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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Saturday, May 17, 2008

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From The Telluride Watch: "San Miguel County has filed applications and received official designation for two Groundwater Guardian Green Sites, according to Open Space and Recreation Director Linda Luther. The two local sites include the San Miguel County Fairgrounds in Norwood and Down Valley Park near Sawpit. One more application will be filed concerning the Road and Bridge Shops. 'When that is done, we will have covered the county's property in terms of groundwater management protocol,' Luther noted, adding, 'We do try very hard to use best management practices in dealing with potential contaminants.' According to its web site ( the national Groundwater Guardian Green Site Program encourages managers and superintendents of green spaces to implement, measure, and document their groundwater-friendly practices, while documenting the use of pesticides, fertilizers and water. The program emphasizes pollution prevention, water quality, and environmental stewardship."

Category: Colorado Water
10:52:12 AM    

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Here's a report from the Shavano Conservation District's 16th annual Water Festival, from The Montrose Daily Pres. From the article:

Because of Tuesday's brush with winter weather, the 16th annual Water Festival sponsored by the Shavano Conservation District had to be postponed until Thursday. However, yesterday's sporadic drizzle didn't deter the 250 Montrose County School District Re-1J fourth-graders from learning about one of the valley's most prized resources -- water -- and the different entities that regulate and study its use. "We feel that educating our children -- that's our future," said organizer Cyndee Feske of the Shavano Conservation District. "We want to teach them to respect and understand (water)." By educating the students, she said she hopes conserving and keeping it clean become second-nature. "There are a lot of things we didn't do because we weren't taught, like turning off the water when you brush your teeth," she said. These students will not have the same excuse, as they learned about everything from storm drains and wastewater treatment to soils, larva and runoff. There were to be 20 different stations for which small groups of students would travel to for a certain amount of time. However, because of the cancellation, six stations were not able to show for the rescheduled date...

"I learned about all the different kinds of little bug and little worms-things that eat each other," said Jared Knight, 10-year-old Johnson student. "They live in the water and serve as food for small fish." Knight had just finished the "Learning to Look" station, where wildlife biologist Steve Woodis had kids look at water bugs through glass, then sample the water and look at it though a microscope. The station was a favorite for several students.

Another session showed students how spring dust storms affect the snow melt. Warren Young, mineral specialist with the U.S. Forest Service in Ouray, demonstrated to students how dust absorbs the sunlight and can melt the snow up to a month faster. A snow system observatory and research venue has been set up in Silverton to study the process and its effects. It is the only such venue in the world, he said.

New to the festival were septic haulers. "Disposal is sensitive," said Abby Power of Benjamin Franklin. "But we can ward off problems through education." In their classrooms, students have been gearing up for this event, learning about such things as runoff and the water cycle. "We're living on the biggest watershed in the country -- we definitely need to protect it," Knight said.

Category: Colorado Water
10:42:34 AM    

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Here's Part I of a series on the Northern Integrated Supply Project from The Brighton Standard Blade. From the article:

To some, the birth of the Northern Integrated Supply Project, or NISP, realizes a long-standing desire to equip multiple Front Range municipalities with the water needed going forward into the new millennium. To the 15 water providers invested in NISP, the project is a cost-effective measure that allows future growth while sustaining the needs of residents already within city or district boundaries.

To many of these communities, the alternatives to NISP are far more difficult to swallow, ranging from steadily increasing water fees to the loss of agricultural land due to "buying and drying," a process in which farmland is converted to alternatives uses without irrigation demands. To opponents, NISP represents all that is wrong with the non-stop development of the Front Range, where the sanctity of untamed river flows gives way to urbanization, trading pristine riparian environments for subdivisions, serenity for Starbucks.

