Coyote Gulch


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  Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Latrines over toilets in some instances?
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Science Blog: "While Americans may consider flush-and-forget-it indoor plumbing to be the pinnacle of sanitary science, the lowly latrine could be a far better solution for many parts of the developing world, say researchers at Michigan Technological University. Associate Professor David Watkins, Professor James Mihelcic and PhD student Lauren Fry of the University's Sustainable Futures Institute analyzed worldwide barriers to sanitation. Diseases such as dysentery attack millions of people every year, often fatally, largely as a result of poor sanitation. In particular, the rese archers found that a scarcity of clean drinking water is not as big an issue as one might expect. In fact, installing water-guzzling appliances such as toilets can actually promote unsanitary conditions when the effluent is discharged untreated into once-clean rivers and streams. A properly built latrine, on the other hand, keeps sewage safely separate from drinking water."

"colorado water"
6:57:21 PM     

Green Mountain releases
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From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb): "Yesterday, in four separate intervals, we reduced the amount of water being released from Green Mountain Dam to the Lower Blue. As of yesterday evening, the Lower Blue should be running around 350 cfs. The reason for the change is largely related to the weather. We had been anticipating the runoff would come in late May and peak in early June. Hot-then-cooler temperatures have changed that. We have gone ahead and responded to dropping inflows by decreasing our releases. More water will start filling in the reservoir behind the dam, as a result."

"colorado water"
6:56:34 PM     

New treatment for diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic strains of bacteria?
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Most of the deaths that occur from drinking polluted water result from the complications of severe diarrhea. Here's an article about a promising new treatment, from Science Blog. They write:

In a development that may lessen the epidemic of diarrhea-related deaths among children in developing countries, scientists in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D., at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have discovered a novel compound that might lead to an inexpensive, easy-to-take treatment. The results of pre-clinical tests appear in the June 16 online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The compound - a pyridopyrimidine derivative - targets acute secretory diarrhea caused by E. coli and other enterotoxigenic strains of bacteria, which produce toxins that stimulate the linings of the intestines, causing them to secrete excessive fluid, thereby producing diarrhea. Diarrhea kills an estimated 1.6 to 2.5 million children every year, according to researchers quoted in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. Enterotoxigenic strains of bacteria may account for a significant amount of these deaths, according to an article in Clinical Microbiology Reviews. Enterotoxigenic E. coli or ETEC is a leading cause of bacterial diarrhea.

During pre-clinical tests, the compound was associated with a significant reduction in intestinal fluid secretion in an animal model of bacterial diarrhea. It was also linked to reduced fluid build up during laboratory tests on human colon cells. It caused significant decrease in fluid secretion without apparent toxicity. This unique approach to the treatment of enterotoxigenic diarrhea works by interrupting the diarrhea-causing chain of events that occur when bacterial toxins enter the intestinal tract. The compound slows the transmission of information in the epithelial cells lining the intestines. Consequently, the molecular mediators regulating the secretion of salt and fluid in the gut do not get fully activated. ETEC comes from feces-contaminated food or water and also causes travelers' diarrhea. "This newly discovered compound decreases the formation of ever-present cellular messenger molecules, cyclic guanosine monophosphate and cyclic adenosine monophosphate, caused by various bacterial toxins and might prevent or attenuate the intestinal fluid secretion, diarrhea and dehydration," said Murad, the senior author. "While this research looks extremely promising as a preventive or therapeutic intervention in Third World diarrheal disease and travelers' diarrhea, much work remains to be done to move into clinical trials and eventual therapeutic approval."

"colorado water"
6:56:00 PM     

H.R. 110-5511, Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel Remediation Act of 2008
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From email from Mike Hickman (Lake County Commissioner): "Tomorrow starting at 12:30 Eastern our hr 5511 will be voted on in the full house in Washington. You can listen at"

Readers may remember that Reclamation opposes this legislation. It's the bill to assign responsibility for draining the Leadville Mine Pool to Reclamation. It will also authorize the funding.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

"colorado water"
11:30:21 AM     

Southern Delivery System: Pueblo County blasts SDEIS
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Pueblo County maintains that Reclamation's EIS for Colorado Springs' proposed Southern Delivery System ignored important facts, according to The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The Bureau of Reclamation omitted certain information or looked at statistics in only the most favorable light, Pueblo County says in comments on the draft environmental impact statement for Southern Delivery System. In 19 pages of comments, covering 13 major areas of objection, the county's land-use attorney, Ray Petros, details how the impacts of the proposed water delivery pipeline on downstream communities were inadequately considered in the bureau's draft EIS, which he called "misleading." "The Southern Delivery System would be a transformational activity within Pueblo County and the Arkansas Valley," Petros said in the letter. "Pueblo County government wishes to ensure that the costs of SDS are born by SDS participants and not imposed unfairly and involuntarily upon Pueblo County residents and its governmental entities."

