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The Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District will host a special screening of “The Arkansas River: From Leadville to Lamar” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at the SteamPlant Event Center, 220 W. Sackett Ave., Salida. Admission is free and open to the public.

The Arkansas River is one of the hardest working rivers in the lower 48 states. With its origin in the Colorado snowmelt on the eastern side of the continental divide near Leadville, the river drops nearly 10,000 feet, coursing over 300 miles. A diverse range of water users depend on the Arkansas, including municipalities, agriculture, the environment and recreational users. The river collects water from its 28,000-square-mile basin, the largest river basin in Colorado.

This hour-long documentary film, directed and produced by Colorado State University – Pueblo professor Samuel Ebersole in partnership with the Arkansas River Basin Roundtable, follows the Arkansas River starting at its headwaters near Leadville to the eastern plains near the Kansas border. With the population of Colorado expected to double by 2050, future growth and economic development hinges on a dependable water supply. The film highlights the importance of the Arkansas River as a critical resource.

Following the film, there will be a panel discussion and an opportunity for questions and answers with Terry Scanga, general manager of the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District; Greg Felt, Chaffee County commissioner and conservancy district board member; Brian Sutton, District 11 water commissioner; Bob Hamel, executive director of the Arkansas River Outfitters Association; and Chelsey Nutter, conservancy district projects manager, who will also moderate.

To view the movie trailer visit

The Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District was founded in 1979 by a group of visionary water users, irrigators and leaders for the purpose of protecting and securing water in the Upper Arkansas Valley. Their service area covers over 3,000 square miles and includes Chaffee, Custer and Fremont counties and a small portion of Saguache and El Paso counties. For more information, visit