Coyote Gulch's Colorado Water
The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land. -- Luna Leopold

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

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From The St. Louis Dispatch, "A White House official made clear this morning what many in Congress had suspected: the president will veto a national water projects bill that contains nearly $4 billion for work on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. That sets up the prospect of the first successful veto override of President George W. Bush's administration, and members of Congress are confident that they will succeed. Steve McMillin, deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said in an interview that the president considered the $20 billion-plus Water Resources Development Act undisciplined and irresponsible. It was sent to the president's desk this week."

Thanks to restoringrivers for the link.

Category: 2008 Presidential Election

6:46:07 PM    

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Up in Montana they've been having a conversation about the ways markets can help solve supply and water quality problems. From New West:

The Bozeman-based Property and Environmental Research Center (PERC), a non-profit think tank at the forefront of "free-market environmentalism," held their annual conference for journalists this past weekend in Big Sky. Sixteen of us -- folks from Maine to Seattle -- convened to consider worldwide water scarcity and contamination problems and how markets can inject incentives to help solve them.

There were a dozen or so presenters, their topics ranging from big-picture issues such as global water supply, climate change, and domestic water quality to the very specific: payments-for-environmental-services schemes in Bolivia, removing dilapidated dams to turn a profit, a market to reduce agricultural nutrient pollution. It's intriguing stuff for any conservationist, no matter your stance on the reach or limits of markets.

What piqued my interest most, and perhaps most relevant to conservation in Montana, was the discussion of water markets in the West -- the idea of selling, leasing or donating water rights for instream use. It's not a new idea, but it's one gaining momentum.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water

6:19:22 PM    

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Here's an update on proposed regulations for the Republican River Basin from The Fort Morgan Times. They write:

The Colorado Agriculture Preservation Association announced that the Colorado Office of the State Engineer (OSE) issued draft regulations Monday that may prohibit all groundwater pumping within three miles of tributaries to the river. The regulations would take effect if Colorado uses more than its share of water under the Republican River Compact, and the state has exceeded its allocation by more than 11,000 acre feet of water per year since 2003...

CAPA estimates that the proposed regulations would take 226 parcels of irrigated land out of production if the regulations were implemented. This would result in a $60 million reduction in land value and lost agricultural production of $20 million per year in Northeastern Colorado, according to the group. "Water provides us with our livelihoods," said CAPA President Joe Newton. "Understandably, we are extremely concerned with any regulations that would cut off our water supply." If passed, the regulations would affect both agricultural and municipal wells in the areas. According to CAPA, surface-water diversions could also be cut off in the three-mile zone if the state exceeds its allocation by 2,000 acre feet of water per year. All surface water diversion would be cut off in the same area if the state thought it would exceed its allocation by 5,000 acre feet of water per year or more...

CAPA hopes to prevent the well shutdowns by forming partnerships with individuals, businesses and organizations to find solutions to maintain the local communities. One alternative supported by CAPA is the construction of a Compact Compliance Pipeline, which would convey water pumped from the ground to a tributary to the Republican River. This would make up for the delivery shortfall at the border, according to the group. "There are quite a few good alternatives to these rules that would bring Colorado into compact compliance without resulting in disaster to this part of the state," Newton said. "We look forward to working with the OSE to ensure that all options are carefully considered before regulations are implemented that would harm our community."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water

6:43:33 AM    

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U.S. Senator Ken Salazar's proposed funding includes $1 million for the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, according to The Cortez Journal. From the article:

The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe hopes to use a $1 million federal grant for water improvements on the reservation. The grant is part of a proposed federal package of more than $120 million for water-related projects across Colorado. The Water Resources Development Act of 2007, which includes the grant monies, passed the U.S. Senate Monday...

Tom Rice, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe's environment director, said the tribe has numerous water and wastewater issues, including water lines - in need of repair - running from Cortez's water-treatment plant to the reservation...

The tribe owns water rights for 1,000 acre-feet of water per year from the McPhee Project. The water is treated in Cortez and sent to Towaoc's water plant, where it's treated again, Rice said. The tribe also wants to expand its waste-treatment system, which would include building more treatment plants, Rice said. Rice said in August the tribe's drinking-water issues are not as pressing as those for waste collection. Towaoc's water-delivery system kinks are more reliability-based than safety-oriented, he said. The money may also go toward construction of a wastewater main extension that would serve homes, tribal institutions and businesses on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation, said Cody Wertz, Salazar spokesman. It would allow existing on-site septic facilities to be taken off-line and tied into the existing community wastewater facility. The project would include the construction of main line and service line, manholes and a pump station, he said.

Category: Colorado Water

6:37:08 AM    

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From The Valley Courier, "District Judge O. John Kuenhold this month appointed Charles Griego of Alamosa County and Richard Davie of Rio Grande County to four-year terms on the board of directors for the San Luis Valley Water Conservancy District. The two fill vacancies resulting from resignations by long-term board member Farris Bervig of Alamosa County and Athie Daniels of Rio Grande County. Daniels had served more than 25 years on the district's board...The San Luis Valley Water Conservancy District provides augmentation water for private and small commercial and industrial wells and has been the sponsor and supporter of the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project."

Category: Colorado Water

6:26:09 AM    

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From the Northern Colorado Business Report, "A group opposed to plans to build a reservoir northwest of Fort Collins will host a public presentation Wednesday. In conjunction with Friends of the Poudre, ecological scientist Gary Wockner will present "The Dam Truth: Threats to the Poudre River and Alternatives to New Storage" starting at 6 p.m. at Avogadro's Number, 630 S. Mason St., Fort Collins. The presentation is part of a series Friends of the Poudre is hosting. Glade Reservoir is the central feature of the Northern Integrated Supply Project, or NISP, which aims to provide 40,000 acre feet of new water supplies to Northern Colorado cities, towns and water districts at a cost of about $10,000 per acre-foot."

Category: Colorado Water

6:07:20 AM    

Internet access is less than Comcastic this morning. We're having problems. If you're reading this they may have cleared.

5:37:54 AM    

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