The county also wants to make sure the environment is protected and has been told by Colorado Springs officials that the EIS will play a big part in the county's upcoming review process, if the pipeline comes through the county. The county also says flood control was overlooked in the draft EIS, and river flows were improperly evaluated. Colorado Springs, Fountain and Security are proposing a 66-inch-wide, 43-mile-long pipeline north from Pueblo Dam to serve their water supply needs through 2046. Pueblo West would tap into the pipeline, if it comes from Pueblo Dam, to increase capacity in its water system. SDS does not involve any new water rights, but would require contracts with the bureau and permits from other agencies...

The bureau failed to address changes to the historical conditions on rivers and reservoirs, the county states. Several examples of selective interpretation of data are given, including citations from the bureau's environmental assessment of a 40-year storage and exchange contract with Aurora which differ from the SDS report. Cumulative impacts are not considered. The county says there is no baseline of historic data in the report, and numbers that understate the impacts of SDS on the environment are used. As a result, flows at Wellsville could be 7 percent less; 27 percent lower through Pueblo. Storage in Lake Pueblo could be 22 percent lower. Flows in Fountain Creek are underestimated by 17 percent, using data ignored by the bureau. Additionally, the draft EIS uses annual averages for comparison, rather than looking at dry and wet years, does not look at benefits or impacts of the Pueblo flow management program and fails to look at impacts on the Upper Arkansas River voluntary flow management program. The bureau chose the proposed action as its preferred alternative without identifying the underlying reports which led it to conclude lower cost estimates and energy savings would result from the alternative, the county said...

The county asked the bureau to better refine an intake downstream of the Fountain Creek confluence. The county said information in the draft EIS appears to indicate it would offer several advantages, including a higher firm yield of water at a lower unit cost, increased flow through Pueblo, lower residence times in Lake Pueblo (a factor in improving the lake's water quality), preservation of outlet capacity at the joint use manifold and proper mitigation on Fountain Creek. The draft EIS omitted study of the feasibility of multipurpose flood control projects on Fountain Creek, a study of a reuse alternative and study of erosion and sedimentation impacts on Fountain Creek, the county said.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
7:05:11 AM     

Energy policy: Oil Shale
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From The Salt Lake Tribune: "The development of oil shale deposits in eastern Utah, Wyoming and Colorado would be an expensive undertaking, risky for the environment, and a drain on dwindling water resources, with no quick return in additional oil supplies to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. Better short- and long-term answers are cutting consumption and developing biofuels and other renewable energy sources that do less damage to the environment. Rep. Chris Cannon's claim that oil shale is the answer to higher gasoline prices is nothing more than political grandstanding, [ed. Emphasis ours] designed to use the fears of Utahns to his advantage just two weeks before the Republican primary."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"2008 pres"
6:52:46 AM     

Lower Blue River public forum Thursday
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From The Summit Daily News: "The Blue River Watershed Group and Friends of the Lower Blue River are teaming up to provide a public forum on Thursday on water use and development in the Lower Blue. Topics will include possible projects like a Green Mountain pumpback that would shunt water from Green Mountain Reservoir back to Dillon Reservoir through a pipeline, and the potential for a new Western Slope reservoir near Wolcott...The forum at the Silverthorne Pavilion will include an open house from 7 - 8 p.m. and a speakers' forum from 8 - 9 p.m. Drinks and appetizers will be available."

"colorado water"
6:47:38 AM     

Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited banquet
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From The Sky-Hi Daily News: "People frequently ask what they can do to help Grand County Rivers -- now they have an opportunity, says Kirk Klancke. The Winter Park Ranch, Water & Sanitation district manager is encouraging community members to attend the annual Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited banquet. The dinner is at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Grand Elk Golf Club. All funds will stay in Grand County and benefit the health of the rivers here, Klancke said. "Help Trout Unlimited help the rivers," he added. "Come to the banquet. Have a great meal, a great time and support a great cause." Tickets are available at Winter Park Optical, Mo Henry's Trout Shop, or by calling Klancke, (970) 531-2199."

"colorado water"
6:44:41 AM     

? for U.S. Senate?

Here's a look at energy and oil shale development in the race for U.S. Senate between U.S Representative Mark Udall and former U.S. Representative Bob Schaffer, from The Denver Post. From the article:

Udall's campaign believes the timing couldn't be better for a man who has been talking about renewable energy for more than a decade. Between global warming, rising gas prices and Middle Eastern wars, "green energy" is the theme of the moment, and Udall is one of its top proponents in Congress.

