Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

Subscribe to "Colorado Water" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

A picture named measuringsnowpack.jpg

The North Denver News has the lowdown on December's snowfall in Denver. They write, "The big story for december 2006 was the 2 significant winter storms that pounded denver and surrounding areas within a week of each other. Finally a month in denver that had above normal snowfall. The 2 significant winter storms totaled 27.7 Inches which when added to the other 2 days with measurable snowfall comes to a total of 29.4 Inches. December 2006 has become the third snowiest denver december. Holding down snowiest denver december is 57.4 Inches recorded in 1913. Maximum snow depth occurred on the 21sth and 22nd with 21 inches. The normal snowfall for december is 8.7 Inches and the record 24 hour snowfall was 23.6 Inches in on december 24th 1982. Precipitation also finished above normal with a total of 1.21 Inches. This was 0.58 Inches above the normal 0.63 Inches. Two of the last 3 months have now been above normal which has not happened in quite a while. There were 5 days with measurable precipitation. One moisture record was set on december 20th when 0.73 Inch of liquid equivalent was recorded from the first winter storm which shattered the old record of 0.24 Inches set in 1918. December 2006 concluded the year with an annual precipitation amount of 8.64 Inches which places 2006 into the 7th driest Denver year." [ed. emphasis mine]

Category: Colorado Water

6:42:18 AM    

A picture named big5tunnel.jpg

Here's a report on a tunnel collapse at the Big 5 Adit Tunnel, a Superfund cleanup site, from the Longmont Daily Times-Call. They write, "A tunnel collapse recently discovered in a mine that is part of a Superfund cleanup effort has slowed the cleanup and has investigators concerned about a possible blowout of contaminated water that could be building up behind the blockage. The Big 5 Adit Tunnel is at the head of California Gulch, the site of several old gold and silver mines northwest of Boulder. Much of the gulch also is in the 3-year-old Captain Jack Superfund site because of waste left over from the mining. Investigators recently discovered a collapse 850 feet back in the Big 5 tunnel, which is the main drainage conduit for acidic water leaving the mine. It is not known when the collapse occurred or how much pressure has built up behind it. Such collapses have occurred before and most are safely cleaned up, but blowouts in the past have been lethal. In 1985, a surge of contaminated water from the Yak Tunnel near Leadville killed aquatic life for 60 miles in the Arkansas River, and a 1943 blowout at the Argo tunnel near Idaho Springs killed four workers...

"A blowout at the Big 5 Tunnel could contaminate waterways and affect drinking water for 18,000 people, officials said. 'That's certainly one of the major concerns,' said Angus Campbell of the state Department of Public Health and Environment, which is heading the cleanup project. 'We don't want the chemicals flushing into the Lefthand Creek.' Acidic water coming from the tunnel is flowing slowly, and the chemicals dissipate rapidly after entering Lefthand Creek. The EPA says the water is safe for human consumption when it reaches the plains to the east."

Category: Colorado Water

6:05:53 AM    

A picture named bluemesa.jpg

Moving Gunnison River water to the Front Range is an unpopular idea on the rainy side of Colorado, according to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. From the article, "Water rights are no simple matter in Colorado, but members of the Gunnison River Water Conservancy District are not happy about plans to study pumping water out of Blue Mesa Reservoir to the Front Range. Frank Kugel, general manager of the district, said board members held a teleconference Thursday about a pending bill to fund such a study with Rep. Kathleen Curry. Kugel said the bill would set aside $500,000 to evaluate water projects, including tapping Blue Mesa Reservoir. He said the bill will first be sent to the Colorado Water Conservancy Board before it goes to Curry's desk, but the water district wanted to give her a heads up...

"One concern is that the district only learned about the bill because one of its members heard about it at a meeting of the Colorado Municipal League, Kugel said, and the water district was not informed directly. 'We definitely feel we were excluded,' Kugel said. 'The intent of the SWSI (Statewide Water Supply Initiative) process was to involve the local roundtables We find that the conservancy board is moving ahead without involving us.' That's not the way it's supposed to happen, said board member Ken Spann. 'We're concerned that the state level SWSI process doesn't become an end run around the local roundtables that were set up by House Bill 1177,' Spann said, 'and that funding for studies from a statewide perspective before the local basins have a true legitimate opportunity to determine their own needs assessment, as required by the statutes, is raising some concern.' The Statewide Water Supply Initiative came into being in 2002 through HB 1177, which divided the state into local water roundtables in a grassroots effort to determine future water needs and availability.

"'We have two serious concerns,' he said. 'Number one, the SWSI process was supposed to be done hand-in-hand with the Gunnison roundtable and we feel we were left out of this process. 'We also feel this is not a good use of taxpayer money, particularly the Blue Mesa pump back, when there's no certainty the water is available,' he said. Kugel said he's also concerned because of federal reserve water rights for the Gunnison River (which feeds the reservoir) in Black Canyon and an impact study by the Bureau of Reclamation that may include Blue Mesa as a source of water to meet the needs of downstream endangered species of fish."

Category: Colorado Water

5:52:10 AM    

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2007 John Orr.
Last update: 2/1/07; 7:25:39 AM.
January 2007
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      
Dec   Feb