Coyote Gulch


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  Saturday, July 19, 2008

Green Mountain Reservoir update
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From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb) "Inflows to the reservoir have been slowing down and the water elevation is at about 7949--one foot below completely full. As a result, we have been cutting back releases from Green Mountain Dam to the Lower Blue over the past week. Going into the weekend, the Lower Blue will be running around 850 cfs. It is possible the releases might cut back some more over the weekend."

"colorado water"
9:49:57 AM     

Full tunnel in the Adams Tunnel
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From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

Currently, we continue to bring water over from the west slope through the Adams Tunnel. We are running a "full" tunnel this weekend, brining over the maximum 550 cfs.

That water is flowing into Lake Estes (after some power generation). From there, a portion is being delivered through Olympus Dam down the Big Thompson. We are also seeing the inflows from the Big Thompson River flowing out of the mountains into Lake Estes start to drop off. That indicates we have passed our "peak" of snow melt run off. Accordingly, we have been scaling back releases from the Dam to the Big T. We are currently releasing about 250 cfs. Depending on what the weather and down stream demands due over the weekend, those around the Big Thompson River might expect a change late Saturday or Sunday night.

The rest of the water we are running through the project, generating power and delivering to Carter and Horsetooth Reservoirs. Pinewood Reservoir has been inching up over the past couple of days and is currently at an elevation of 6567--typical of this time of year and reflective of the power generating we are doing.

We have been pumping up to Carter. Demands out of it and Horsetooth have slightly leveled off over the last few days. As we go into the weekend, water elevation at Carter is 5727--about 30 feet down from full. Considering is it the middle of July and that we had a slow start filling Carter this year, that is a nice elevation. Horsetooth is currently sitting at about 5405, where it has been for the past several weeks.

But the heat has started to turn on. Visitors and residents around Horsetooth and Carter should expect to see demands out of both reservoirs go up as the heat comes on. Additionally, as we respond to needs around the project, the pump to Carter will go off early next week. Depending on weather and demands, it is possible we will not see the water coming into both Carter and Horsetooth quite as steadily as it has been so far this summer. That means water elevations will start to go down more visibly. But, that is also typical of July: the heat and the demands this time of year.

In other project news, you have probably already seen some media coverage of the confirmation that we have quagga mussel larvae in Granby Reservoir. Unfortunately, that is true. To learn more about quagga mussels and their cousins, the zebra mussel, please visit the Colorado Division of Wildlife's page:

If you are a boater, please become familiar with the Clean, Drain and Dry program. The most effective way we can protect our water resources from the further spread of these invasive mussels is by working together. Clean, Drain and Dry all of your water equipment--especially your boats!

"colorado water"
9:47:13 AM     

Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District board meeting
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Here's a recap of Thursday's meeting of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District board meeting, from The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District voted Thursday to file in opposition to two El Paso County water transfer applications filed in Division 2 water court last month.

Stratmoor Hills is proposing a change in its augmentation plan that increases its reliance on Fryingpan-Arkansas water while selling 70 shares it owns in Fountain Mutual Irrigation Co. to Security. It is a concern for Southeastern because the district encourages water users to obtain their own supplies and reserve Fry-Ark water for supplemental uses, Bob Hamilton, engineering director, told the board Thursday. The board voted unanimously to file in opposition to the application. Such a filing is necessary if the district chooses to later intervene in the court case, although often the result is a stipulation of conditions for the application's approval.