Before launching his Senate campaign, Bob Schaffer spent five years traveling the world as an executive for an energy company, and he won't concede the territory of energy policy lightly. He talks easily about the intricacies of seismic technology and global regulatory frameworks and uses that knowledge to recast an old debate in new terms: The country can get at more energy within its shores and do it without sacrificing the environment. In fact, our very national security depends on it.

As much as this campaign will be about the economy or the war, it will also be about energy: How the U.S. should secure it; the West's role in producing it...

Images of wind turbines and hybrid cars have already become mainstay campaign symbols for both men. Negative ads have tossed accusations of misplaced energy priorities like daggers. At the same time, this is one of those unique moments where a policy coalition that has lasted for decades is beginning to fracture. Congressional Republicans buy Priuses. Environmentalists embrace nuclear energy. If Democrats sense new potential for political success in the West, that's partly because they see the old Republican coalition in the region breaking apart, with ranchers, outfitters and rural entrepreneurs angry at the way the region's galloping energy economy is damaging resources on which their livelihoods depend. Add to that the fact that extraction of the state's vast natural gas reserves is already transforming local economies. And that the 800 billion barrels of shale-trapped oil -- if it can ever be efficiently extracted -- has the potential to secure a multigenerational revenue stream for the state that could lower voters' taxes while paying for roads, schools, and parks. Energy is "so important now to so many constituencies. You can bring in agriculture, you can bring in environmentalists. And, obviously, suburbanites with SUVs," said Floyd Ciruli, a Denver-based pollster...

Among environmentalists, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the outer continental shelf off Florida are considered lines in the sand, places too precious to drill, and Schaffer advocates drilling in both. He lambastes Udall for proposing a bill that would allow U.S. companies to explore for oil off Cuba -- potentially propping up a Communist regime with royalties -- while the Democrat draws a line around potentially significant domestic reserves in Alaska...

The one place where he and Udall come close to agreeing is their backing of Gov. Bill Ritter's go-slow approach to drilling on the Roan Plateau, although the plateau's natural gas would have little impact on petroleum supplies. Certainly Schaffer believes renewable energy is part of the key (he mentions it almost constantly now), but he also believes that quickly evolving technology like the kind that gives Aspect a competitive advantage also creates enormous opportunities to drill more with less environmental risk. "Seismic technology is better this year than last. The number of missed targets is dropping like a rock," Schaffer said. "Where their answer is 'no because we said so,' a better long-term answer for the country should be 'yes, if we achieve certain high standards.' "[...]

If there is a technological bet to be made in securing the country's energy future, for Udall it's a very different one. Twelve years ago, in his first session as a state legislator, he introduced three bills. They all had to do with renewable energy -- and none passed. Undeterred, Udall has since made it the policy focus that has most dominated his career. He toured the state in a motorhome with Republican State House Speaker Lola Spradley in 2004 to stump for Amendment 37, a breakthrough measure which required 10 percent of the state's electricity to be generated by renewable sources by 2015. In Congress, he sponsored a federal version which passed last year in the House but lost by one vote in the Senate. "You wonder why I'm motivated to run for the Senate. If there is one thing that gets me going every day, it's that one vote," Udall said. But if the past decade has marked as much failure as success, it's also given Udall a wonkish command over the arcane details of energy policy and the hurdles involved. He spices his vocabulary with phrases like "transition fuels," "carbon-free electrons" and "smart utility grids" and often deploys the metaphor of addiction: Depending less on petroleum will hurt but it's the only way forward. Udall concedes that renewable energy has to be seen as part of a portfolio, one that also must include clean coal (it's too abundant to ignore) and nuclear power, which he is now giving a second look after years of opposition. And he's done a little political repositioning of his own. Udall's sponsorship of last year's Cuban drilling bill is hard to explain except as a move to show he's not broadly opposed to oil and gas drilling...

If Schaffer talks about Colorado's chance to play a key role in the nation's energy independence, Udall talks about preventing the state from becoming "a national sacrifice" to the country's voracious appetite for fossil fuel. Oil shale may offer this country a Holy Grail of fossil fuel reserves, but much of the latest technology is still experimental and may pose risks to the region's water supply. (The latest plan requires the improbable-sounding combination of an underground ice barrier and giant underground heaters.) With so much at stake, slow is better, Udall said. "We are placing too big a bet on a resource that is finite and increasingly expensive. I think the country is ready for leadership that isn't just oriented so strongly to oil and gas," Udall said...

While $4-a-gallon gas may push many to run out and buy a hybrid, Republicans believe it is likely to convince many others that the more oil and gas we can find within our own borders now, the better. "All those cars out there in the parking lot are not running on ethanol or solar energy. They're running on gas. And they aren't all going to be traded in for hybrids tomorrow," said Sean Tonner, a Republican strategist who ran Pete Coors Senate campaign in 2004. "If Schaffer can push Udall into defending $4-a-gallon gas, I wouldn't want to be Udall out there saying it's for the polar bears," he said.