Providing ammunition to both sides of the debate, the U.S. Army Corps released a long-anticipated draft environmental impact study April 30, paving the way for a pair of sure-to-be contested public hearings. The first meeting, June 17 at the Fort Collins Senior Center, runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. as an open house, prior to switching to the public hearing format at 6 p.m. The second, June 19 at the UNC University Center in Greeley, runs from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. as an open house before switching to the hearing at 7 p.m. The full text of the draft EIS is available online at:

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Category: Colorado Water
10:28:54 AM    

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From The Cañon City Daily Record: "Cotter will begin a new water-use survey of the Lincoln Park Superfund site in the coming weeks. "Our primary goal is to be able to offer the residents with a domestic well the opportunity to have a water tap hooked up at Cotter's expense," said John Hamrick, Cotter spokesman. This is the second survey the company has conducted in the area. The first, conducted 20 years ago, focused on a smaller area. This survey will involve about 800 land parcels in the Lincoln Park area. The houses on those parcels will each be sent postcards asking them if there is a well and if it is in use domestically. Hamrick said the company expects to find about 100 wells or springs in use. The company will then go interview the well users, offer to hook them in to city water and take a sample of their well."

From The Douglas County News-Press: "Two new board members and one incumbent were elected to the Parker Water and Sanitation District board of directors in a runaway vote. Newcomer Mike Casey led the way with 242 votes, while longtime board member Sheppard Root garnered 228 of the votes cast May 6. Jason Mumm, who was running for the board for the first time, received 225 votes. Mark Lewis, a board member for the last three years, received 76 votes, and first-time candidate Joe Arseneau got 45."

Category: Colorado Water
10:18:52 AM    

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From The Pueblo Chieftain: "A bill in the U.S. Senate to authorize a new funding proposal for the Arkansas Valley Conduit should get a hearing in early June. The bill would be heard by the energy and natural resources committee, said Christine Arbogast, a lobbyist for the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, sponsors of the proposed $300 million conduit. "The committee hearing is important to determine the administration's position on the redrafted plan," Arbogast said. "We're hoping for administration support. The Bureau of Reclamation has not supported it in the past because of the cost share." The bill was introduced May 2 by U.S. Sens. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., and Ken Salazar, D-Colo. A similar bill is expected in the House, with U.S. Reps. John Salazar, D-Colo., and Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., as co-sponsors."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
10:08:50 AM    

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Here's a recap of this week's meeting of the Arkansas Basin Roundtable from The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Harris Sherman, director of the Department of Natural Resources, told the roundtable that it is working as intended under 2005 legislation that created nine basin roundtables and the state Interbasin Compact Committee. "This is the most diverse and the most active roundtable in the state," Sherman told the roundtable Wednesday. Sherman complimented the roundtable on its scrutiny of a water application at the meeting, and the water transfers committee which is working on a statewide model to improve how water deals are made. "Some questions transcend water," Sherman said. "The roundtables are getting at the unintended consequences of water projects." Sherman also updated the roundtable on his goal of moving the IBCC toward a vision for the state's water future over the next 50 years. That effort was continued at an IBCC meeting Thursday at Walden...

The Arkansas Basin Roundtable has already met with the South Platte and Metro roundtables, resulting in an agreement to try to find a common way to assess how much West Slope water could be available for Colorado development. The roundtable also will meet with the Gunnison Basin Roundtable July 14 in Gunnison. So far, the Arkansas Basin Roundtable has requested and received about $2 million in funds generated by mineral severance taxes, including a $1 million grant to deal with the invasion of zebra mussels at Lake Pueblo until state funding kicks in. The total amount of requests ranks about in the middle of the nine roundtables.

Category: Colorado Water
9:57:15 AM    

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From The Pueblo Chieftain: "On a 12-2 vote, the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District voted to join the Front Range Water Council, a group that has been meeting on a staff level since December 2004. The council, which also includes the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, Denver Water, Aurora, Colorado Springs Utilities, Pueblo Board of Water Works and Twins Lakes Reservoir and Canal Co., exists to provide a unified front for major water importers. The other entities already have voted to join. The largest diversions from the West Slope to the Front Range in the state are controlled by the seven entities. Membership is not exclusive and other importers could join in the future."

