The Challenge of making this online database user-friendly is the biggest challenge of all considering the mass amount of information that the database contains. Our first move in designing a system that is easier to navigate was to establish five major categories. These are UGRWCD Organizational Documents, Water Projects, Legislation, Other Conservancy Districts, and Research & Development. I feel that it would benefit all to have a few post explaining these categories and the types of documents that could be found in each category. After dealing with all these documents in many forms myself, I can now find it to be the easiest to navigate them on our website. That being said it is important to get a first hand explanation from someone who designed the system to give the user a place to start (believe me you can get lost quick).
To start, I would like to summarize the Research & Development category. This category contains all the documents that pertain to scientific studies/findings and non-water project information, such as climate change or soil conditions. Speaking from a students perspective this category would be the most helpful in finding new information about things that are already known are present in the Gunnison Valley. For instance I am sure that everyone is familiar with the presence of a cloud seeding project in the Valley, but how would one go about finding detailed information on the subject. The cloud seeding folder on the Research & Development page provides everything from infrastructure design, to emails discussing specific cloud seeding events. Some of which many people could have been present for and didn't even know it. The last important point to make about this category is that it includes a lot of information not specific to Colorado. A lot of the studies and experiments that are available on this page took place in the Colorado River Basin Region, which includes almost the entire Western United States. This means that this category also provides interesting information on how other states use/abuse their delegated water. One state that has always seemed to slip through the cracks as far as water planning goes is Wyoming. It was interesting to me to read through the Wyoming Water Planning file, which provided a lot of good information on the small water commissions they have. This is quite the change from our state, where water conservancy districts are as rampant as Starbucks....
Here is the Link to the Research and Development page. Check it out if you have time and as always please give me feedback on anything you would like.