In a second case, the board voted to oppose a proposed change in use water court application by Fountain and Widefield for water rights they purchased from the H2O Ranch in Custer County near Westcliffe. Fountain and Widefield bought the water rights from the 486-acre ranch for $3.5 million in April, and filed in June for a change of use for the water, which was historically used for irrigation. The historic use for irrigation is about 700 acre-feet and the El Paso County users would capture the water as it flows down Grape Creek and the Arkansas River into Lake Pueblo. Both communities are members of the Fountain Valley Authority, which has a pipeline from the dam. Hamilton said the transit loss, or the amount that soaks into banks as it moves downstream, on Grape Creek is high and the amount of water on the creek could affect a Southeastern application for exchange into DeWeese Reservoir in Custer County.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
9:11:15 AM     

Colorado Water Congress meets in Durango
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Here's a recap of this week's meeting of the Colorado Water Congress in Durango, from The Durango Herald. From the article:

The Colorado Water Congress, which was created to iron out intrastate water issues as well as look out for state water interests vis-â-vis other states, is marking its 50th anniversary by meeting in Durango, the city where the documents creating the organization were signed. Attendees on Thursday toured the Animas-La Plata Project, a reservoir being built southwest of Durango to settle American Indian water-right claims and provide water for customers in La Plata County and New Mexico. "We're basically a trade association," said Silverton resident Steve Fearn, the current president of the CWC. "The water interests of Colorado are our focus."

"colorado water"
8:54:08 AM     

Antero opened to motorized boating
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Here's an update on efforts to keep zebra (and now quagga) mussels out of Antero Reservoir, from The Fairplay Flume. From the article:

All motorized and trailered boats must be inspected and decontaminated by trained personnel. Boating is restricted to the north ramp of the reservoir. Antero is in southwestern Park County Jennifer Churchill, the public information officer for the northeast division of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said there is a possibility of another ramp opening if more inspectors are hired. However, she doubted that would happen because it would be too costly for the Division of Wildlife and would use funds that could be used effectively elsewhere. The inspection and decontamination process will occur from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, according to a press release from the Colorado Division of Wildlife...

Along with Antero, several other reservoirs in Park County took preventive measures against zebra mussels. Spinney Mountain Reservoir, which is southeast of Hartsel, instituted an inspection policy similar to that at Antero. Meanwhile, Jefferson Lake north of Fairplay remains closed to all trailered and gasoline-powered boating and has no timetable for when that will change.

"colorado water"
8:37:20 AM     

Peetz sewer line cleaning
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From The Sterling Journal Advocate: "Due to problems with numerous tree roots clogging the main sewer lines around town, the Peetz Town Council has been hiring Todd Simon, owner of WFI, to clear one third of the town's sewer lines each year. At the Peetz Town Council meeting Tuesday, Simon noted that he will have to raise his rates this year. Due mainly to the rise in fuel prices, Simon's rate will go from 80 cents to $1 per foot, he said. This is the first time he has raised the rates during the several years he has been cleaning out the Peetz sewer lines. Council approved having Simon clean the lines at the higher rate this year. This applies only to the main lines. Individuals are still responsible for maintaining the sewer lines from their buildings to the street."

"colorado water"
8:31:45 AM     

CSU water sales
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The mountain snowpack this year is allowing Colorado Springs Utilities to sell water, according to The Colorado Springs Gazette. From the article:

It may be bone dry in Colorado Springs, but snow is still melting in the high country, filling reservoirs and allowing the city to sell water to farmers, towns and subdivisions. Water sales totaling 12,200 acre feet of water have brought in $462,311 this year...

This year's buyers include the city, which acquired 84 acre feet for Prospect Lake in Memorial Park. Others are downstream farmers, the Division of Wildlife, Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine and Cherokee Metro District, which has had difficulty meeting customers' water needs in recent years. Utilities water supply expert Kevin Lusk said the city has received only 32 percent of what's considered normal precipitation so far this year, but the mountain snowpack was deeper than usual...

Pikes Peak reservoir levels stood at 73 percent of capacity in early July, while the system total, which includes transmountain reservoirs, stood at 90 percent.

