Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Friday, December 1, 2006

Here's a report on the ability of old growth forests to store carbon, from the Rocky Mountain News. From the article, "Researchers have found that soils in an old- growth forest in southern China are storing carbon at a rapid rate. If common to the soils of other old-growth forests, the finding could add combating global warming to the reasons for preserving them from logging, some scientists say. The finding from soils in China goes against the generally accepted idea that old-growth forests are in balance, giving up as much carbon through decomposition as they take in from falling leaves and dying roots. Why the soils act as a carbon sink remains unknown, but the study in the journal Science gives a new way to think about how carbon works in old-growth forests, said Xuli Tang, a scientist with the South China Botanical Garden in Guangzhou, China, and co-author of the study."

Category: 2008 Presidential Election

6:39:15 AM    

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New West has reprinted an article from the High Country News that details some of the history of water development here in the west. From the article, "Americans are thirsty. We consume more water than in any other country, between 400 and 600 liters a day per person, or 69.3 gallons per household per day. As the number of people in the United States, and in particular the West, continues to rise, that means, even if personal use declines, our overall draw on water resources keeps on increasing. In the West, water is relatively scarce. Yet our habits are similar to those in places with plenty of water: the ubiquitous American Lifestyle drives consumption despite the limited amount we have to consume. This is because the price of water here is roughly equal to what it is elsewhere in the country, thanks to government subsidies, massive water projects and no real economic market for it."

Be sure to read the whole article.

Category: Colorado Water

6:23:00 AM    

Conservation acreage is increasing at a good clip, according to the Denver Post. From the article, "A new report released today by the Land Trust Alliance finds that state and local land trusts have almost doubled their conservation acres from 6 million to 11.9 million acres in the past five years - an area twice the size of the state of New Hampshire. Including the work of national conservation groups, a total of 37 million acres have been conserved by private means - an area 16 1/2 times the size of Yellowstone National Park...

"The report stated that the states with the highest total acres conserved are California, Maine, Colorado, Montana, Virginia, New York, Vermont, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Colorado and Virginia offer state tax incentives for conservation. The West is the fastest-growing region in both the number of acres saved and the number of land trusts, followed by the Southeast, according to the report. The Northeast gained the most acreage under conservation easements, nearly tripling the acres held five years ago. Local and state land trusts increased the acres protected by conservation easements by 148%. These private, voluntary agreements saved 6,245,969 acres in 2005, versus 2,514,566 just five years ago. The types of land targeted by land trust efforts are natural areas and wildlife habitat (39%), followed by open space (38%) and water resources (26%), especially wetlands. A new federal tax incentive for donations of conservation easements, enacted in August 2006 and providing special adjustments to help farmers and ranchers, is expected to prompt more large-scale conservation throughout the West."

Category: 2008 Presidential Election

6:17:01 AM    

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Here's a short update about efforts to recover endangered fish populations in the San Juan River, from Today' They write, "The states of New Mexico and Colorado, four tribes and the Interior Department have extended a program to recover endangered fish in the San Juan River. The agreement, signed by the various parties over the past month, will extend the recovery program for the rare Colorado pikeminnow and the razorback sucker through 2023. The voluntary, cooperative program, established in 1992, involves tribes, federal and state agencies and water development interests in New Mexico and Colorado. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday the extension ensures continued cooperative work to conserve the populations of the two species while water development occurs for agricultural, municipal and hydroelectric uses in the San Juan River Basin. Water development in the San Juan River Basin is governed by federal and state laws, interstate compacts, Supreme Court decrees and federal trust responsibilities to the Southern Ute tribe, Ute Mountain Ute tribe, Jicarilla Apache Nation and Navajo Nation. Biologists are seeing signs of recovery in both fish species, and their overall habitat has improved, Fish and Wildlife said."

Category: Colorado Water

6:06:18 AM    

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Interested parties are adding a new option to the EIS for the Southern Delivery System, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article, "A draft environmental impact statement for a proposed water delivery pipeline from Pueblo Dam will be delayed as Colorado Springs looks at its options for what would happen if the Bureau of Reclamation chooses a no-action alternative. The draft EIS for the Southern Delivery System was anticipated for the spring of 2007, but will now be delayed until the new alternative is submitted and evaluated...

"The draft EIS is looking at seven alternatives for SDS, including a plan by Colorado Springs, Fountain and Security to build a 66-inch diameter pipeline 43 miles north from Pueblo Dam to meet projected water demands through 2046. The pipeline would deliver up to 78 million gallons per day and two reservoirs would be constructed as part of the more than $1 billion project. Pueblo West also could hook up to the pipeline if it were built. The no-action alternatives for Fountain, Security and Pueblo West are unchanged. If SDS is not built, Fountain and Security will rely more heavily on local groundwater supplies, while Pueblo West will further develop its existing systems.

"Other alternatives in SDS envision different routes for the pipeline with diversions from the Arkansas River in Fremont County and above and below the confluence of Fountain Creek. Some alternatives include pipelines that would return treated effluent to the Arkansas River via pipelines as well. The no-action alternative originally submitted would involve building reservoirs on Williams Creek and Jimmy Camp Creek and treatment plants to create an indirect potable reuse system to recycle treated effluent so it could be returned to the drinking water supply."

More Coyote Gulch coverage of SDS here.

Category: Colorado Water

5:59:33 AM    

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