Coyote Gulch


Subscribe to "Coyote Gulch" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

e-mail John: Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.



  Wednesday, May 30, 2007

McPhee reservoir update
A picture named mcpheedam.jpg

From email from the Bureau of Reclamation (Vern Harrell):

McPhee Reservoir is full and we are seeing inflow exceeding reservoir demand of about 600 CFS at this time. We anticipate inflow to continue at about 1100 CFS the next few days and user demand is expected to decrease over the next week. We will begin increasing downstream releases tonight or in the morning. We will attempt to have 800 CFS flowing at Bradfield Bridge around 8:00 am May 31. After May 31 expect flows to range from 300 to 800 CFS the next couple of days. This forecast could change if reservoir demand increases or inflow decreases. Please consider the variability of the forecasted flows before attempting a multi-day river trip.

"colorado water"
7:05:03 PM     

Super-Duper Tuesday

Yahoo! News: "Georgia and Alaska joined the growing list of states pushing up their presidential primary voting to Feb. 5, a date clearly shaping up as a national primary day for Republicans and Democrats."

Thanks to the Daily Kos for the link.

"2008 pres"
6:45:43 PM     

Good public support for wilderness in Colorado

Colorado Confidential: "According to a poll released today by a coalition of Colorado conservation groups, there is strong and broad support for protecting additional public lands as wilderness. Dean of the Colorado Congressional delegation, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) joined representatives of The Wilderness Society, Colorado Environmental Coalition, and the Wilderness Workshop, in trumpeting the results as evidence that Coloradans support expanded protections for wild areas."

"colorado water"
6:29:32 PM     

? for President?

Captain's Quarters gushes a bit after getting an exclusive interview. They write, "Romney gave an impressive performance as a man with a solid grasp on policy -- and of someone completely confident in his ability to master it."

Oliver Willis: "Barack Obama is, frankly, not thinking big enough about a lot of issues. Health care is just the latest. The next Democratic president will have a Democratic House and Senate and the chance to not only undo the most recent disastrous conservative government, but an unprecedented opportunity to move the ball down the field. It's honestly not the time for small ideas and small steps."

"2008 pres"
6:24:03 PM     

Fred Thompson for President?

Say hello to Draft Fred Thompson. The former U.S. Senator is in the news today after announcing an exploratory committee for 2008.

Talking Points Memo: "Fred Thompson confirms it: He's planning to run for President."

"2008 pres"
6:21:26 PM     


Robert Oppenheimer (via The New York Review of Books): "Late in his life, in connection with his despair over weapons and wars, Einstein said that if he had to live it over again he would be a plumber." Water career.

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for the link.

6:05:29 PM     

Marijuana possesion Denver's lowest law enforcement priority?

Denver Politics: "Citizens for a Safer Denver is holding a press conference later this week to kick off a new petition drive. The proposed initiative would make adult marijuana possession Denver's lowest law enforcement priority."

"denver n2007"
6:01:35 PM     

Glade Reservoir?
A picture named poudrereservoirexpansion.jpg

Here's a look at the issues around the proposed Glade Reservoir from the Fort Collins Weekly. From the article:

Last Tuesday, the City Council took up the issue of water. No, it wasn't the expansion of the Halligan Reservoir. Rather, council discussed the proposed Glade Reservoir, part of the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. Now, first and foremost, the Glade Reservoir project doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of Fort Collins. Council will get an opportunity to offer input, but they won't vote on the project. However, Glade will affect the flow of the Poudre River through Fort Collins, so the City Council is right to discuss this issue. With the expansion of Halligan on the horizon, it was instructive to hear some of the arguments that are being made by groups such as the Save the Poudre Coalition and some of the strident anti-storage voices on council.

