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

Central Colorado Water Conservancy District

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Friday, May 2, 2008

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Here's an update on HB 08-1141, from The Durango Herals. From the article:

A weakened version of a bill that ties population growth to water supplies appears headed for passage. Sponsors say House Bill 1141 takes a historic first step by declaring the water use of new subdivisions to be a matter of statewide concern. The Senate approved it 24-10 Tuesday. If the House agrees with the Senate's changes, the bill will go to Gov. Bill Ritter for his signature. "It's a huge step forward for Colorado. We haven't tackled this question for 10 years," said the sponsor, Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison.

The bill requires developers of more than 50 housing units to prove to city officials that they have an adequate water supply. It doesn't require cities to do anything different, but it should ensure that officials have better information, sponsors say. During its journey through the Legislature, developers won a number of exceptions to the bill. Thanks to a compromise reached last week, developers will be able to rely on the water-supply plans of their local water utilities. Curry said the compromise looked good to her, and environmentalists agreed.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
5:54:23 PM    

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From The Fort Collins Coloradoan: "Larimer County's process for developing a response the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Northern Integrated Supply Project, which would include Glade Reservoir, begins Monday with an informational meeting. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the hearing room of the county courthouse office building, 200 W. Oak St. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which issued the draft EIS this week, will make a presentation on the document to county officials. The public is welcome to attend the meeting, but no comment will be taken. Over the following six weeks county departments and various boards will produce comments on the document and present them to the county commissioners. The commissioners expect to send their comments to the Corps in July. A hearing during which public comment on the draft EIS will be taken is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. July 9 at the courthouse office building."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here, here and here.

Category: Colorado Water
6:33:16 AM    

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From The Rocky Mountain News: "A last-minute effort to free up water for eastern Colorado farmers whose wells have been shut down died within hours of its birth Thursday, despite the backing of key Democrats, Gov. Bill Ritter and the state's two largest water utilities. Senate Bill 247, sponsored by Sen. Jim Isgar, D-Hesperus, and Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, would have permitted excess water from the Colorado River to help replenish the South Platte and allow hundreds of farmers to pay off an old debt to the river. It was defeated in the Senate Agriculture Committee just hours after being introduced."

More from the article:

Brophy said he and Isgar introduced the bill because it would have allowed farmers to take advantage of the bountiful runoff expected this spring. And it would come at a time when farmers, for the first time in years, are profiting from high commodity prices. "We have the potential to have real, live wet water to lease to folks who can benefit. This would allow farmers to extend their irrigation season or plant a few more acres and be profitable at levels they haven't been at in a couple of generations," Brophy said.

But the proposal could not overcome the opposition of Western Slope communities that rely on the Colorado River, and cities such as Highlands Ranch and Boulder, which have long feared that overuse of the South Platte River will harm their own water rights. John Hendrick, manager of the Centennial Water and Sanitation District, which serves Highlands Ranch, said the last-minute nature of the proposal was unacceptable. The legislative session ends next week. "I find it disturbing that the process has been circumvented. This is out of order," Hendrick said.

Category: Colorado Water
6:21:24 AM    

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Reed Dils was honored yesterday at the Arkansas River Basin Water Forum, according to The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Newly minted Colorado Water Conservation Board member Reed Dils was honored by Arkansas Valley water users Wednesday for his years of work on water and conservation issues. Dils, a retired outfitter from Buena Vista, was presented the Bob Appel Friend of the Arkansas River award at the opening luncheon of the 2008 Arkansas River Basin Water Forum. "I was honored and surprised," said Dils, appointed to the CWCB last month by Gov. Bill Ritter. "I believe that through education and collaboration we can improve the river for everybody." Dils, who has represented Chaffee County on the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District since 2005, has spent more than 30 years working on both recreational and environmental issues associated with water. Dils was elected by the Arkansas Basin Roundtable as its recreational representative in late 2005, was a founding member of Collegiate Peaks Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited and represented his own and other river rafting companies when whitewater experiences were a fledgling industry for the Arkansas River. In the mid-1980s, he was involved in the formation of the Arkansas River Headwaters Recreation Area, and subsequently helped to develop the voluntary flow program for the Upper Arkansas River in 1990. Dils also was instrumental in forming the Buena Vista State Wildlife Area Habitat and Access Improvement Project, a Trout Unlimited project.

Category: Colorado Water
6:11:29 AM    

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Happy 50th birthday to the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District. Here's a report from The Pueblo Chieftain.

Category: Colorado Water
6:04:00 AM    

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Here's an update on the progress on the Rueter-Hess Reservoir from The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

A new reservoir near Parker in Douglas County should begin storing water in 2010, and holds the possibility of giving Parker and other South Platte basin water users a place to store water imported to the area. While the 72,000 acre-foot Rueter-Hess reservoir has been permitted by the Army Corps of Engineers to capture flows in the Cherry Creek watershed, there will be other ways to move water into the reservoir as participants develop new sources of water, said Frank Jaeger, manager of the Parker Water and Sanitation District. "We know we are going to have to import water to store it," Jaeger said...

None of the partners in the project have identified where water might come from to fill Rueter-Hess. Rueter-Hess was originally completed as a 16,000-acre-foot reservoir on Newlin Gulch, an intermittent tributary to Cherry Creek south of Denver, in 2006. It has never stored water because Parker and its partners sought approval for enlargement even before construction was complete. "We still have to dig roughly 9 million cubic yards of dirt," Jaeger explained. The project still needs a Douglas County permit for use by special review, expected in the next two weeks, and then the partner communities, Castle Rock, Castle Pines North and Stonegate, will have 60 days to secure financing for the $56 million expansion. The total cost of the project is $165 million...

In the first phase of construction, only about 7 acres of wetlands were disturbed, while 0.2 acres will be affected in the expansion. Still, Parker spent $2.3 million over seven years on environmental impact assessments under the National Environmental Policy Act to gain approval from the Corps of Engineers, Jaeger said. "This is the first reservoir on the Front Range to pass the NEPA process," Jaeger said. "I'd have to say we owe to the teamwork and hard work of our staff."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Category: Colorado Water
5:59:35 AM    

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