More from the article:

So far, the group has taken three official positions:

- Asking the Bureau of Reclamation to delay a contract on the Flaming Gorge Reservoir pipeline project proposed by Aaron Million until a Colorado study of water availability is complete. Although the request went out on Northern district letterhead, it was the consensus of the water council members.

- Asking Reclamation to delay a study of oil shale development on the West Slope until the study of water availability is complete.

- Compiling a vision statement for a 50-year statewide water planning effort by Department of Natural Resources Director Harris Sherman and the Interbasin Compact Committee.

Because the group is planning on remaining active on water policy issues that could affect current or future West Slope diversions, they decided to formalize the group. The members are not bound to support each other in other types of water activities...

The concept of the group raised warning flags for two board members. Reed Dils, who represents Chaffee County and was recently appointed to the Colorado Water Conservation Board, said West Slope interests are missing. "Is this going to create more distrust with the West Slope, to create a group that can make deals over the telephone?" Dils asked. "This creates a superpower of a consortium of Front Range water users." There are other efforts that include West Slope interests, including the Colorado River Coalition, said Alan Hamel, executive director of the Pueblo water board and an advisory member of the Southeastern board. "This is a venue for East Slope diverters to express their concerns," Broderick added. Carl McClure, Crowley County director, said it is not proper for the Southeastern district to throw its lot in with the state's big municipal water users. "I'm concerned about the implications. I don't consider myself to be part of the Front Range," McClure said. "The Front Range is not Las Animas, Lamar or Salida. The Front Range is a threat, if you don't live along Interstate 25." Dils and McClure voted against joining the group. Voting in favor were board members Bill Long, Scott Reed, Ann Nichols, Ed Bailey, Gib Hazard, Greg Johnson, Kevin Karney, Bub Miller, Vera Ortegon, Lissa Pinello, Lee Simpson and Shawn Yoxey. Board member Harold Miskel was excused.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
9:51:55 AM    

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Here's an update on the proposed in-situ uranium mining operation in Park County from The Fairplay Flume. From the article:

Staking for the proposed uranium mines in South Park near Hartsel took place from May 8 to May 10, according to an e-mail from Doran Moore, a member of Save Our South Park Water 08, a group opposing the possibility of uranium mines. "Thousands of acres from Sheep Camp Ridge to north of Antelope Lane were claimed for mining," he said in the e-mail. Park County Development Services Coordinator Tom Eisenman said Horizon Nevada Uranium has staked claims on a number of properties in South Park for proposed in-situ uranium mines. But, he said, the project has hit a wall and can't continue without invoking the county's 1041...permit process. Staking the claim itself is not considered mining activity, but the next step in the project, drilling exploratory wells, would be, Eisenman said. Bill Wilson, president of Golden-based Horizon Nevada Uranium Inc., said approximately 40 claims and location notices will be filed with Park County and the Bureau of Land Management. "Several owners have approached us who are interested in leasing their surface related to our staked claims or their ownership of minerals. We are still working on any exploration plans for this year," Wilson said.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Category: 2008 Presidential Election
9:35:49 AM    

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Fairplay is finally moving dirt for their new treatment plant, according to The Fairplay Flume. From the article:

At the regular meeting of the Fairplay Sanitation Board on May 7, President Trevor Messa announced that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had given conditional approval for Moltz Construction to begin mobilization and excavation work on the new wastewater treatment plant even though the engineering plans have not been formally approved...