"colorado water"
8:24:29 AM     

Roundup of proposed Front Range water projects
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Here's a roundup of proposed Front Range water projects from The Rocky Mountain News. From the article:

Nearly $3 billion of ambitious new water projects along the Front Range are in various stages of launching - from completing a lengthy federal permitting process to actually breaking ground. The pending boom includes seven new or expanded reservoirs and at least one major pipeline. Barely recovered from the 2002 drought and with projected shortages looming, the water districts and cities involved say it is imperative that the projects be built now. When completed, the combined projects will make for one of the largest water development eras in Colorado history. State water officials and analysts, however, worry that the fragmented nature of the plans constitutes a $3 billion free-for- all, and that the lack of a coherent regional or statewide plan will prove costly for both the consumer and the environment. "With each city doing its own thing, you have a ratcheting up effect on the cost and on the environmental impact," said Neil Grigg, a Colorado State University engineering professor and water historian. "Without an entity to coordinate things, the public will suffer, it will cost more, and it's harder on the environment."[...]

Millions of dollars have been spent on each project to enter the federal permitting process, the first step before construction can begin. The project are:

* Parker's Rueter-Hess Reservoir, a $165 million storage facility that will capture recycled groundwater and flows from Cherry Creek for use by water-strapped Douglas County towns. Construction is under way.

* Colorado Springs Southern Delivery Pipeline, a $1.7 billion project that will pump water from the Arkansas River 43 miles north to the Springs and surrounding areas. Construction: begins in 2009.

* Halligan Reservoir expansion, a $60 million project that will serve Fort Collins, Loveland and other communities, storing water from the Cache La Poudre. Construction: expected 2011.

* Windy Gap, a $270 million reservoir that will serve several fast-growing northern Colorado towns, including Erie, Greeley, Evans and Lafayette. Construction: expected 2011.

* Glade and Galeton reservoirs [Northern Integrated Supply Project], a $406 million project serving Dacono, Frederick, Firestone, Erie and others. Construction: expected 2011.

* Moffat expansion, a $140 million to $500 million project that is likely to include the expansion of Gross Reservoir and construction of several pipelines to serve Denver. Construction: expected 2011.

* Seaman Reservoir, a $90 million storage project serving Greeley. Permitting process begun, but construction isn't slated until 2029.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

"colorado water"
8:15:15 AM     

Fort Collins stormwater utility

Say hello to Fort Collins Utilities Stormwater webpage. Here's an article explaining their historical efforts and current plans, from The Fort Collins Coloradoan.

"colorado water"
8:03:27 AM     

Long Draw Reservoir managment
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From Colorado Trout Unlimited: "After years of legal battles over permits for the Long Draw Reservoir, Colorado Trout Unlimited and Water Supply and Storage Company (WSSC, the reservoir's operator) have jointly proposed a collaborative conservation program for the Poudre Headwaters that would restore native greenback cutthroat trout to 45 miles of streams. The project represents the largest native trout restoration project ever conducted in Colorado, and one of the largest such projects ever attempted anywhere. WSSC's participation in the effort would serve as mitigation for their reservoir permit. The joint proposal was submitted by the two groups, along with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado Water Conservation Board, and City of Greeley, as part of comments on the U.S. Forest Service's Draft EIS for Long Draw Reservoir."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
7:56:01 AM     

Dry Gulch Reservoir update
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Here's Part II of The Pagosa Daily Post's series Lots of water, lots of debt. Here are a few excerpts:

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District has been looking at constructing a 35,000 acre-foot reservoir one mile north of the Town of Pagosa Springs. Many local residents have been looking at these plans with dismay bordering on fear as the local economy has worsened. Presently, the PAWSD district delivers 2,000 acre-feet of potable water to its 9500 customers. The 35,000 AF reservoir would deliver nearly twenty times as much water, and serve a population of 160,000.

PAWSD instituted a Reservoir Fee in 2006 which was intended to finance the $150 million price tag (2006 dollars) of the 35,000 AF Reservoir Project. That fee, presently $7210 for each tap (a business may be charged for multiple taps) was expected to generate $4.8 million in fiscal year 2008 according to growth forecast made by PAWSD professional water engineer (and amateur impact fee analyst and demographer) Steve Harris of Harris Water Engineering. The Reservoir Fee had generated less than 2% of that amount, less than $60,000, by mid-year. PAWSD has already assured the Colorado Water Conservation Board that the project can be financed by raising the monthly fees of existing users...

