Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

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From The Cherry Creek News, "The 15,200 megawatts of new wind turbines installed worldwide last year will generate enough clean electricity annually to offset the carbon dioxide emissions of 23 average-sized U.S. coal-fired power plants, according to a new Vital Signs Update from the Worldwatch Institute. The 43 million tons of carbon dioxide displaced in 2006 is equivalent to the emissions of 7,200 megawatts of coal-fired power plants, or nearly 8 million passenger cars."

Category: 2008 Presidential Election

6:53:51 AM    

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According to The Boston Globe, "NASA is canceling or delaying a number of satellites designed to give scientists critical information on the earth's changing climate and environment. The space agency has shelved a $200 million satellite mission headed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor that was designed to measure soil moisture -- a key factor in helping scientists understand the impact of global warming and predict droughts and floods. The Deep Space Climate Observatory, intended to observe climate factors such as solar radiation, ozone, clouds, and water vapor more comprehensively than existing satellites, also has been canceled."

Thanks to the Daily Kos for the link.

Category: 2008 Presidential Election

6:48:53 AM    

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Due to a generous donation, along with having blog friends in influential places, Coyote Gulch will get the opportunity to attend the Yearly Kos Convention next week. We hope to arrive in time for the Science Bloggers Caucus on Thursday. If we don't make it there will be ample opportunities for other science blogging events. We're really looking forward to the convention.

Coyote Gulch wants to assure our political mentor and crack news reporter Stephen Colbert that we have not in fact visited the Daily Kos website since Mr. Colbert warned us off. We've been reading the RSS feed instead. Thanks for keeping us out of trouble Mr. Colbert - we're walking the straight and narrow.

Meanwhile we were very sorry to hear that Lowe's has decided to pull their advertising from the Bill O'Reilly show. It's unfair to Fox and O'Reilly to pressure their advertisers when all they were doing was innocently cherry-picking a few comments from the millions on the Daily Kos website to boost their falling ratings.

We would add that readers should be very cautious when visiting Oliver Willis' website. He just might be a Kos sympathizer and he certainly seems to have a low opinion of the Fox News product overall.

Category: 2008 Presidential Election

6:19:47 AM    

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After being pounded yesterday evening by a beautiful rain, and with plenty of irrigation water in the reservoirs in eastern Colorado, it's hard to think about drought. Coyote Gulch feels compelled to remind readers that we live in the desert and conservation is the name of the game. Click on the thumbnail above and compare the image to this one. You can clearly see that western Colorado is getting dryer while drought conditions are creeping into eastern Colorado from Wyoming and western Kansas.

We just thought that we'd keep you in mind of conserving water. We know it's a downer.

Category: Colorado Water

5:58:08 AM    

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Here's an article about using underground storage along the South Platte River. It's an idea being floated by Governor Ritter's South Platte River Basin Task Force, according to The Rocky Mountain News. From the article:

Massive underground reservoir sites along the South Platte River could add much-needed water storage for the heavily populated region, to the benefit of fast-growing cities and farms. Storing water under ground - instead of above ground - is one of several ideas being explored by a special task force charged with finding ways to better manage the battle-weary river. Though many regions don't have good underground storage sites, several areas along the South Platte have the potential to easily store millions of gallons of water, according to a new study...

Subterranean storage is often cheaper and less environmentally damaging than building above-ground reservoirs, and less water is lost to evaporation, [Gordon McCurry, a consulting engineer] said. But finding any extra water to store in these reservoirs is a tough question the task force must still address...

Another idea being considered is whether the state engineer - the top water regulator in the state - can be given more flexibility to manage the waterway. Such flexibility existed for decades, but fell apart after the 2002 drought began and low flows wiped out the liquid buffer zone that helped keep the peace. Arnie Good, a well user and task force member, said such flexibility would help make the river's supplies stretch farther. "We would like the state engineer to have that kind of flexibility," Good said. But others, worried that the state engineer hasn't done enough to protect those with surface water rights, said such flexibility could be dangerous, especially in dry years.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water

5:39:26 AM    

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The State of Colorado and BP have asked for a stay of the July 7th District 7 Water Court decision on produced groundwater from coal-bed methane wells. Here's a short update on the issue from The Durango Herald. From the article:

The state's arguments to delay a judge's order requiring gas producers to get a water-well permit are unpersuasive, according to the attorney for two Southwest Colorado ranchers who are challenging the exemption gas producers enjoy. "The standards for a stay have not been met," Denver attorney Sarah A. Klahn said Thursday in answer to the delay requested by the state of Colorado and seconded by BP. "The administrative impediments to enforcement raised by the Engineers (the state engineer and division engineers) are a mirage."

But, Klahn said, her clients - Jim and Terry Fitzgerald of La Plata County and Bill and Beth Vance of Archuleta County - are amenable to a compromise. The couples sued the state engineer in 2005, alleging that the extraction of coal-bed methane gas depletes the underground water table...

Klahn said a reasonable compromise would be to stay Lyman's order for existing coal-bed methane gas wells until the matter is settled by the Supreme Court. The judge's order, however, would apply to undrilled wells or wells that are not yet producing. In the process to free coal-bed methane gas, water and chemicals are injected into coal-bed seams. The mixture, plus underground water, is then extracted. The state engineer's office has argued that the mixture is "produced" water and therefore not under its jurisdiction. The plaintiffs say the water is tributary, meaning that it is part of the overall water supply...

Klahn said the state didn't demonstrate that it likely would prevail on appeal. In addition, she said 20 years of drilling and pumping from unpermitted wells also constitute a legal presumption of injury. Klahn said the state failed to show that "irreparable" harm alleged by BP would be proportional for all gas drillers or any others who don't have a water-well permit. A stay isn't warranted, Klahn concluded. But if there is to be one, it doesn't need to be the "all-or-nothing" position of the state and BP, she said. The plaintiffs - the Fitzgeralds raise cattle and tomatoes, the Vances, hay - aren't seeking monetary damages. They sued the state to protect their water rights. "We want a water-court process," Jim Fitzgerald said Thursday. "We want the court to decide who will be hurt."

Category: Colorado Water

5:19:22 AM    

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