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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Monday, May 5, 2008

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Here's a look at Nestlé's plans for the Hagen Springs from Ed Quillen (via the GOAT). Mr. Quillen writes:

Bottled water has attracted ample criticism on environmental grounds, mostly because plastic bottles end up in the waste stream. But there's another environmental cost: Transporting the water...

The company proposes to collect 0.3 cubic feet per second (about 135 gallons) and transport the water by truck to its bottling plant in Denver. That works out to 194,400 gallons per day. A gallon of water weighs 8.35 pounds, so that's 1,622,268 pounds, or about 811 tons, to be hauled from Nathrop to Denver every day. The newspaper article said there would be 20 truckloads a day, but if Nestlé is really taking 0.3 cfs, then it will be more like 30 trucks. I called a local trucking company, where the manager told me that the maximum legal weight on the relevant highway, U.S. 285, is 85,000 pounds, or 42.5 tons. An empty semi tractor and tank weigh about 15 tons, she said, so the maximum payload would be 27.5 tons. Divide that into the 811 daily tons of water, and you get 30 loads per day.

Nathrop is about 125 miles from Denver, so the round trip would be 250 miles. With 30 round trips, full loads to Denver and empty runs back to Nathrop, that's 7,500 miles per day. The trucking manger said the big diesel rigs get 4.5 miles per gallon on average, which includes both loaded and empty. So just getting the water from the springs to the bottling plant would burn 1,667 gallons of diesel fuel every day, or more than 600,000 gallons per year. And that doesn't count the petroleum used to make the plastic bottles, or the fuel used to transport Arrowhead water from the bottling plant to the cooler in your neighborhood convenience store, or the energy used by that refrigeration.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
6:05:57 PM    

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From The Denver Business Journal: "Water Supply and Storage Co. has agreed to pay $9 million for damages to natural resources in Rocky Mountain National Park five years ago. The settlement was announced Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Park Service. The settlement will be used to restore areas within the park that were damaged by the breach of the Grand River Ditch. Water Supply and Storage owns and operates the Grand River Ditch."

More from the article:

The Grand River Ditch is a [irrigation] ditch about 17 feet wide and 5 feet deep and 14 miles long. Water Supply and Storage began work on the ditch in 1894. The ditch carries snow melt from the east side of the Never Summer Range to the Long Draw Reservoir. The government's complaint against Water Supply and Storage said the ditch was breached because of an excess of snow, ice and other debris. Water flowing through the breach created a gully about 167 feet wide and 60 feet deep. The breach also caused more than 60,000 cubic yards of sediment to flow into the upper Colorado River and associated wetlands, according to the government's complaint.

The article fails to mention that indemnity for Water Supply and Storage Co. has held up wilderness designation for Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition the name of the ditch has been changed to "Grand Ditch." More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Category: Colorado Water
6:04:20 PM    

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From email from The Colorado Foundation For Water Education (Nicole Seltzer): "Come celebrate the summer and help promote water education in Colorado at the Colorado Foundation for Water Education's 2008 Golf Tournament on July 25. We are excited to hold the tournament at the beautiful Red Hawk Ridge course in Castle Rock this year. Registration information is available on our website at Spots are limited so sign up today!"

Category: Colorado Water
7:10:31 AM    

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Here's the link to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment May 2008 report [pdf]. Thanks to Steve Glazer of the High Country Citizens Alliance for the link in email.

Category: Colorado Water
6:57:09 AM    

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Here's an update on Loveland's plans for their participation in the Wind Gap Project, from The Loveland Reporter-Herald. They write:

The city of Loveland continues to search for access to more water to meet future needs. On Tuesday the Loveland City Council will consider increasing its participation in the Windy Gap Firming Project, a plan to build a reservoir to hold water from the Western Slope for use on the Front Range. Currently the city has secured 6,000 acre-feet of water storage in the Windy Gap project...

But in an effort to meet future water needs for future households, the city could increase its investment to 8,000 acre-feet of storage at Windy Gap. Documents from the city say the city has been searching for possible sites for a reservoir to store raw water for two years. The search has yielded little. And so to meet the possible future need of 30,000 acre-feet of water in Loveland, increasing the share in this existing project could be an easy step for the city. The city's current investment in the project is estimated to cost $17 million. Increasing the participation to 8,000 acre-feet would increase the cost to $22.6 million. The city currently has 22,400 acre-feet of firm yield water, or water it actually has access to. Projections indicate Loveland will need 30,000 acre-feet. The city currently uses about 15,000 acre-feet of water a year...

The city could increase its participation in Windy Gap by either increasing the total size of the project or buying shares from someone else. Increasing the number of shares would not bankrupt the raw water fund for the city. Projections estimate, with the increase, the fund will have $8.3 million available at its lowest point, in 2011. Either way, the city is running out of time to make that decision, as the Environmental Impact Statement for the project is slated to be finished by the end of this month.

Category: Colorado Water
6:15:23 AM    

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From The Glenwood Springs Post Independent: "[Glenwood water and sewer users] will see a 10 percent rate increase in water fees and a 20 percent increase in sewer fees. They'll begin with the first billing cycle that starts this month. "They're basically for capital improvements and for operations and maintenance of the water and wastewater facilities," said city manager Jeff Hecksel. The driving factor behind increases in wastewater rates is the planned relocation of the city's existing wastewater treatment plant from near downtown to West Glenwood. Design work is currently under way, and it's hoped that construction on the new plant will begin in 2010, he added. The new plant will go in on the south side of the Colorado River near the western edge of the city. It'll be about as far west as possible before heading into South Canyon. It's expected to cost $30 million to build, Hecksel said."

From The Durango Herald: "Residents and property owners in the Purgatory Metropolitan District will vote Tuesday on a plan to replace the aging lagoon sewage system located across from the ski area with a state-of-the-art waste-water treatment plant at a different location. For more information about the election, go to The district is asking voters to approve a bond issue to pay for the new plant, which would cost about $10 million and be located east of the existing system. The lagoon site would be reclaimed and converted to a pond and community park. Durango Mountain Resort has been rapidly expanding since 2002, when voters approved by a wide margin a master plan that will eventually add more than 1,600 housing units. Now, property owners in the newly developed areas, which have been designated as a "subdistrict," are being asked to approve a 15-mill levy to help pay for the new treatment plant, which will be necessary to accommodate the expanding population. District properties that predate the 2002 agreement would not be subject to the tax increase and do not vote on it. All district properties, including those in the subdistrict, already are taxed at a rate of 27 mills."

Category: Colorado Water
6:02:11 AM    

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From The Pueblo Chieftain: "The state health department at 5 p.m. Sunday ordered Rye residents to boil their tap water before using it. The order warns them not drink the water until it has been boiled for three minutes. Also, only boiled water should be used to brush teeth, wash vegetables or dishes, or used for any purpose during which potentially bacteria-tainted water might be ingested. The order does not apply to nearby Colorado City. Former Rye Mayor Gene Rahl said the order was issued to prevent any potential bacteria from mountain runoff from being consumed through the town's water system. He said the water should be safe for bathing."

Category: Colorado Water
5:54:57 AM    

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