Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

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Pueblo Chieftain: "Members of the Fountain Creek Watershed technical advisory committee struggling to find funds to complete a decade-old study wonder why the state is launching a conflict assessment on the creek late in the game...

"The state reasoned the watershed committee was looking at technical issues alone, Reilly said. The state survey will focus mainly on the issues of sewer spills into Fountain Creek from Colorado Springs and other wastewater plants. The spills have increased legal and political friction between Pueblo and Colorado Springs during the past year."

Category: Colorado Water

10:59:51 AM    

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Northern El Paso County is drying up along with the Denver Basin Aquifer system. Here's an article from the Colorado Springs Gazette with details about county plans.

From the article, "A study by a Colorado Springs college student provoked a new debate this month on finding solutions for northern El Paso County's dwindling water supply. The research concludes that unless northern El Paso County's numerous small water districts join forces, their taxes will skyrocket to finance a big-ticket plumbing system needed to deliver water. No one argues with the notion that infrastructure will be needed to bring a perma- nent, reliable water supply to communities like Palmer Lake, Monument and Gleneagle, reducing their dependence on underground water that will be depleted some day. A county water authority manager says those districts are working together and that portions of the study paint an overly pessimistic scenario...

"Gary Barber, manager of the Palmer Divide Water Group and the El Paso County Water Authority, said the authority is discussing financing an $82 million project to bring water to northern communities from the planned Jimmy Camp Creek Reservoir near Falcon.

"The reservoir is proposed as part of Colorado Springs Utilities' Southern Delivery System, a 43-mile pipeline from the Pueblo Reservoir to the city.

"Piggybacking onto the big city's project is the most economically feasible of the alternatives the authority has studied. The idea is that members of the authority could buy Arkansas River water and move it up from Pueblo Reservoir."

Category: Colorado Water

10:55:36 AM    

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Longmont Daily Times-Call: "Huge yellow earthmovers scraping the ground to build a dam for the new Dry Creek Reservoir this week west of Berthoud are not signs of a growing future.

"Instead, they reflect the present, said Michael Cook, project planner and district engineer for the Little Thompson Water District.

"'The need for this reservoir is not precipitated by new growth,' Cook said. Instead, it's to serve current customers and provide an alternative to Carter Lake for water treatment, he said.

"That may sound surprising, because the Little Thompson Water District is on tap to serve the largest planned development in Weld County, 5,000 homes at St. Vrain Lakes north of Firestone, a subdivision approved by Weld County commissioners Wednesday. Little Thompson currently services 7,200 taps.

"St. Vrain Lakes developer CARMA Colorado will pay for 1,200 acre-feet of Windy Gap shares for the homes, marking the first time that Little Thompson has used Windy Gap water...

"Dry Creek is about security for water customers throughout southwest Weld County and portions of Larimer County, according to its promoters. The Central Weld County Water District is part-owner of the Dry Creek project and shares a similar interest. Both districts depend solely on Carter Lake and a water-treatment plant east of the lake to provide primarily Colorado-Big Thompson water to their 45,000 customers.

"While Dry Creek Reservoir will provide storage of shares that Carter can[base ']t hold, it also provides a backup source to the water-treatment plant, Cook explained. If something went wrong with Carter Lake's access to the plant, both Little Thompson and Central Weld wouldn[base ']t have water to treat, he said...

"So far, the Little Thompson Water District has seen a slow 2 percent population growth in the last decade within its boundaries, which run roughly between U.S. Highway 34 and Colo. Highway 119, including the town of Mead, Cook said. District boundaries also run north up the Buckhorn Canyon to Masonville, in Larimer County."

Category: Colorado Water

9:58:01 AM    

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LA Weekly: "Now, however, the U.S. is crushing the hopes of [Andres Lopez] Gonzalez and his neighbors for a little more water and the better future it could bring. The U.S. is beginning projects that will further cut the already diminished flow of fresh water to Mexico from the Colorado River. With minimal international consultation, the U.S. - along with the Metropolitan Water District and other water agencies - is turning down the spigot to Mexico to divert more water for new housing developments in Los Angeles and cities across Southern California. In so doing, water managers not only will starve Mexico for water, but likely will set up Los Angeles and urban Southern California for water shortages by enabling more growth than the river ultimately can support."

Category: Colorado Water

9:43:05 AM    

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Mountain Mail: "Colorado Water Conservation Board staff members finalized a recommendation of approval Monday regarding the Chaffee County application for a recreational water right [Recreation In-Channel Diversion - RICD] protecting local whitewater parks.

"Conservation board scientist Ted Kowalski said staff members recommended approval of the RICD 'with conditions.' The Colorado Water Conservation Board meets Wednesday in Rifle to consider the staff recommendation and make a recommendation to water court regarding the application.

"Chaffee County is seeking a recreational in channel diversion water right ensuring as much as 1,800 cubic feet per second flow through the Salida and Buena Vista whitewater parks during peak season in June.

"Kowalski said the staff recommendation took into consideration a memorandum of understanding involving Chaffee County and many of the objectors in the case...

"Despite assurances from water attorney Julianne Woldridge and manager Terry Scanga that the understanding satisfied major objections of the district, directors said they were unprepared to act on the document.

Woldridge asked for conditional approval based on ironing out any loose ends, but the board decided to consider the memorandum of understanding at its April meeting...

"Woldridge said the recreational in channel diversion decree, which would be a junior water right calling for as much as 1,800 cfs in June and as little as 250 cfs in winter, was no longer a subject of negotiation."

Category: Colorado Water

9:31:26 AM    

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