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.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A picture named firstintimefirstinright.jpg

Here's report on HB 1132 from the Durango Herald. They write, "A seven-year debate about water quality might be near an end. The House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday easily passed a bill to let the courts look at water quality downstream when considering applications for large changes in water use. The cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs, which had fought previous versions of the bill, supported it Wednesday, along with environmentalists, farm groups and water-conservancy districts. 'This collection of people in water who agree is unprecedented and may never happen again,' said Peter Nichols, a water lawyer who helped write the bill. The sponsor, Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West, teared up just before the 11-2 vote, recalling her long and unsuccessful struggle last year. In 2006, her bill languished in the House for a month while she looked for a final vote to put her over the top. She finally found it when former Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez, committed his support. Later, the bill died in the Senate by one vote."

Category: Colorado Water

6:28:20 AM    

A picture named waterfromtap.jpg

Colorado State University scored some bipartisan support this week from the state legislature's Finance Committee to be used to train water professionals, according to the CSU Zone. From the article, " Enjoying bipartisan support, a bill that would bring $500,000 each year to Colorado State University for the next two years to help support its Water Resources Research Institute passed the House Finance Committee by a 10-0 vote Wednesday. The House bill, sponsored by Reps. Randy Fischer and John Kefalas - both Democrats from Fort Collins - and partnered by Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins, now will head to House Appropriations for consideration...

"The work of the institute, to train new generations of water managers and water technology experts, reaches beyond Fort Collins and CSU, said Reagan Waskom III, WRRI's director."

Category: Colorado Water

6:22:41 AM    

A picture named dripirrigation.jpg

Here's a report about the CSU/Parker study on sustainable irrigation from the Northern Colorado Business Report. From the article, "Colorado State University and Parker Water and Sanitation District are joining forces to help find ways to sustain irrigated agriculture in the state while still meeting the growing water demands of municipalities. The study - considered the first of its kind in Colorado - will cost more than $1 million over the next three years and is aimed at helping develop water policy that can accommodate often competing needs for an increasingly scarce resource...

"[Frank Jaeger, Parker Water's district manager] presented the planned study Thursday at the Colorado Water Congress' 49th annual convention in Denver. The study will look at cropping system strategies such as crop rotation, drought tolerant crops and adoption of optimal irrigation technologies.

Category: Colorado Water

6:14:10 AM    

A picture named derrick.jpg

According to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel the Colorado Division of Water Resources is starting a study of the effects of coal bed methane wells on stream flow. From the article, "Colorado Division of Water Resources Assistant State Engineer Dick Wolfe said a stream depletion assessment study is to be completed by July. The $186,000 study, funded by state severance tax money, will include coal-bed methane wells in the Raton Basin of southeastern Colorado. A public open house to kick off the study will be from 3 to 5 p.m. today at Rifle City Hall [ed. emphasis ours]. Coal-bed methane wells produce much more water than traditionally drilled wells. That's because methane gas is trapped in the coal beds by the pressure of water in the cleats, or fractures. To release methane gas, water is pumped out. The study will consider if surface water seeps in to replace that water."

Category: Colorado Water

6:02:27 AM    

A picture named coloradoriverbasins.jpg

Here's a report from yesterday's Colorado Water Congress from the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. From the article, "Gov. Bill Ritter and newly appointed Colorado Department of Natural Resources Director Harris Sherman for the first time outlined their water agenda Thursday before the Colorado Water Congress, saying they want to see the state's water basin roundtables succeed. Sherman and Ritter are taking a wait-and-see approach to the basin roundtables as they learn more about how the groups operate. Once that's done, Sherman said he'll make a recommendation to Ritter regarding the roundtables' future...

"Ritter outlined four core principals of his administration's water agenda for Colorado: Conservation; reuse; shared water use; and additional water storage. Conservation, he said, involves educating Front Range residents how to use less water and reminding Coloradans it's 'a scarce resource.' Reuse means recapturing water a city has used so it can be used multiple times before it leaves the state, he said. Ritter, in a written statement [pdf] on the Colorado Water Congress' Web site, said he supports expanding and improving existing water storage facilities before new ones are built. He said he supports shared-use in the form of crop fallowing, which would allow cities to use agricultural water, generating revenue for agricultural communities. Ritter and Sherman said eradicating invasive, water-gulping tamarisk trees are important to conserving water in Colorado. Sherman said if the trees disappeared from the state, Colorado could save up to 150,000 acre-feet of water."