Attorney Robert Tibbals indicated that the Water and Power Authority is looking at the legal documents and has not approved them yet because of an issue with the income stream. Treasurer Marie Chisholm reported that she had been working on the discharge permit and found that there was some confusion as to whether a new one is needed or an extension can be granted. She has sent a preliminary application to the CDPHE for review prior to the formal application. The remaining board members were critical, stating that the application should have been finished, and voted to turn the process over to wastewater operator Dave Stanford to complete. Stanford noted that a completely new permit will be required when the new wastewater treatment plant is ready to become operational. A new permit will also be required for biosolids management, when sludge handling from the new wastewater treatment plant becomes necessary.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
9:27:53 AM    

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Colorado Trout Unlimited sat down with oil and gas representatives. yesterday, according to From the article:

Friday, members of Trout Unlimited met with representatives of the energy industry in hopes of finding some common ground. The energy industry wants to access land for natural gas drilling, something consumers and our economy depends on. However, sportsmen want to protect fish and wildlife habitats. Right now, Trout Unlimited is concerned about five conservation populations of Colorado River Cutthroat Trout. The fish is a species of concern and the focus of a recovery program. "Two of the populations up there are core populations, meaning they are genetically pure and those are fairly rare and it would be a shame if anything were to happen with those and we are very concerned that development up there could pose a serious threat," said Ken Neubecker, President of Colorado Trout Unlimited...

Trout Unlimited says it has successfully developed partnerships with the energy industry and government agencies in other parts of Colorado and in other states. One project Trout Unlimited is involved with is the Sportsman's Bill of Rights. It is a project Trout Unlimited, the National Wildlife Federation and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation have been working on for some time. The Sportsman's Bill of Rights includes 10 principals to protect land as energy development happens across the region. It also looks to ensure recreational land users, like hunters and anglers, can co-exist with energy development. "What we ultimate would like to do is have these policies taken on by the forest service and the Bureau of Land Management so that we wind up with more middle ground and less instances where we have disagreements" Trout Unlimited Energy Field Coordinator, Corey Fisher explains.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
9:13:06 AM    

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Here's a look at the DRIP conservation program in the Grand Valley from The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. From the article:

The Grand Valley Drought Response Information Project (DRIP) has promoted water conservation techniques and practices since 2003. This summer, DRIP will focus on smart water use inside and outside homes and businesses...

The DRIP campaign was created by local domestic water providers, the city of Grand Junction, Ute Water, Clifton Water, the town of Palisade and Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service to educate customers about water conservation after the 2002 drought. One part of the DRIP effort is to inform our customers about the drought response plan developed after that difficult summer. Water providers spent the past 15 years making improvements to water systems to lessen the effects of water shortages or droughts on customers. In the past, our goal was to reduce domestic and commercial water use by 20 percent. While we continue to encourage our customers to save water, we feel the focus on smart water use will help emphasize changes that don't require a lot of extra effort to realize significant savings...

Visit for ideas on how you can save water at home.

Category: Colorado Water
8:50:50 AM    

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Here's a recap of this week's meeting of the Rio Grande Roundtable from The Valley Courier. From the article:

The local roundtable receives new applications for funding at nearly every meeting. This week the group heard from four groups that will come back with formal presentations in June.

One project will stabilize banks and diversions for the north branch of the Conejos River west of Highway 285 affecting about 24,000 irrigated acres. The project includes replacement of deteriorated headgates and dams that could jeopardize the Manassa area if not addressed. Jack Gilleland, the spokesperson for that project, said these problems have been mounting for the last 20 years and the Bureau of Reclamation conducted an engineering study in 1994 but no funding was available then. Gilleland said the first phase of this project involved temporary bank stabilization this spring with the next phase in 2009 incorporating J-hooks along the river and the third phase in the fall of 2009 calling for the replacement of the core and headgate.

Another project that will come before the Rio Grande Roundtable group next month will be Platoro Reservoir rehabilitation. Built by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1949-1951, the reservoir requires attention, spokesman Bob Robins told the roundtable members this week. Rehab projects include valves, piping and painting. Robins said the reservoir is vital for agricultural, recreational and Rio Grande Compact purposes.

The Santa Maria & Continental Reservoirs comprise another project coming to the roundtable for support to address conveyance system and other problems.