[Commission Chair Bob Moomaw] then portrayed the threat to the local economy from the 35,000 acre-foot project (which may exceed $250 million when revised cost estimates are received next year) very vividly. "To be quite honest, we cannot afford a 35,000 acre-foot lake without sucking all of the capital out this County. That is basically what it gets down to. We need to do a project that is affordable."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
7:50:25 AM     

Tamarisk control update
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Here's an update on the efforts to control tamarisk with tamarisk leaf beetles from The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. From the article:

By the middle of next year, people may notice lots of dead trees along Grand Valley waterways, but that's because a noxious plant is being killed off, says the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Fast-growing tamarisk trees have choked out many native species, said Missy Sider of the Montrose BLM office, but the introduction of a tamarisk-eating beetle in 2007 is making headway. "It's a much more cost-effective way to deal with larger areas infested by tamarisk," Sider said. "We can treat smaller patches with mechanical means but large expanses become a problem." The goal is for native plants to again take over or be introduced in wetlands along the Colorado and Dolores rivers, said Dan Bean of the Palisade Insectary, which is collaborating with the BLM to introduce the beetles...

Tamarisk trees don't die off from just one defoliation, Bean said, but it helps other plants grow. "Even one defoliation opens up the canopy and lets sunlight through," he said, allowing native plants like willow and cottonwood trees come back. Other places will need to have native plants reintroduced, he said. "Some places are so ecologically trashed there's not a lot of native seed," he said. Places where tamarisk eradication is evident can be seen along the Dolores River near Gateway or along the Colorado River in Utah, Bean said.

In other tamarisk control news the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District is looking for more dough for the fight, according to The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The Arkansas River basin has the greatest tamarisk infestation of any basin in the state, but has so far received relatively meager state and federal funding to combat the problem. The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District wants to change that by developing the Arkansas Watershed Invasive Plant Plan, an approach that looks at the entire basin, not just spotty projects to remove tamarisk. "The Colorado River basin has 8 percent of the problem and gets 80 percent of the funding," Executive Director Jim Broderick told the Southeastern board Thursday. "We have to start making legislators aware of where it's a problem and where it isn't."

The Arkansas River basin has 69 percent of the infested acreage in the state, with more than 67,000 acres of tamarisk, a recently completed survey shows. Right now, the invasive plants are depriving the basin's water users and native vegetation of 76,000 acre-feet of water per year. If nothing is done, those plants eventually will use 196,000 acre-feet per year as they completely cover the areas where they are now found and crowd out other vegetation, said Jean Van Pelt, conservation outreach coordinator. To completely eradicate tamarisk in the Arkansas basin would cost $70 million. Tamarisk is most prevalent in downstream nine counties in the basin: Pueblo, Fremont, El Paso, Huerfano, Las Animas, Crowley, Otero, Bent and Prowers...

Van Pelt headed the effort to develop the $150,000 plan, which used funding from counties, local agencies and state sources. A draft has been sent to the state weed control officials. In addition to mapping infested areas in the basin, the plan outlines ways to control tamarisk, provides basinwide coordination, maintain databases and set up a Web site to share the information. The Web site is still under development. "There is no plan in the western United States that tackles the problem as a basinwide problem. Other areas are looking at their own problems," Broderick said...

Right now, there are two pots of money the district is looking at:

A $4 million cost-share program by the Colorado Water Conservation Board over the next four years. Funds could be available as early as October.

A federal demonstration program authorized in 2006 to create five demonstration projects throughout the West. The program has not been funded.

