake Powell

This summer marks the 40th anniversary of Lake Powell being filled to capacity for the first time. It’s one of the Colorado River’s biggest reservoirs. But climate scientists studying the river find the lake’s water source is quickly declining. From KUER in St. George, Utah, Lexi Peery reports on what a dwindling river means for Lake Powell and the millions of people who depend on it.

The Debate Over Data Sovereignty

COVID-19 has hit Indigenous communities hard. It’s also bringing up a big question: Who owns health data when it comes to tribes? As KUNC's Rae Ellen Bichell reports, the answer is complicated.

Colorado Weather Report

Even though Tuesday offered a brief reprieve from Colorado’s heat wave, officials remain concerned over the drought conditions most of the state is experiencing.

Russell Danielson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder, warned us that more heat is ahead.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • “Astrisx" by Bodytonic
  • “Heartland Flyer” by The Balloonist

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman (@HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. Managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode. We get production help from Rae Solomon. 

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m., with a rebroadcast of the previous evening's show Tuesday through Friday at 8:30 a.m.

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Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.