The Glade Reservoir would be an off-stream reservoir, northwest of Fort Collins along Highway 287. Slightly larger than Horsetooth Reservoir, it would serve many of the cities and towns of Northern Colorado. Later this summer, the Army Corps of Engineers will be releasing their environmental impact statement (EIS) on Glade, addressing many of the concerns regarding the flow of the Poudre through Fort Collins. Nicole Seltzer of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District gave a preview of the report's findings. According to Seltzer, while Glade Reservoir would divert some water from the Poudre, that diversion would happen during the peak flow months, primarily between April and July, with the majority in May and June. She gave an example using the current flow of 1,500 cubic feet per second, noting that a fully functional Glade Reservoir would only divert 100 cfs from the Poudre through town. Even more importantly, Seltzer noted that the flow of the Poudre is monitored closely at three different points. It is stipulated in the water rights that diversion can not happen when the flow rates of the river fall below a certain level.

Most telling, however, were the tactics of Gary Wockner of the Save the Poudre Coalition. Wockner set up his testimony by asking: "What happens when you take half of the water out of the river?" Who said anything about taking half the water out of the river? The Glade project would only divert water during peak flow, and even then it wouldn't be taking anywhere near "half of the water." In the late May example cited by Seltzer above -- as we approach the peak flow of June -- the reservoir would divert just 7 percent. That's a far cry from "half," and it doesn't take into account the flow safeguards, mitigation or the fact that diversion will not happen year-round. The Save the Poudre Coalition is attempting to use the scare tactics of a dried-up river and a crippled ecosystem. According to the Conservancy District, the Army Corps of Engineers, and such study partners as the Division of Wildlife and the Environmental Protection Agency, that's simply not the case. The first recommendation of the Save the Poudre Coalition is for the city to collect data on the effect Glade will have on the Poudre, our economy and our community. The City Manager and the council rightfully agreed to do just that. Let's just hope that the Save the Poudre Coalition listens to their findings. It sure doesn't seem that they're willing to listen to the Army Corps of Engineers, the Division of Wildlife or the Environmental Protection Agency.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
6:15:42 AM     

Southern Delivery System
A picture named southerndeliverysystem.jpg

Colorado Springs Utilities is looking to hire consulting to acquire the land they need in order to build the Southern Delivery System, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. From the article:

Four companies submitted proposals last week outlining why they should be chosen to appraise 300 to 400 properties for the Southern Delivery System. The project, which would cross land owned by 40 to 50 landowners, includes a 43-mile, 66-inch diameter raw water pipeline from Pueblo Reservoir to northeast Colorado Springs, a water treatment plant and two reservoirs. The decision to hire a consultant comes after utilities officials were criticized last year for paying 14 landowners $6.4 million for 400 acres -- part of the 1,874 acres needed for Jimmy Camp Creek Reservoir. Utilities paid more than appraised value as well as "relocation costs" up to $340,000 to homeowners who have been allowed to remain and pay $300 a month rent indefinitely. The highly irregular deals prompted an audit that resulted in an overhaul of the city's Real Estate Services Office. But the city utility won't rely on that office to handle the pipeline project acquisitions...

The project's first phase, which includes the pipeline, three pump stations, a 50 million gallon-per-day water treatment plant and treated-water pipelines, will cost $592 million in 2006 construction dollars, utilities' Web site states. The second phase -- two storage reservoirs and treatment plant expansions -- will cost an estimated $440 million. Bid documents state the city is ready to go to court, if needed, to get the land. In a briefing with potential bidders, one asked, "As a last resort, is Colorado Springs Utilities willing to seek condemnation action against any landowner if acquisition negotiations fail?" The city's response: "Yes." Condemnation is the taking of private property for a public purpose. Governments prefer to negotiate, even paying higher-than-appraised prices, as utilities did with the Jimmy Camp property. Bid documents also say utilities will hire another firm to review appraisals conducted by the consultant and will limit lease-back arrangements with sellers to a year or less, depending on the construction schedule. Land acquisition likely will start in July and take three years, beginning with the project's north section. The city plans to award the contract June 21, according to bid documents. The project is under analysis by the Bureau of Reclamation, which is to issue a decision in late 2008.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

"colorado water"
6:03:58 AM     

Colorado Water Workshop
A picture named coriverwatershed.jpg

Here's a short article about last week's Colorado Water Workship up in Gunnison from the Denver Post. They write:

Drought, global warming and a dwindling supply of water in the Colorado River just may bring together sparring users of the river, according to officials from states across the West. The Colorado River - which provides water to more than 30 million people in seven states and Mexico - has had below- normal runoff for five consecutive years. Climate models say the water supply will continue to diminish as the region heats up...