The Arkansas Valley plan could be among those first in line, since it has the support of Colorado's congressional delegation, as well as the state of Kansas, Broderick said. Kansas sees tamarisk control as a way both to increase flows and improve water quality, Broderick explained. While tamarisk uses vast amounts of water, it is uncertain how much would be returned to the river system. Part of the program includes revegetation of areas reclaimed from tamarisk. Any water saved by tamarisk removal goes into the priority system, and cannot be claimed by those who remove the plants, Broderick added. Absent large state and federal programs, the Arkansas River group plans to promote cooperative programs between government agencies and landowners that address the problem. Tamarisk removal depends on the size of area, terrain and other conditions...

In a related matter, the district is trying to get a $500,000 federal grant to maintain the program. U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., included it in his appropriation requests as an earmark. U.S. Sens. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., and Wayne Allard, R-Colo., attempted to include the same earmark, but their effort was blocked by the Bureau of Reclamation, which convinced a committee to remove it, said lobbyist Christine Arbogast. Reclamation unexpectedly opposed tamarisk removal funding because it said water salvage benefits had not been proven, Arbogast explained.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
7:42:50 AM     

Supply news
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Here's an update on Sterling's plans to deal with their water system and its problems, from The Sterling Journal Advocate. From the article:

In the last two years, the city of Sterling has been notified of at least two water quality violations. The violations are of trihalomethanes and uranium. In both accounts, the amount of contaminants in the water had not changed as much as the maximum contaminant level (MCL). However, even that does not mean the problem will go away. The state health department is encouraging the city to find a process that will remove the contaminants. The good news is the city is not yet being told the problem must be fixed tomorrow. The bad news is the longer the city waits, the more expensive it will be...

One of the violations the city faced several months ago, late in 2007, was for trihalomethanes (THMs). Arber describes THMs as a disinfection byproduct. He said there is an organic material in water that when treated with chlorine results in a byproduct -- THMs. He said the best course of action is to remove the organic material before treating the water. Another option that Arber says would reduce the amount of contaminants in water is to reduce the water age of Sterling's water supply. The water age is the amount of time water is stored. He said the longer it is stored, the more likely it is to build up contaminants.

The two other issues that concern Sterling's water managers are uranium and nitrates. According to [Richard Arber of Arber Associates, Water, Wastewater and Reuse Engineers], both are a result of natural erosion. "It comes from geology. It comes from the mountains," he said. The only real option for addressing uranium contamination is treatment, he said. The problem again is there will be a byproduct, a salt, as a result of a chemical reaction...

Nitrates have also been a constant. However, the city has not exceeded nitrate levels. City water has "bumped up against" the maximum, but has never exceeded it, according to Arber.

The part that took the city council by surprise is the anticipated cost of a treatment system. Arber showed a chart that displayed costs ranging from a low of $10.5 million to just short of $20 million. His proposal had three different options: coagulation/filtration, ion exchange and reverse osmosis. The favored, more effective system would be the reverse osmosis system. However, it is also the most expensive. Arber described the ion exchange system as an electro-chemical process. Both reverse osmosis and the ion exchange system have byproducts that will have to be managed. In 2004, when city officials began looking at an upgraded water treatment system, City Manager Joe Kiolbasa was looking at estimates of about $2 million to just more than $4 million. At that rate, and with a 2.5 percent loan, city water users would have seen increases of about $8 to pay back the debt and $3 to maintain the system. Now, the numbers have to be reviewed because of the cost increases. Tuesday's meeting was scheduled to get the council "up to speed" on water quality issues, according to Kiolbasa. He said the issue likely will not come before voters for about a year yet, after a design is proposed and cost estimates are more reliable.

Park County has finally approved Will-O-Wisp's application for a 1041 permit, according to The Fairplay Flume. From the article:

Park County's Board of County Commissioners considered and approved the application for a 1041 water permit for the Will-O-Wisp Metropolitan District at a regular meeting on July 10. The application had been considered at a public hearing on May 29, 2007, but approval was deferred until several issues could be resolved. The permit is needed for the district to divert water from Elk Creek for the Tanglewood Reserve development near Pine Junction.

