Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Friday, February 3, 2006

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Backpacker magazine is proposing a Glen Canyon National Park and the permanent draining of Lake Powell, according to From the article, "A popular national magazine has launched a yearlong campaign to create a new National Park in Utah. And, as if that wasn't controversial enough, it would include the waters of Lake Powell.

"This is a new twist in the controversial 'Drain Lake Powell' movement launched by environmentalists a decade ago. Their new argument is the drought lowered Lake Powell, so let's not refill it.

"Last year, the lake dropped to its lowest point since it began filling behind the Glen Canyon Dam in the 1960's. The drought created a wonderland for hikers by exposing Colorado River side-canyons, cliffs and alcoves that haven't been seen for decades.

"Now, 'Backpacker' magazine is launching a yearlong campaign to persuade Congress to declare the area 'Glen Canyon National Park'. There's a foldout poster in the latest issue and articles are planned in every issue this year. The magazine plans to sell Glen Canyon T-shirts and launch a letter-writing campaign that dovetails with environmentalists who say Lake Powell should never fill again."

Category: Colorado Water

7:06:02 AM    

A picture named measuringsnowpack.jpg "The deepening snowpack in the north-central Colorado mountains is good news to more than skiers and snowboarders: Water utilities along the Front Range say supplies are up from last year, and some reservoirs could fill for the first time since a major drought started in 1999...

"Last year, the snowpack in the watersheds that supply Denver Water were 83 percent of average west of the Continental Divide and 84 percent in the east. This year the totals are 140 percent west and 105 percent east...

"With snowpack in the Blue River Basin at more than 150 percent of average, Summit County water commissioner Scott Hummer told the Summit Daily News that mountain communities should start thinking about the potential for flooding. 'We haven't had this potential for probably eight or 10 years so it is worth starting to think about,' he said.

"Meanwhile, snowpack in the watersheds serving Aurora, which has struggled more than Denver in meeting water demand, is 127 percent of average, utility spokeswoman Melissa Elliott said.

"Aurora's 12 reservoirs and lakes are 62 percent full, and some may spill over for the first time since 1999.

"Colorado Springs' watersheds were at 87 percent of average on Tuesday, up from 55 percent a year ago. On Oct. 1, the city lifted mandatory water restrictions that had been in effect since 2001 and replaced them with voluntary goals, said spokeswoman Carol Rallo."

Category: Colorado Water

7:00:32 AM    

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John Singletary (Chairman of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District) is urging the ditch companies in the Arkansas valley to band together to keep water in the valley, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article, "Singletary made his comments during a panel discussion that featured municipal, agricultural and government water leaders. He said by combining their resources, the valley's ditch companies would be in a better position to bargain and would help ensure that the best farm ground is not taken out of production...

"Singletary said he is disappointed by HB1124 in the state Legislature, which would allow court-approved contracts for rotational crop management, or fallowing, because it could tie up senior agricultural water rights in long-term leases.

"Farmers are asset-rich, but cash-poor, said Pueblo County Commissioner Loretta Kennedy, also a Lower Ark board member. She said a better statewide approach toward land and water management is needed...

"Wally Stealey, president of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, went a step further, saying long-term leases would lead to the permanent loss of ag water. 'If they can lease it for 10 years, you'll never get it back,' Stealey said. 'What cities are interested in is taking water in any way, shape or form they can get it.'"

Category: Colorado Water

6:50:15 AM    

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