Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Friday, February 10, 2006

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Denver Water's reservoirs are in good shape for this time of year, according to the Denver Post. From the article, "Denver Water's reservoirs are at 85 percent of capacity, thanks to above-average snowpack in the Upper South Platte and Colorado River basins, utility officials said Thursday.

"Typically, officials said, reservoirs are 82 percent full at this time of the year. In March 2003, the height of the drought, reservoirs were 43 percent full.

"Even if mountain snowfall tapers off, most of Denver Water's reservoirs will fill this summer, utility officials said. For now, Denver Water does not anticipate watering restrictions."

Category: Colorado Water

7:37:26 AM    

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Denver Post: "An era of Colorado agriculture closed Thursday with a $6.4 million water sale.

"In five hours, auctioneer John Korrey sold off virtually all the assets of an association that had allowed farmers to pump water from the South Platte River basin for three decades.

"The water rights held by Groundwater Appropriators of the South Platte, or GASP, fetched $6.4 million, much of it from municipalities bidding for the agricultural water.

"That means farmers who belonged to GASP will eventually get some money for their shares. But that brought little comfort to those who witnessed its demise."

Category: Colorado Water

7:31:56 AM    

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Grand Junction was outbid on oil and gas leases in their watershed yesterday, according to the Rocky Mountain News. From the article, "The West Slope's largest city tried a different approach to protecting its watershed from contamination by oil and gas development Thursday - bidding for the drilling leases itself. But it didn't work.

"'We were outbid, but I felt good about what we tried to do,' said city utilities manager Greg Trainor, who went to the auction in Lakewood on the city's behalf.

"'Whoever bought them sure wanted them. Every time I bid he was right there topping it, and it was for prices much higher than earlier parcels.'

"Thursday's auction was one of the largest sales of leases in Colorado since 1988, another indicator of the feverish interest in natural gas development in Colorado as prices soar.

"Leases on 129 parcels totaling 134,582 acres in Colorado were sold Thursday for $11.8 million, said Theresa Sauer, spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The federal government will split the proceeds with the state treasury.

"Leases for parcels on Grand Junction's watershed were included in the auction, despite requests to withdraw them from the sale by the cities of Grand Junction and Palisade, as well as Colorado Democrats Sen. Ken Salazar and Rep. John Salazar."

Category: Colorado Water

7:09:43 AM    

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Coyote Gulch loves the editorial staff of the Pueblo Chieftain. They take an active role in water issues effecting them. Today they blast Colorado Springs' sewage spills, unbridled growth and the Southern Delivery System. Of course Pueblo itself would love to have the growth occur along the Arkansas rather than Fountain Creek. From the article, "Colorado Springs sanitary sewer collection system is old and wearing out. Yet, Colorado Springs Utilities officials and most of its City Council members are hell-bent on building a proposed Southern Delivery System to pipe huge new amounts of water north from Pueblo Reservoir at a cost estimated to be at least $1 billion, so that more development can add to the sprawl of what already is Colorado's second-largest city.

"If one were a prudent leader in Colorado Springs, one would think it irresponsible to put more pressure on a decrepit sanitary sewage collection network rather than to fix it first before building a new pipeline for unbridled growth. But municipal officials in Colorado Springs dance to the tune of the developers there.

"So it's completely responsible for Pueblo District Attorney Bill Thiebaut and the Sierra Club to have added charges to their federal lawsuits against Colorado Springs over its sewage spills down the Fountain. Mr. Thiebaut's additional charges pertain to new spills of sewage after his lawsuit was filed and to what he calls illegal amounts of chlorine discharged from Colorado Springs' sewage treatment plant. The Sierra Club added 11 dates of sewage spills to its original filing.

"These spills, plus the increased sedimentation in Fountain Creek caused by growth in the Springs, are clear reason why Colorado Springs should support a proposal by Pueblo County water lawyer Ray Petros of Denver that a flood-control dam be built on the Fountain which also would accommodate water reuse by Colorado Springs."

Category: Colorado Water

6:52:51 AM    

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