Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Friday, January 19, 2007

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Mead is working towards a new wastewater treatment plant, according to the Longmont Daily Times-Call. From the article, "A $1 million federal grant will help Mead pay for its new, $4.3 million wastewater treatment plant, but future sewer service in the Interstate 25 corridor remains uncertain...

"The state told the town to build a new treatment plant because its 50-year-old lagoon system is outdated and can't meet new water-quality standards. And the plant can't serve the east side of I-25, where Mead has an interest in annexation, Macomber said. The town's placement of the new plant - east of I-25 between Weld County roads 32 and 34 - could give it more annexation power in the area, where the county has approved unincorporated developments. Mead leaders and several other stakeholders in southwest Weld County have argued new developments should be built in municipalities, not unincorporated Weld County. The town's future plant will sit in the backyard of the proposed East I-25 Sanitation District, which Mead sued last year to block its formation. A two-day trial wrapped up in May. A Weld County District Court judge's decision is still pending."

Category: Colorado Water

6:25:57 AM    

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Here's an article about opposition to Glade Reservoir and other projects up in Larimer County, from the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. They write, "All along its ever-urbanizing corridor, the Poudre serves as a source of recreation for anglers, boaters, bird watchers and those who enjoy running, walking and cycling along its banks. Farther downstream, the bulk of the river's water is used for agricultural, municipal and industrial uses. Cities like Fort Collins have poured millions of dollars into the construction of pathways and natural areas around the river to offer greater access to its banks. But this waterway - Colorado's only river to get the federal protection of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 - is at risk of being tapped for three new controversial reservoir projects that would feed the thirst of 16 downstream cities and water districts in northern Colorado. While some say that more water storage is desperately needed on the growing Front Range, a group of river activists in Laramie County is joining forces against one of the new dam and reservoir projects that they say would be disastrous to the ecological health of the Poudre. The loose association of concerned residents, united under the banner Save the Poudre, aims to raise awareness of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District's plans to build Glade Reservoir on land where U.S. Highway 287 passes through a valley northwest of Fort Collins. Buoyed by the support of groups like the Colorado Environmental Coalition, the Fort Collins Audubon Society, Poudre Paddlers and the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Sierra Club, the movement is gaining a high profile as the biggest anti-dam effort in the state."

Category: Colorado Water

6:19:06 AM    

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Trout Unlimited and anglers in Summit County are stoked by the new stream temperature rules adopted last week by the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission, according to the Summit Daily News (free registration required). From the article, "Some of Summit County's best trout fishing streams got an extra measure of protection recently when the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) decided to adopt standards that will provide a meaningful tool to address human-caused temperature changes...

"In Summit County, the Blue River Gold Medal trout fishery downstream of Dillon Dam falls under the new rules, as do Blue River headwater streams higher in the basin. For now, the WQCC adopted a set of interim standards that cover Gold Medal fishing waters like the Lower Blue. In 2008, the state will begin the process of applying the regulations basin by basin, beginning with the Colorado Basin...

"Staffers with the WQCC gave a background presentation on the history of the temperatures standards, explaining that the rules are based on an exhaustive review of the existing scientific literature on the impacts of temperature on aquatic life. There are 76 species of fish living in Colorado waters, and the research for the temperature regs covered 68 of those. The most sensitive to temperature changes is the native greenback cutthroat trout. Trout and other fish have evolved over thousands of years to thrive in a narrow range of optimal temperatures. Their spawning activity is triggered by seasonal changes in water temperature, so one of the goals of the new rules is to keep streams somewhere close to the natural seasonal fluctuations."

Category: Colorado Water

6:08:32 AM    

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Some Christians are starting to advocate for reducing our effects on the global climate. Here's an article from the JG-TC Online with details. They write, "This article is not meant to debate the possibility of our earth's climate changing. I am not well enough versed in meteorological and scientific theory to argue either side. I don't know if the exhaust from cars or cows standing in a field represent the greater danger. My gut reaction is that man flatters himself by thinking he can completely destroy God's creation. However, the visual evidence is overwhelming that suggests we can corrupt, change and destroy on at least a local or regional level that which God made. Air and water pollution, which affects all life, is a real problem. It is shameful when various creatures that share our planet become endangered and go extinct. And contamination of the environment through carelessness, greed, war or any other reason pose potential health risks not only to us, but for generations yet to come. As Christians, we need to be the leaders in environmental issues and conservation. After all, the God we worship created everything. Genesis 1:31 says, 'God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.' If it is good, what right do we have to mess it up?" "How severe will global warming get? Jason P. Briner is looking for an answer buried deep in mud dozens of feet below the surface of lakes in the frigid Canadian Arctic. His group is gathering the first quantitative temperature data over the last millennium from areas in extreme northeastern sections of the Canadian Arctic, such as Baffin Island. Every spring, Briner, Ph.D., assistant professor of geology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University at Buffalo, travels to the region to sample Arctic lake sediments and glaciers and analyzes them to reconstruct past climates. "

Category: 2008 Presidential Election

6:01:08 AM    

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According to the Colorado Springs Gazette several water utilities in northern El Paso County have formed the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority to better help deal with the eventual depletion of the Denver Basin aquifers. From the article, "This summer the Donala Water and Sanitation District, which serves about 2,700 homes around Gleneagle and Baptist Road, will restrict lawn-watering to three days a week. The conservation measure might be adopted by five other northern El Paso County water suppliers banding together to form the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority, an entity seeking long-term water solutions for thousands of ratepayers. 'We've known all along that we've had an issue with a depleting source of water,' said Donala district manager Dana Duthie. The water authority includes Donala, the town of Monument, Triview Metropolitan District, Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District, the town of Palmer Lake and Academy Water and Sanitation District. Because the districts rely on groundwater, they're somewhat immune from droughts - the water is there, rain or shine. But in recent years the production of some shallower wells has decreased and all agree that eventually, the water will be gone...

"Districts in the water authority began meeting several years ago as the Palmer Divide Water Group. The name change, effective this month, allows the group to tackle construction projects."

Category: Colorado Water

5:50:54 AM    

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Here's a report on the moisture content in the snow from the recent storms that hit southeastern Colorado, from the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article, "The winter wonderland out there is wet as well as white. The water content of snow on the Eastern Plains is as much as 6-8 inches in some areas and a foot or more on the Purgatoire River...

[Water Division 2 Engineer Steve Witte] "presented a satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showing water content remaining from the weekly storms that began hitting Eastern Colorado in December. The area of snowfall covers the entire Front Range and most of Western Kansas. Using a color-coded map, Witte explained the most moisture to be found from the storm is a large area centered on Two Buttes Reservoir, southeast of Lamar, where water content of the snow lying on the ground is 6-8 inches...

"A slightly larger area east of Trinidad on the Purgatoire River has an even greater water content, of 12-14 inches. Witte said a slow melt of the snow will increase soil moisture profiles, possibly even percolating deep into the ground to raise water tables. 'If it[base ']s a quick melt, it will go into John Martin Reservoir or Kansas,' Witte said. The water on Purgatoire would flow into John Martin, while Two Buttes Creek empties into the Arkansas River at Holly, near the state line. The water in John Martin Reservoir would benefit Colorado. Besides the areas with heavy water content, there are wide areas around La Junta and Lamar where 4-6 inches of moisture is contained in the snow. If it melts slowly enough, it could contribute a 'good deal of water' to John Martin."

Category: Colorado Water

5:41:13 AM    

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