Temperatures are expected to continue to rise, he said. "All of the studies point in one direction - that's drier," Kuhn said. "It doesn't matter if you believe in Al Gore or Rush Limbaugh, what you ought to be concerned about is, what should we be doing to avoid unacceptable outcomes?" Dave Wegner, a former Bureau of Reclamation scientist from Durango, said models show a much drier Southwest and a 10 percent to 30 percent decrease in runoff into the Colorado River by 2030.

While scientists predict a drier world, population analysts see a more crowded Southwest. Between 1990 and 2000, Arizona grew 40 percent, to more than 5.1 million people, and is expected to reach 10.7 million by 2030, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Colorado grew about 30 percent between 1990 to 2000, to about 4.3 million people, and is expected to add another 1.5 million people by 2030. The drought has brought together the seven states that use the river for what Kuhn called "one of the most significant events in the past 30 to 40 years of river operations." A deal was struck to provide relief during drought - alleviating fears of a compact call that could shut off water in Colorado as well as in the other upper basin states of New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
5:53:46 AM     

Water and power subcommittee of the [U.S.] House Natural Resources Committee meeting in Pueblo
A picture named fryingpanarkansasproject.jpg

The Pueblo Chieftain is running an article about Friday's water and power subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee hearing at 9 a.m. at the Pueblo Community College Ballroom. From the article:

[U.S. Congressman John Salazar] has had concerns about proposed changes to the Fry-Ark Project, specifically the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District's Preferred Storage Options Plan, since taking office in 2005. His Fryingpan-Arkansas legislation would authorize a $10 million state study of the impacts of Arkansas basin water transfers, as well as a $4 million feasibility study that would include looking at enlargement of Lake Pueblo. Lamborn is sponsoring a different version of the bill, similar to former Rep. Joel Hefley's failed version of a PSOP bill in 2004. It would authorize the $4 million study along the lines of PSOP. Southeastern's PSOP committee will discuss Lamborn's bill at a meeting Thursday. A fundamental difference in the two bills is the authority of the Bureau of Reclamation to enter contracts with out-of-basin entities like Aurora. Salazar's bill specifically prohibits such contracts, while Lamborn's specifically allows them.

The bureau's comment period on a 40-year storage and exchange contract with Aurora ends Monday. Friday's hearing is not designed for comment on specific projects, but to assess how it has performed since being signed into law by President Kennedy in Pueblo in 1962...

Scheduled to testify at Friday's hearing are: Bill Long, president, Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District; Mike Ryan, Great Plains regional director for the Bureau of Reclamation; Harris Sherman, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources; Lionel Rivera, mayor of Colorado Springs; Terry Scanga, general manager, Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District; Bill Thiebaut, Pueblo district attorney; Jay Winner, general manager, Lower Arkansas Water Conservancy District; Sandy White, La Veta water lawyer; Ed Tauer, mayor of Aurora; Drew Peternell, Boulder, director of the Colorado Trout Unlimited Colorado Water Project; Chris Treese, external affairs manager of the Colorado River Conservation District; Wally Stealey, rancher and former president, Southeastern district.

"colorado water"
5:43:47 AM     

A picture named usdroughtmonitor052207.jpg

Pacified, over at, writes:

The South Platte Watershed is currently at 229% of its average snow pack. Month-to-Date precipitation levels are just about at normal, without counting the rain we got today. Last month's rain was pretty much above average across the board. Current reservoir storage is also above last year, above normal, and in some cases, even above 100%. All this info can be found at the Denver Water website.

I imagine all you party poopers are going to tell me how it's dry on the Western Slope.

Nope. We're going to tell you that only the very western part of Colorado is abnormally dry or in stage 1 drought. We think everyone is comfortable saying that 2007 is not a drought year along the Front Range and over most of the state.

"colorado water"
5:33:34 AM     

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2009 John Orr.
Last update: 3/14/09; 9:17:00 PM.

May 2007
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Apr   Jun


e-mail John: Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.