Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Friday, January 12, 2007

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The Aspen Times (free registration required) has more details on the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission's new water temperature regulations. From the article, "The proposal adopted by the commission establishes both long-term regulations, to be applied as each river basin in the state comes up for periodic review (the Colorado River basin is next, in 2008), and interim measures that go into effect this year for cold-water streams populated by cutthroats and brook trout, as well as Gold Medal fisheries like the Roaring Fork and Fryingpan rivers. Standards for warm-water fisheries were also adopted. The new standards won't impact existing diversions, according to proponents, though lower water levels in rivers and streams can result in water temperatures that are higher than optimal for trout populations. The standards will, however, be a factor in the approval of new developments that can impact water temperature, Vieira said. They could also impact entities that discharge water into streams, like wastewater treatment plants, and industrial and mining concerns, for example...

"The interim standards call for an average weekly temperature of 63 degrees Fahrenheit for rivers and streams above 7,000 feet that have cutthroat or brook trout populations. For Gold Medal rivers, designated by the Division of Wildlife as premier trout waters for the size and number of trout they contain - the standard is 65 degrees...

Category: Colorado Water

6:04:16 AM    

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From today's Denver Post: "Aurora Water will host a small, local subcontractor business-opportunity fair for the first component of the city's Prairie Waters project Jan. 18. The event will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel-Denver Southeast, 3200 S. Parker Road."

5:58:06 AM    

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The mussels found have been positively identified as Quagga Mussels not Zebra Mussels.

You can add Nevada (and probably California and Arizona) to the U.S. states where Zebra Mussels have been sighted, according to the Tacoma News Tribune. From the article, "Twenty years ago, the tiny zebra mussel was unknown in North America. But somewhere the tenacious invader hitched a ride on a boat from Europe and settled in the Great Lakes. Within a decade, zebra mussels were fouling the water intakes for nuclear power plants, ruining pleasure boats and wiping out freshwater ecologies throughout the Eastern United States and Canada. Federal, state and local agencies worked unsuccessfully to contain the invasion to the Great Lakes, then to the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Until last Friday, the invader hadn't been seen west of the Continental Divide. Now it's been found in Las Vegas' back yard. The zebra mussel or a close relative - scientists are working on a final identification - has been found in Lake Mead. The discovery has officials from federal, state and local agencies reeling, attempting to ascertain the level of threat to their operations - and the future of Lake Mead as a fish habitat...

"Other Western states, too, could face the invasion as the mussel travels with boats from lake to lake. Any boat that uses Lake Mead - the most popular in the West - could advance the invasion, just as a boat was probably responsible for bringing the animal into Lake Mead. Officials of Western states are scheduled to meet Jan. 31 in Las Vegas to discuss the threat. The discovery three weeks before the meeting of the 100th Meridian Initiative, the unsuccessful cross-agency effort to contain the mussel, brings new urgency to the gathering, he said. Although the mussel is just an inch long, densities as high as 700,000 per square yard have been found at water intakes on the Great Lakes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey."

Category: Colorado Water

5:55:22 AM    

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Here's an update about the effort to build a whitewater park on the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs from the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent (free registration required). They write, "Just two years ago, supporters of a whitewater park in Glenwood Springs slammed into a boulder-sized obstacle that they feared would capsize their dreams. The Hot Springs Lodge & Pool was threatening legal action to stop their project. Talk about water under the bridge. Today, the pool has emerged as a leading proponent of the whitewater park. Recently it announced it has pledged $20,000 to the project. That follows a lengthy period of involvement by pool chief financial officer John Bosco in helping plan the park.

"For the pool, it was never the park but its proposed location that had been the issue. Supporters had wanted to build the whitewater park on the Colorado River downtown. Pool officials worried that construction of the whitewater features and scouring by the resulting waves could puncture the shallow hot springs aquifer, the source of the pool's water, beneath the river. Between the possibility of a lawsuit and the perceived threat to the city's biggest tourist attraction, City Council decided the park instead should be built near the Interstate 70 interchange in West Glenwood. Joe Mollica, who has headed up a task force pursuing the whitewater park, credited the pool for getting behind the project after the city decided on the downstream location...

"The total project cost is $1.4 million, but the park can be built in phases, with the first involving placing the wave-making structure in the river. Work on things such as landscaping of the adjacent riverbanks can be done later. Proponents hope to have the whitewater feature installed next winter."

Category: Colorado Water

5:43:22 AM    

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