The fourth project proposed to the roundtable this week was the 2008 Riparian Stabilization Project that is part of the long-term Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project. This portion of the project will involve about five landowners and eight different sites along the river where the bank will be stabilized against erosion.

Thanks to SLV Dweller for the link.

Category: Colorado Water
8:42:00 AM    

Andrew Sullivan: "People can talk about activist liberal judges all they want. But the simple truth is that what has changed these past twenty years is not the nature of judges, but our collective understanding of what sexual orientation is. Behind all this is a deep, deep shift in our consciousness from thinking of gay people as defective straight people who perform certain sexual acts to their being the moral equivalent of heterosexuals, capable of forming relationships and building families as well as anyone. This is at the core of the generational divide: not that young people are more 'liberal' or 'progressive' than their parents. On an issue like abortion, they're not. It is simply that the next generation has grown up with a different definition of who gay people are. They see gay people as interchangeable with straight people. They don't think we're inferior to them. Because they know us."

Category: 2008 Presidential Election
8:41:14 AM    

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Officials are looking at groundwater as the culprit responsible for some of the high levels of zinc and cadmium in Coal Creek, according to The Crested Butte News. From the article:

With two years of testing the creek at various sites, Coal Creek Watershed Coalition executive director Anthony Poponi says the group was able to confirm two facts it already knew[~]one, water in Coal Creek is safe to drink for humans; and two, high levels of cadmium and zinc are present in the water. The levels aren't high enough to pose a threat to human health but prevent sensitive species of aquatic life, like rainbow and cutthroat trout, from taking up residence in the creek. Poponi says the group has identified several sources of contaminants, including the Standard Mine, which is undergoing federal cleanup by the Environmental Protection Agency, and the iron fen, a naturally occurring area that leaches minerals. But those areas may not explain all the metals in the creek, he says. Poponi hopes his group will find the answers underground...

Glazer says the district will pay particular attention to water flowing into Coal Creek from the Keystone Mine site, now called the Lucky Jack project by its owner, Wyoming-based U.S. Energy Corp. The company is seeking to build a molybdenum mine on Mt. Emmons, which the site accesses. According to Glazer, hydrologists hired by U.S. Energy and the Coalition found high levels of zinc and cadmium in ditch water that flows from the mining company's land into the creek. Glazer says the hydrologists attribute most of the spike to the iron fen and runoff from naturally occurring minerals on Mt. Emmons. Glazer suspects some of the contamination into Coal Creek is being caused by groundwater, which could be contaminated by naturally occurring minerals or historic mine workings at the Keystone Mine. "It needs further investigation," he says...

In November 2005, the industrial discharge permit for the wastewater treatment facility on Mt. Emmons, now known as the Lucky Jack Water Treatment Plant, expired. The permit allows the plant to continue operations and specifies water quality standards the plant must follow before discharging treated water back into the natural drainage system. The permit has been the subject of several delays as the state has considered comments made by the town of Crested Butte, High Country Citizens' Alliance and the Coal Creek Watershed Coalition. The third draft of the proposed permit is available for public comment until May 25. An electronic version of the draft permit can be accessed on the Internet at

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
8:40:37 AM    

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After the scare earlier this year where The AP found drugs in the water supplies of several cities around the country Aspen engaged Underwriter Laboratories to assess their water supply, according to The Aspen Times. From the article:

In response to a recent national scare that found pharmaceuticals in the drinking water of more than 40 million Americans, local officials have concluded that Aspen's supply is drug free. After receiving dozens of phone calls from concerned citizens, the city of Aspen hired Indiana-based Underwriters Laboratories Inc. to test the local water supply for drugs such as aspirin and prednisone, a corticosteroid hormone. The results showed that none were present in the Aspen water supply. "The time we spent answering questions, we thought we would put it to rest," said Public Works Director Phil Overeynder, adding that the lab tests cost between $1,500 and $2,000...

