Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Thursday, January 4, 2007

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The Castle Rock City Council has passed a new Water Conservation Master Plan, according to From the article, "With the goal of ensuring a long-term water supply for the community, the Castle Rock Town Council in December adopted a Water Conservation Master Plan. A follow-up to the adoption in early 2006 of the Town's Water Resources Strategic Master Plan - the Water Conservation Master Plan aims to reduce water consumption 18 percent town-wide within five years. Among other things, the plan proposes to achieve the significant drop in water consumption with water-wise rebates and incentives, a new water rate structure, public education and outreach. Prior to Council approval, the Water Resources Committee and the Utilities Commission endorsed the plan. Castle Rock's plan is considered one of the most proactive in the state and is the fourth plan to comply with the new Colorado Water Conservation statute."

Category: Colorado Water

6:22:48 AM    

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The deadline for the feds to appeal last summer's decision on water flow in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park has passed, according to From the article, "The government has chosen not to appeal a federal judge's September ruling throwing out an agreement governing the amount of water flowing in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The Interior Department had filed notice it might appeal the ruling by U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer, but withdrew the notice last week, clearing the way for work to determine how much water the river needs through the canyon to satisfy the needs of wildlife and human uses."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water

6:15:16 AM    

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What are the early effects of the recent Platte River Cooperative Agreement? The article, from the Brighton Standard Blade attempts to answer that question. They write, "A three-state agreement to protect endangered or threatened species took effect Monday for the Platte River Basin. The agreement protects the ability of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska to use and develop water while seeking to recover endangered and threatened wildlife. For water users in Colorado along the South Platte River, there should be much more certainty about exactly how much water is going to be needed to benefit the four endangered species. The species include the endangered whooping crane, pallid sturgeon and interior least tern, and the threatened piping plover, all of which use the Platte River waterway or adjacent habitat in Nebraska...

"The plan for species recovery will cost about $317 million. Of that, $157 million will come from the Department of Interior and the rest from the three states in cash, land and water. The remaining $130 million for the plan will be given by the states through water and land. The three states must together contribute 80,000 acre-feet of water (committed in the 1997 agreement), and Wyoming and Nebraska will contribute about 26,500 acres of land. Colorado plans to pay $24 million in cash and Wyoming $6 million in cash. Nebraska doesn[base ']t have to pay any cash according to the agreement. Most of the program funds will go toward leasing or purchase of land and water from willing sellers. Berryman said the plan stipulates that the three states still have to add another 50,000-70,000 acre-feet of water to what has already been committed."

Category: Colorado Water

6:08:00 AM    

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Whitewater recreation and tourism on the Arkansas River continue to be a major economic stimulus for the valley, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. They write, "The popularity of rafting on the Arkansas River continued to grow in 2006 with an estimated $73 million in tourism dollars brought in to the Upper Arkansas River Valley region. 'We had 244,283 commercial rafters in 2006, a 4 percent increase over 2005,' said John Kreski, Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area rationing and numbers coordinator. The turnout still was short of the river's biggest year, 2001, when 252,213 customers rafted the Arkansas. However, the continuing upward trend from the disastrous drought of 2002 is welcome news in the valley. In 2005, 228,091 people rafted the river...

"Along with the increase in 2006 customers, the commercial rafting industry increased its staff by 4.9 percent. The river also saw an increase in the number of private recreational kayakers, which went up a whopping 11 percent, Kreski said. 'Gross receipts went up 9 percent which, in part, was due to companies adjusting their prices because of other economic factors,' Kreski said, as the cost to do business increased. With total gross receipts of about $11.77 million, the total economic impact of rafting on the region should weigh in around $73 million when final figures are calculated by the end of this month by the Colorado River Outfitters Association's number-crunching experts Joe Greiner and Jody Werner. Last year, the economic impact of commercial rafting on the Arkansas River Valley was $60.9 million...

"One area in which the commercial rafting industry continues to grow is float fishing, a popular way for fishermen to wet a line."

Category: Colorado Water

5:52:25 AM    

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Here's an update on the Southern Delivery System from the Pueblo Chieftain. They write, "Participants in the Southern Delivery System plan are giving increased attention to an alternative to run a water delivery pipeline through Fremont County, rather than from Pueblo Dam. Applications for water exchanges that would move water stored in Lake Pueblo to proposed, unspecified points of diversion on the Arkansas River in Fremont County were filed in late December by Fountain and Security in Division 2 water court. The decrees would be needed if an alternative to SDS to divert and return water from a point near Penrose is chosen under an environmental impact assessment being made by the Bureau of Reclamation. Colorado Springs filed for a similar exchange in late 2005...

"Colorado Springs proposes, in its alternative, to run a pipeline along the route of Colorado 115. The return-flow pipeline was added by Reclamation as a way to reduce flows on Fountain Creek...

"Fountain's application for the SDS exchange includes Fry-Ark water, plus some other surface rights, including shares of the Fountain Mutual Irrigation Co. It also includes a point of diversion at Phantom Canyon reservoirs, and a controversial enlargement of Brush Hollow Reservoir north of Penrose proposed by Colorado Springs developers Mark and Jim Morley. Colorado Springs excluded the Morleys' plan from the alternative under review by Reclamation, but Fountain wants to keep open the Brush Hollow option to use it for storage."

Category: Colorado Water

5:46:16 AM    

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Here's an update on the Glenwood Springs whitewater park from the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. From the article, "The Hot Springs Lodge and Pool has pledged $20,000 toward the construction of a proposed whitewater park in West Glenwood Springs. The Glenwood Springs City Council approved the park in August and included up to $300,000 in the 2007 city budget to help fund the estimated $1.4 million project. Work is to begin in December and be completed in 2008. The park would be located immediately off exit 114 of Interstate 70, just upstream of the Midland Avenue bridge."

Category: Colorado Water

5:40:00 AM    

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