"denver 2008"
6:40:36 AM     

Northern Integrated Supply Project
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Here's a recap of yesterday's public meeting for the proposed Northern Integrated Supply Project from They write:

About 500 people attended the first public hearing about the proposed Glade Reservoir near Fort Collins Monday night...

The town leaders who spoke at Monday's meeting at the Hilton said the reservoir is needed to meet the needs of the growing population.

"Along the northern Front Range, we need additional water," said Brian Werner with the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. "That's the simple fact. These people need water for their futures. We think this is the most economically responsible and environmentally sensitive way to go about doing that and if we don't do the project, it doesn't take away the need for the water supply because people love Northern Colorado and they're going to continue to move here."

More coverage from The Greeley Tribune. From the article:

"I believe that this project is definitely tearing apart our community -- all of those who live along the Poudre River," said Janet Duvall, a former Larimer County Commissioner and resident of LaPort...

Representatives from several of the municipalities, including Evans, Windsor, Severance, Frederick, Firestone and Dacono, voiced their support for the project, saying a failure to go through with the plan would likely mean water currently used for agriculture would be diverted to the growing communities. Many communities say they already rely solely on the Colorado-Big Thompson units for water. "While the impacts of NISP are not inconsequential, they are probably less than many of the other alternatives that were considered," said Mayor Wade Carlson of Dacono, calling the project "critically important" for his town. "And certainly less than a proliferation of many smaller, less efficient supply and storage systems that would be needed if all these communities are to survive and grow." Tom Bender from the Larimer County Farm Bureau said not going through with it would be devastating to farmers as thousands of acres of farmland would dry up -- noting a unanimous vote by the bureau in support of the project. According to the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, 25,000 acres will dry up if the plan is not approved, and other estimates are in the range of 40,000 to 70,000 acres.

Yet, a majority of the hundreds of people packed into the ballroom condemned the plan. Carrie Daggett, deputy city attorney for Fort Collins, said the city needs more time as the project may impact water quality and would force the city to seriously upgrade its wastewater and water treatment facilities. Other officials were against the plan as well...

Perhaps the most widely held opinion was that more time is needed to comment on it before it goes to the Corps to be approved or given a "No Action" ruling. While residents have until July 30, a call for an extra 90 days to review the impact study was perhaps the most accepted opinion of the night...

To attend a public hearing in regards to the Northern Integrated Supply Project:

* TODAY: Open house at 4 p.m., forum at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Drive in Fort Collins.

* THURSDAY: Open house at 6 p.m., forum at 7 p.m. Thursday at the University Center, 20th Street and 10th Avenue in Greeley.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

"colorado water"
6:22:15 AM     

HB 08-1141, Require sufficient water supply
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Garfield Count is moving forward with plans to deal with the requirements laid down by HB 08-1141, according to The Glenwood Springs Post Independent. From the article:

Garfield County officials are seeking the help of a water attorney and a water engineer to help them comply with a bill the legislature passed this year. That legislation requires developers of proposed developments of 50 or more single-family homes to demonstrate to local governments that the water supply for their proposed development application would be sufficient and stable. A memo from the county attorney's office said the law prohibits a local government from approving those developments unless it first determines that a developer has "satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposed water supply will be adequate." County commissioners, on a unanimous vote, agreed to give the county attorney's office the ability to retain a water attorney and water engineer as the county begins complying with HB 1141, which was written by Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison...

Under the legislation's language, developers would have to submit a report that documents the proposed project's water demands and supplies to local governments. Information in the reports would have to include an estimate of water demands the development would have when it is built out, a description of the water supply that will serve the project and any water conservation efforts that may be implemented. Those reports would have to be drafted by a professional engineer or a water supply expert, according to text of the legislation. Commissioner Larry McCown said he had a concern that there might be no water attorneys and water engineers in the area who don't have a potential conflict of interest. McCown also said he was concerned that the "information we are going to get back is so global" that every issue will have to be referred back to a water engineer and water attorney. In that case, the county may just as well hire a water attorney and a water engineer, he said.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
6:18:20 AM     

Rifle water shortage restrictions
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From The Glenwood Springs Post Independent: "The residents of Rifle are being asked not to water or irrigate until Wednesday or after due to a water shortage at the city's water treatment plant. A reverse 911 call went out about 10:15 a.m. on Monday morning, and residents were given hand-delivered notices to cease all outdoor watering until Wednesday."

"colorado water"
6:08:13 AM     

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