The only chemicals in Aspen's water are chlorine and fluoride. Chlorine is used as a disinfectant in the wastewater process, and is required by the state and federal government. Since the 1970s, fluoride has been added to Aspen's water as a result of a citywide vote in favor of it. While fluoride is naturally occurring in the local water supply, the city of Aspen doubles the amount for a total of 1 part per million, which is equal to a milligram per liter. Overeynder will soon be bringing the issue to the City Council of whether to continue adding fluoride to Aspen's water supply. While there are health benefits of having it in the water, critics argue there are negative side effects and government shouldn't be forcing fluoride on residents. Fluoride was added to the local water supply more than three decades ago because most Americans weren't getting enough of it. Now it's in many fluids, including soft drinks.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
8:39:48 AM    

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From The Rocky Mountain News: "Elevenmile Reservoir will open to boats at 5:15 a.m. Saturday, with State Parks crews and volunteers standing by to inspect craft standing ready to launch. The inspections, designed to prevent the spread of invasive zebra mussels, will be at the main boat ramp. The Witchers Cove launching area will be closed. Denver Water also announced it is opening Antero Reservoir in South Park and Williams Fork Reservoir in Middle Park, though not to boats on trailers. Starting immediately, Antero and Williams Fork are open to hand-powered, nontrailered boats, including float tubes. They will open to trailered boats when the Division of Wildlife can organize inspections."

From "There are no boats on Rampart reservoir because they aren't allowed. Colorado Springs Utilities has imposed a temporary boating restriction on the waters because of the recent Colorado infestation of zebra mussels...Since Rampart reservoir is responsible for about 70 percent of the city's drinking water, that would potentially damage and pollute the water. They even give even treated water a bad odor and taste."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
8:39:04 AM    

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Here's some runoff news from The Fort Collins Coloradoan. They write:

There's only good news about the snowpack, with automated averages showing the mountains above Loveland holding a 120 percent of normal amount of water waiting to rush down streams and rivers. Now, Greeley-Loveland Irrigation Co. general manager Ron Brinkman just wants it to come down. "We are still waiting for runoff, even though you might have heard differently," he said.

So far, the irrigation season has begun before the runoff, which has resulted in a dwindling supply of water in Lake Loveland, as well as Horseshoe and Boyd lakes, all in the Greeley-Loveland network. The irrigation company irrigates 15,000 acres of farmland between Love-land and Greeley. It also waters municipal parks in Greeley and Evans, as well as lawns at University of Northern Colorado and Aims Community College, Brinkman said. About 60 entities were pulling raw water from the system this week, he said. "Right now, all the water in the (Big) Thompson River is being used for direction irrigation," Brinkman said...

Most of that water comes through Lake Loveland, Horseshoe or Boyd lakes. Brinkman said they'll drain all three equally so none of the lakes take a direct hit from water needs. When the runoff begins, Lake Loveland gets filled first, followed by Horseshoe and then Boyd, he said.

More runoff news from The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. From the article:

Mesa County officials advised residents Friday to brace for possible flooding in the coming week because a spike in temperatures could push local rivers and creeks to run at capacity or spill out of their banks. The National Weather Service is forecasting highs in Grand Junction to reach the lower-80s today and soar close to 90 degrees by Sunday and into early next week. Forecasters expect temperatures in areas above 8,000 feet to reach as high as the mid-70s by Monday, with overnight lows staying above freezing, increasing the rate of melting. "This is our first wave of high runoff that we are going to see this spring," said Chadd Searcy, Mesa County emergency management director. "The forecasts that we're getting are fairly concerning. There's a ton of water still up in the mountains, and with this next four or five days of higher temperatures, we're going to see a lot of that water coming down."...Snowpack levels in the Colorado and Gunnison river basins are at more than 140 percent of normal. Those levels were at or below 100 percent of normal at this time the last two years, Searcy said.