Richard Toussaint, general counsel for Will-O-Wisp, presented information that he felt answered the conditions imposed. The point of diversion of water from Elk Creek was revised from a point at Glasman Ditch No. 1 to a point some 300 feet from that ditch to a point where a historic headgate is found. The new point of diversion has been approved by the State Water Engineer at Glasman Ditch No. 2. This point of diversion was found to require fewer easements, although the easements are slightly longer. Water rights for the proposed development were found to be adequate, as Will-O-Wisp owns a direct flow right of 0.7 cubic feet per second (cfs) from Elk Creek at the Glasman Ditch No. 2 diversion. This, along with their other water rights and plans for augmentation, were found to be adequate.

Another issue that was resolved to the satisfaction of the commissioners was the evidence that Will-O-Wisp had obtained all the necessary property rights for the project. Although one condemnation procedure is not quite complete, the owner is not likely to contest the final decision on the court's findings. The approval of the permit is conditional upon the conveyance of title of condemned easements on two lots at the Woodside Park subdivision.

The applicant was required to assess the impact to wildlife based on the new location. The previous location would have required construction of a new road, but the revised location of the point of diversion removed that requirement, as maintenance access will now be provided off Meadow Drive, an existing road. Wetland disturbance was found to be one-tenth of an acre less than the original estimate. Toussaint addressed the issue of sound mitigation by voluntarily agreeing to reduce the guaranteed level of sound so that it would not exceed 12.5 decibels at 384 feet. The main source of noise, according to Toussaint, will be the sound of running water. Pump motors will be housed underground to minimize the noise level, and other equipment will be camouflaged by trees...

The commissioners voted to approve the application with one condition regarding the property rights to easements. The item will appear on a consent agenda on July 24 at 10 a.m.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Here's an update on Orchard City's efforts to build a new raw water reservoir, from The Delta County Independent. From the article:

Following a two-year-long run of successful initiatives in land acquisition, design work, and obtaining grant funding the Town of Orchard City's proposed raw water storage reservoir project finds itself having to navigate muddied waters. The town was recently turned down for a construction grant request on its proposed raw water storage reservoir.

A town trustee reports that recent core drilling at the dam site never reached a bedrock layer to build on. And, the town trustees on July 9 found themselves faced with a "now or never" proposition to add another 13.3 acres to some 80 acres already purchased for the proposed reservoir and dam site along 2225 Road. The town board after some soul searching debate voted unanimously to buy the additional 13.3 acres needed for the dam site of a reservoir that may or may not ever be built. The price of the additional land is $4,000 per acre...

The engineering study that is being completed now with partial grant funding has found no "fatal flaws" in the reservoir project, Suppes said. But trustee Jimmie Boyd said that core drilling at the dam site never hit bedrock. He said the core drillings produced mainly gravel and sand intermixed with many large boulders. That means that there will be a additional cost to construct an anchoring core for the dam structure. "It's just not a very good site for a dam," Boyd said. Also, the town received word on June 25 that a grant application to the Colorado Water Conservation Board for reservoir construction will not be funded this year. The town may reapply for the grant next year. Suppes said the grant request was for $10 million.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
7:34:30 AM     

Cherry Creek Reservoir: Algae control
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Here's an update on efforts to control blue-green algae in Cherry Creek Reservoir, from The Aurora Sentinel. From the article:

According to Rick Gonclaves, chairman of the technical advisory committee for the Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority, it's the spots on the surface of the reservoir where an almost invisible pattern of small bubbles emerge that indicate much larger shifts in the quality and content of the water. "They are real gentle bubbles," Gonclaves said. "When the bubbles rise, they take water with them." These bubbles, which pop up from the deepest parts of the reservoir, come from an aeration system spread across the bottom of the water, where a series of pipes are being used to mix the water and pull algae from the surface. Officials say that this approach, known as the Reservoir Destratification Process and funded from fees taken from Cherry Creek Park permits, will have beneficial effects for water quality, wildlife health and sediment release in the reservoir. The air is pumped from a drab compressor building that stands a short distance from the west entrance of Cherry Creek State Park, an unremarkable building that houses a remarkable amount of air capacity. In the small building, a 125-horsepower, 250 standard cubic-foot compressor pumps air through 40,000 feet of pipeline to 106 aerators spread under the water - all in attempt to mix up the water like a giant jacuzzi and, in the process, improve its quality on several different levels.

