Jayla Poppleton

Jayla Poppleton is the Executive Director of Water Education Colorado. Previously, she oversaw print and digital content programming and served 9 years as the editor for Headwaters magazine, Water Education Colorado’s flagship publication. Throughout her career, Jayla has focused on communicating important science and policy issues through a human-interest lens. She has written extensively on all aspects of Colorado water, and it continues to be the subject she is most passionate about. Jayla serves on the Advisory Committees for TAP-IN Colorado, and for the One World One Water Center at Metro State University. Hailing from the outskirts of Chicago, Jayla was drawn to beautiful Colorado, where she earned a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in technical journalism specializing in natural resources management. She fell in love with Colorado’s rivers while guiding commercial rafts down the Cache la Poudre River, and now lives in Denver with her husband and three sons.


Title: Mounting pressures on food producers in a headwaters state – Water issues are fundamentally critical to every aspect of Coloradan lives and livelihoods. Nowhere is that more true than for agricultural water, where 86 percent of the state’s water supplies are used and where pressure grows every day from drought, climate change and competition from growing urban communities. Farmers and ranchers are working proactively and collaboratively with other stakeholders to figure out how to maintain their ability to grow food, while using the resource more efficiently and entering creative arrangements to help preserve streams and share water with metro areas. This work is happening within the context of Colorado’s role as the headwater for four major watersheds that collectively provide water to tens of millions of people in 19 states and Mexico. Everything we do here has an effect downstream and being the “water tower” of the West comes with responsibilities and limitations.