The runoff was discussed at this week's meeting of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, according to The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

For all the instruments and gauges that have been added in Colorado over the last 20 years, precipitation and water availability largely remain a guessing game. Still, more tools would help. "This is why I like to wait until May to talk about snow water equivalent," Water Division Engineer Steve Witte told the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District Thursday, showing a chart that shows how the billowing snowpack that accumulated to mid-April has been seeping away for the last month. At one point in the meeting, the inevitable question was asked: "So, where's the water?" The answer: There's plenty of runoff yet to come, but be patient. A few warm days to come could send some of it down, or all of it if it gets too hot. "We now take our system of stream gauges for granted," Witte said. "But we need to look at improved systems to track losses and predict what will happen."

The current system of runoff prediction relies on Snotel sites run by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. While more sites are added every year - the Southeastern district cooperated in adding three last year - there are gaps because the sites are far apart. Satellite imagery has improved in recent years to determine how a snowpack is distributed over a wide area, but does not always correlate to how the water melts off, said Pat Edelmann of the U.S. Geological Survey...

"We've found the historic averages have been the best indicator," Witte said. That could lead to future problems, because weather patterns may be changing. No one can be certain about how that will affect water supply. Earlier this year, Witte's staff assessed how well the predictions panned out. In most cases, the results were within 15 percent, and in one case as close as 3 percent. In cases where the ditches have been converted to largely municipal or augmentation uses - the Rocky Ford, Excelsior and Fort Bent - the estimates were way off. "Those ditches work differently now," Witte explained. Witte said he mentioned the need for better tools to help the Southeastern district get at the true need for irrigation water, but said it would take a more complex set of data. He's not sure anyone wants to pursue the idea. "With the NRCS, the initial effort was to get very complicated," Witte said. The plan was to develop a customized estimate for farmers combining snow surveys, winter water availability, storage opportunities, the availability of leased water and estimates of how much water well users associations intended to provide. The result, however is a broad range of numbers.

From The Leadville Chronicle: "Leadville has broken at least a 25-year record for annual snowfall in town, with more than 200 inches of snow. This is as of the snowstorm Tuesday. Charles Kuster, local weather guru, said that his previous record of total snowfall from July 1 to June 30 was 197.4 inches, set in the late 1980s. Kuster has been tracking temperatures and precipitation in Lake County since he moved here 25 years ago. He knows this is a record annual amount of snow for those 25 years and suspects it might be a record for a longer period, such as for the last 50 years...As of 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, the May snow total was 16.5 inches, easily surpassing the 25-year-average May snowfall of 5.7 inches, but nowhere near the 25-year record of 39.7 inches."

Category: Colorado Water
8:35:41 AM    

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Here's a way to justify hanging out all day on the river. Avon is sponsoring a video contest to capture the best kayak tricks, according to The Vail Daily. From the article: "Kayakers who capture the best trick on video can win $2,500 in Avon's Big Air Shootout video contest that runs until July 15. Once kayakers have taken videos in the Avon Whitewater Park, they can upload their videos on Judges will award the top male and female $2,500 each."

Meanwhile from The Telluride Daily Planet: "...what the kayak school is missing, [Matt Wilson owner of the Telluride Kayak School] says, is a warm pool, where beginners can find a safe and comfortable environment to practice the wet exit and the roll -- both skills that are vital in case of a flip. "A warm pool is a crucial piece of the puzzle," he said. "Most every kayak school has a pool they can use." The Telluride Kayak School hopes to have its own warm pool available for student paddlers this summer. It is working on a plan to set up a 12-foot diameter pool in the parking lot on the corner of Willow Street and Colorado Avenue during Telluride's warmer months, and on Tuesday, it took a step forward when it was granted a temporary use permit by the Telluride Town Council. Instructors at the Kayak School have been teaching the rolling and wet exit skills in nearby ponds or in a cold pool set up behind the kayak school. But, Wilson said, the skills are hard to learn, they're counterintuitive, and it can be pretty uncomfortable if you are being dunked repeatedly in cold water."

Category: Colorado Water
8:34:56 AM    

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