It's worth noting that Governor Ritter didn't repeat his statement from a couple of weeks ago where he was quoted by the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel as saying, "I believe the days of the transmountain diversion are over."

More coverage from the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (free registration required). They write, "In his first major policy statement on water, Gov. Bill Ritter said Thursday a system designed to work out disagreements among users in different parts of the state is getting mixed reviews and he wants to find a way to improve it. Ritter's director of natural resources, Harris Sherman, said backers of three or four major water projects have bypassed the system and are working on their own deals...

"Sherman said the roundtables have succeeded in bringing warring factions together to work on water issues, but he said it's time to start creating solutions. 'There are some issues and concerns I have about this process,' Sherman said. He said it is unclear how the committees work with other water policymakers, including the Colorado Water Conservation Board, which funds major water projects. 'It may be a matter of concern if this is the best vehicle,' he said. The lawmaker who proposed the roundtable system, Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, said a turf battle is under way between the roundtables and the Water Conservation Board. A spokesman for the board did not return a call. Penry said he support's Ritter's decision to study ways to improve the process but believes the governor will keep the basin roundtables."

Category: Colorado Water

5:53:13 AM    

A picture named measuringsnowpack.jpg

Here's an update about the snowpack that effects Colorado Springs from the Colorado Springs Gazette. They write, "Pikes Peak's north slope stood at 276 percent of normal for this time of year as of Wednesday, with 122 inches of snow, Utilities' principal water supply engineer, Kevin Lusk, said Thursday. The south slope, which has received 118 inches, is at 205 percent of normal, which Lusk called 'a lot of snow.' The city gets most of its water from transmountain systems, but the Pikes Peak system provides 15 percent to 20 percent of the local supply...

"Here's the report, as of Thursday, of the city's Colorado River Basin systems, according to the National Resources Conservation Services: Homestake: 106 percent of average; Blue River: 120 percent of average; Twin Lakes: 106 percent of average; The Arkansas River Basin, which includes Colorado Springs, is at 121 percent of average."

Category: Colorado Water

5:44:34 AM    

A picture named avgmercuryemissionscolorado.jpg

Here's a followup on mercury polluted waterways in Colorado from the Rocky Mountain News. From the article, "The addition of a popular Front Range reservoir to the list of Colorado locales with mercury-tainted fish underscores the need to clamp down on power plant emissions, some 'greens' and regulators said Thursday. Horsetooth Reservoir, a recreation mecca for boaters, anglers and campers surrounded by public lands just west of Fort Collins, was among five new sites this week where state health officials began warning people to limit fish consumption. The news surprised environmentalists and recreation advocates along the northern Front Range. Some suggested it would pressure industry and regulators to seek tougher controls on mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants in Colorado...

"The dispute boils down to two differing approaches. One, favored by industry and the Bush administration, would allow utilities to buy and sell pollution allowances. Opponents, including environmentalists and many state and local governments, want to see across-the-board cuts in mercury emissions at every facility. In Colorado, the new fish advisories may bolster the case of those wanting tougher limits. There are also challenges nationally to the so-called cap-and- trade approach implemented by Bush administration officials at the Environmental Protection Agency. Recent studies, too, appear to challenge long-standing claims that much of the mercury contamination comes from sources as distant as China, with newer research suggesting local power plants also are big contributors. One EPA study published last year found that 70 percent of the mercury deposited in rain and snow over Steubenville, Ohio, was linked to local or regional sources. A dozen coal-fired plants operate in the region around the city...

"Front Range water bodies posted: Horsetooth Reservoir, Berkeley Lake, Rocky Mountain Lake, Brush Hollow Reservoir, Teller Reservoir, Horseshoe Reservoir, Trinidad Lake.

"Southwestern Colorado water bodies posted: Sanchez Reservoir, Navajo Reservoir, Vallecito Reservoir, Totten Reservoir, McPhee Reservoir, Narraguinnep Reservoir, Purdy Mesa Reservoir."

More coverage from the Fort Collins Coloradoan. They write, "Fish in highly popular Horsetooth Reservoir have been found to contain mercury at levels unhealthy for human consumption, according to the Colorado Department of Health. Tests conducted at the health department and announced this morning found levels above the state's safe consumption standard of 0.5 parts per million in walleye and wiper. Levels in some of those fish ranged as high as 1 part per million. Smallmouth bass and trout were found to contain mercury but at levels lower than 0.5 parts per million." 5:37:51 AM    

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2007 John Orr.
Last update: 2/1/07; 7:29:36 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