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Weber appointed to Arkansas Basin Roundtable

Christian Burney
Ag Journal Online
Amber Weber was appointed to the Arkansas Basin Roundtable by Otero County Commissioners to represent the county.

At the Nov. 2 Board of County Commissioners meeting, commissioners decided to appoint Amber Weber to the Arkansas Basin Roundtable at the recommendation of County Administrator Amy White-Tanabe.

The Arkansas Basin Roundtable is a group of representatives and water rights holders from every county within the basin, which spans from Leadville, Colo., to the eastern and southern Colorado borders. The roundtable works to implement parts of the Colorado Water Plan, the Arkansas Basin Implementation Plan, the Statewide Water Supply Initiative and other projects.

"She (Weber) will be providing a monthly email of what happens at the roundtable and any pertinent information that she thinks the commissioners should know about," said White-Tanabe. "As well as a quarterly in-person report, either in your office or here at the public hearing. I think she would be a great addition to the roundtable and really helpful for Otero County. She's proven to be a water expert and knows quite a bit about it and is very active in that area. So I ask for that appointment."

The roundtable regularly meets twice a month.

Commissioner Jim Baldwin said that he has served as the Otero County representative to the roundtable in the past.

"I've learned about water, but it's still somewhat foreign and having someone that lives and breathes water is, I think, going to be of benefit to Otero County, to be there, to know what's going on," said Baldwin. "I think it's a good move."

Weber is no stranger to the Arkansas Basin Roundtable. She has participated on the roundtable in other capacities before. Since 2018, she's served at the roundtable as Public Education, Participation and Outreach Coordinator. She is also on the Basin Implementation Plan Committee, which Weber said facilitates the discussion of how the Arkansas Basin fits into the Colorado Water Plan.

"I facilitated educational opportunities, discussions, curated content, hosted workshops, et cetera, all surrounding one goal — water in the Arkansas Basin," Weber told the La Junta Tribune-Democrat in an email.

As a PEPO Coordinator, Weber has engaged in agricultural, municipal, recreational and environmental sectors of water, she said.

"As I transition into a voting role, I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to represent Otero County and will be able to represent the best interests of the County and the citizens within it," said Weber. "Through this voting seat for Otero County, I will be speaking with the commissioners regularly and ensuring each of them are kept in the loop on all items that come to the roundtable.

Likewise, Weber will communicate Otero County's ideas and concerns to the roundtable.

Weber works as a consultant to Otero County Commissioners in other areas of county interest as well, such as the Ditch and Reservoir Company Alliance, a state-wide organization whose goal is to serve and protect water delivery providers, Weber said; she also serves as the soil health director for the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District "as the district  works to navigate the nexus between water and soil quality."

Tribune-Democrat reporter Christian Burney can be reached by email at cburney@ljtdmail.com. Help support local journalism by subscribing to the La Junta Tribune-Democrat at lajuntatribunedemocrat.com/subscribenow.