Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Friday, November 17, 2006

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Colorado has ponied up $60.6 million for the Arkansas Valley Conduit, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article, "A $60.6 million loan application for the Arkansas Valley Conduit was approved this week by the Colorado Water Conservation board. 'This isn't the last part of the process, but it is the second-most important step,' said Bill Long, president of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The most important piece will be passage of federal legislation, he explained."

Category: Colorado Water

7:25:07 AM    

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Buffie McFayden's bill to tie water quality impacts to water transfers almost passed the legislature this year. Some experts expect a new bill to pass after the new state legislature takes over in January, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article, "A bill requiring state water courts to consider water quality when deciding water rights transfer cases will probably return to the state Legislature and pass, a former state water official warned members of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association Thursday. Steve Sims, a water attorney for Aurora and a former assistant to the state Attorney General's office for water matters, said the bill almost passed last year but failed on the third and last vote in the state senate. However, 'we've been promised that it's coming back,' he told a group of about 25 ranchers at the association's mid-winter meeting here. Sims said the law is really 'a solution in search of a problem' and said it has been pushed mostly by people trying to block the sale and movement of water from the Rocky Ford Ditch to Aurora...

"But Sims said the water quality effects of water transfers are not the original intent of the state's existing water quality regulations, nor are they really a problem. 'We haven't heard a great clamor out in the water community that this is a problem,' he said. The state's water quality standards were written to regulate entities that discharge water into streams, usually sewage treatment plants and industrial companies. Sims said one problem with making water courts consider the water quality effects of water sales and transfers is deciding how closely they should look. The state's Water Quality Control Commission has already set water quality standards for many of the state's streams and rivers. The standards aren't a problem for most water users because they only require that they not hurt the existing quality of the stream to the degree its water can't be used for purposes such as drinking water, agriculture and fish habitat. But Sims said the new law would allow water courts to apply more strict quality standards for water rights transfers than those applied to water users with discharge permits."

Category: Colorado Water

7:17:11 AM    

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The Pueblo County District Attorney, Bill Thiebaut, is concerned about being left out of the talks between Colorado Springs and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment over sewage spills into Fountain Creek, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article, "Pueblo District Attorney Bill Thiebaut wants the state to slow down enforcement action on 2006 spills on Fountain Creek until Gov.-elect Bill Ritter takes office. 'We're not allowed to be a part of the settlement case,' Thiebaut said Thursday. 'This is a back-door approach and a way that Colorado Springs is trying to take advantage of the situation.' Thiebaut said he became concerned after a report in a Colorado Springs newspaper last week indicated enforcement actions by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for seven sewage spills into Fountain Creek in 2006 would be rolled into an existing enforcement order."

Category: Colorado Water

7:07:14 AM    

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Now this is way cool. Up in northern Colorado a couple of authors have put together a book from stories about the Cache la Poudre River, according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan. From the article, "How do you save a river? You start with a story. About a year and a half ago, we wrote a Soapbox in this newspaper in which we asked folks to send us their stories and poems about the Cache la Poudre River. What happened was this: The stories poured in just like the Poudre pours down the canyon during the June Rise. The result is a new book: 'Pulse of the River: Colorado Writers Speak for the Endangered Cache la Poudre.' This is your book, about your river, written by your friends and neighbors, and it is an extraordinary book![...]

"We believe in the power of storytelling. We believe that change starts with a story, and we believe change can happen at the individual, community and societal level. Our thoughts turn into words, which turn into actions. The stories we tell ourselves become the lives that we lead and the actions we take as a community. 'Pulse of the River' gives Fort Collins and the Poudre Valley a new set of stories about the Cache la Poudre River that are far different than we usually read about in the newspaper. Gone are the stories about mastering nature and using the Poudre's water to feed never-ending population growth and development. Instead, 'Pulse of the River' offers different stories - personal stories that tell of a profound sense of place and passion for the Poudre River. The writers in this book know the Poudre - they've waded in it, stood by it, rafted it, fished it, ran alongside it and played with their children in it. The Poudre has healed them, taught them and restored them...

"We invite you to do this: Grab a copy of 'Pulse of the River' and take it down to the Poudre. Find a nice spot where the sun is sprinkling through the cottonwoods and you can hear the river dappling over rocks. Lie down and prop your head up on a log. Point your head upstream and your feet downstream so that the river is flowing by you, head-to-toe, and then start turning the pages. We wonder if what happened to all the contributors will happen to you: The river first seems to flow by you, and then it seems to flow through you. It gets in your blood. When you need a break from reading, walk down and stick your feet in the river. Feel the water curve around your toes, watch it make little eddies around your ankles - feel the pulse of the river."

Here's the link to the website so that you can order a copy. Proceeds are being donated to the Colorado Water Trust. More Coyote Gulch coverage of the Poudre here.

Category: Colorado Water

6:56:03 AM    

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