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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Sunday, May 11, 2008

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Happy Mothers Day to all you mothers out there. You know who you are. Our task today is to get Mrs. Gulch to slow down a bit, enjoy the day, take a walk or ride around the neighborhood. Redbuds are in their prime around town and tulips are popping up everywhere. Click on the thumb for a virtual bouquet from Mrs. Gulch's Moon Garden.

8:21:25 AM    

From The Cortez Journal: "The House voted 58-6 Tuesday for a proposed constitutional amendment backed by Rep. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango. The Senate followed with a 26-9 vote, meaning the question will go to voters in the November election. The measure, Senate Concurrent Resolution 3 [pdf], would raise the number of signatures that a citizens group needs to collect to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to about 93,000. Groups would have to collect 8 percent of their signatures from each of Colorado's seven Congressional districts. Roberts and other proponents reached a truce Monday with environmental groups that had been fighting the measure. It calls for petitioners to get 8 percent of their signatures in each of the state's seven Congressional districts -- down from 10 percent per district in the original bill. Environmentalists complained that only wealthy groups could have met the 10 percent requirement. Under the compromise, campaigns would have to gather about 7,500 signatures in each district."

Category: Denver November 2008 Election
8:00:57 AM    

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From The Steamboat Pilot & Today: "Floodwaters are receding and a flood advisory has expired in North Routt County...At a U.S. Geological Survey measuring station near Milner, the Elk River measured Friday at 174 percent of its historical average for May 9. The river was flowing at 3,150 cubic feet per second Friday, shy of the 3,580 cfs May 9 record set in 1920, according to the USGS Web site. That flow rate is a significant drop from Thursday's peak, when the river was flowing at 4,510 cfs shortly after 3 p.m., breaking the 3,250 cfs record set May 8, 1916."

Category: Colorado Water
7:54:24 AM    

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Here's a look at the Wiggins master plan. for water, a work in progress, from The Fort Morgan Times. They write:

This one consists of a chance to buy 10 shares of Weldon Valley Ditch Co. water along with the farm they are attached to and another farm the town could use for wells. A water attorney is looking into whether or not these purchases would meet the needs of Wiggins and if they are economically feasible. In the meantime, the council is pursuing a contract with the farm owners that would give the town 120 days to research the plan, but would cost nothing if the council decides not to close on the deal, council members have said in the past. Those at the Legion Hall meeting were skeptical. "We need a lot more study on this stuff," said Leroy Repp, one of the speakers, and one of the candidates in the recent election who did not win a council seat. Jan Mayhan, who resigned her seat on the council after the election, has said in the past she would like to see some written details on more than one option, not just hear discussion about them. So far, the costs involved in anything but the Weldon Valley water have been undocumented, she said at the meeting. Along with others, she fears facing $200 to $300 water bills if things do not go right, she said. She wondered if all the details have been worked out. For instance, the infrastructure needed to bring the Weldon Valley water from the north could be cost-prohibitive. Not only would a line have to cross Interstate 76 and other roads, it would have to cross farmland, Mayhan said...

Another problem is what a water court will do with the Weldon Valley water plan, Blauer said. If it is a year-to-year lease purchase as suggested, he asked if the water court would have to decide its legitimacy every year. One of the issues brought up at the meeting was a section of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights which says any multi-year financial obligation must go to a vote of the people. This means the issue must go to a vote, the panel said. However, many cities, towns and counties have done legal purchases by buying land or property under year-to-year lease-purchase plans. Each year, the governing body has to make the decision to pay a lease, instead of a one-time purchase. In this case, Wiggins would earn a certain amount of the water rights each year, and all of them if the contract is completed, some on the council have said...

Frank Roehrich, who also resigned from the council after the election, talked about treating the water Wiggins has instead of buying more. He has informally talked with a Minnesota filtration company that says it could put a system on the current sewer plant for about $800,000 to clean up the nitrates in the water. That is much cheaper than buying water rights, he said. This is not a new idea. It has been brought up at the council before, but a problem with filtration or reverse osmosis is the loss of water in the process. Up to 50 percent of the water can be lost, several people have said over the past year. Roehrich denied those figures, saying water that might be wasted could be recycled and reclaimed by using a holding pond. The advantage of this plan would be that Wiggins would stay in control of its water and not answerable to the state water court, he said.

Category: Colorado Water
7:50:04 AM    

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There is a lot of sentiment from states around the Great Lakes to keep other states in the nation from raiding them as a source of fresh water. Despite the astronomical costs involved for energy, construction and permitting, some still think that we those of us west of the 100th meridian have our eyes on the lakes as a source for more growth. Here's an update on efforts to keep the Great Lakes Not for sale," embodied in a new book, Great Lakes for Sale: From Whitecaps to Bottlecaps. From the review on The Water and Wastewater Blog:

"In 'Great Lakes for Sale: From Whitecaps to Bottlecaps,' Dave Dempsey makes a case for a regional effort to make sure these waters are not for sale to or controlled by interests outside the region. While a system holding 18 percent of the world's -- 95 percent of the US -- fresh surface water supply may never be pumped dry, Dempsey worries its water level could be tragically lowered by those who would export to thirsty neighbors, domestic and foreign."

Coyote Gulch wonders if they'd be willing to pipe some water down here to process oil shale? It would be a way for them to share in Colorado's pain. Colorado and the Great Lakes states, sister national sacrifice zones.

Category: Colorado Water
7:38:50 AM    

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Members of the Fountain Creek Foundation toured the site of a proposed Environmental Stewardship Center on Saturday, according to The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The Fountain Creek Foundation, formed earlier this year, is trying to raise $4.75 million to develop an Environmental Stewardship Center on Fountain Creek north of the Pinon Bridge over Fountain Creek. "We believe this facility will inspire us all to focus on contributing to the good of all, both for present and future generations," said David Struthers, president of the foundation. Struthers is a Denver lawyer who grew up in Pueblo and in his early career worked in Colorado Springs. Struthers was joined by two other board members, Dr. Richard Lawrence of Pueblo and Rachael Wallace of La Junta, at Saturday's event, which was held to formally announce the formation of the foundation. A public celebration, featuring food and live entertainment, is being planned for July...

The foundation was formed and the land donated because of the Fountain Creek Corridor Master Plan project jointly developed by the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District and Colorado Springs Utilities. The two-year, $600,000 project will produce a master plan for Fountain Creek, which is close to completion, and a pair of demonstration projects. The Environmental Stewardship Center will be the first of the projects, said Kevin Shanks, a landscape architect hired as a consultant for the master plan project. The center is anticipated to have several observation towers, from which wildlife and their habitat can be viewed, walking trails, bike paths and other outdoor attractions. It also will serve as a way to provide education about the ecosystems on the creek function and how they are affected by people, and there will be a companion Web site to provide information on the Internet.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
7:18:55 AM    

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