"The problem with blue-green algae is that they utilize nitrogen from the air," Gonclaves said. "By mixing the lake, we are driving these algae down into the deepest parts of the reservoir." The mixing will help stem out-of-control algae blooms, which can translate into added dangers for swimmers and boaters. Getting rid of the blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, means a cleaner recreation facility for the reservoir's swimmers and boaters. While fishermen, one of the park's other main draws, could conceivably benefit from more algae in the form of more nutrients for fish, the new aeration system could have positive impacts for the reservoir's inhabitants in its oxygenating effects. "With the destratification project, we're recirculating the lake," Gonclaves said. "It prevents oxygen loss at the lower levels of the reservoir, which can be counterproductive to the fish." Planners say the new aeration system will not interfere with swimming, boating and fishing activities in the spring and summer, and that the pipes will be shut down in the winter so that ice fishing and other cold weather activities will not be affected by the mixing. Planners also said that definite results of the new system will not be available immediately, and that any decisive effects will have to be measured at least a year from the aeration network's debut.

"colorado water"
7:21:28 AM     

Energy policy: Nuclear
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A lawsuit has been filed over Fremont County's decision to allow uranium exploration in the Tallahassee area, according to The Cañon City Daily Record. From the article:

Uranium exploration in the Tallahassee area entered the legal arena last week when Tallahassee Area Community, Inc., filed a Rule 106 lawsuit against the Fremont County Commissioners. The matter has been assigned to District Judge David Thorson's courtroom. No hearing date has been set. The motion is an appeal of the county's decision June 9 to allow Black Range Minerals, an Australian mining company, to prospect for uranium on the Taylor and Boyer Ranches in the Tallahassee area. The controversial decision followed months of discussion and several public hearings. "We believe the commissioners abused their authority by approving the Conditional Use Permit and allowing an Australian company to explore for uranium within 500 feet of 44 land and homeowners," Kay Hawklee, also named as plaintiff in the action, said Tuesday morning. "There are major reasons why we believe that they have exceeded their authority."

Central to the lawsuit is the organization's claim the CUP is inconsistent with the county's own Master Plan. "The strategy of the Master Plan says the primary non-agricultural land use will be residential," Hawklee said. "I do not understand how they can get around the word primary. There has been so much growth in this area. What has happened is the residential has been established here, and now to allow uranium prospecting is a violation of the vision of the Master Plan." The action also cites the lack of proof of adequate water for the project, an incomplete fire plan, the possibility of water cross contamination and lack of proof that surrounding property values will not be hurt. "No property has sold in this area since October 2007," Hawklee said. "That goes above and beyond any kind of economic problems in the country. Properties are not selling here because of the stigma that has been attached to our area."

County Attorney Brenda Jackson said the Rule 106 is an avenue to appeal the decision of an administrative body, such as the Fremont County Commissioners...

Jackson said she anticipates a lengthy process to prepare documents for the court record, including transcripts of commissioner and planning commission meetings and public hearings, testimony, e-mails, letters, the full CUP application, rulings of the board in reaching its findings, and everything related to the case that has been accumulated by the Planning and Zoning Department. She said the first hearing would not be scheduled for some time, and estimated the county will enter 1,500 to 2,000 pages of documentation into the record, before the transcripts are added...

She said Thorson's decision will be based on written arguments and the amassed information. "There will be no more testimony," Jackson said. "He'll rule based on what has been submitted." The lawsuit asks for no financial damages. Instead, the plaintiffs want reversal of the CUP and remanding the matter back to the commissioners for reconsideration of the issue.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

7:10:15 AM     

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