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, June 1, 2008

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grist: "A coalition of corporations, green groups, and unions issued a joint statement to senators yesterday declaring their support for the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which will hit the Senate floor on Monday. Among the endorsers is General Electric, one of the five largest companies in the world -- definitely a big pick-up for the legislation."

Be sure to click through for the list of organizations.

Category: Climate Change News
8:38:38 AM    

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From The Crested Butte News: "Crested Butte South residents are getting a new addition to the wastewater treatment system as part of a planned expansion that will bring the subdivision into compliance with state regulations...Crested Butte South property owners will have to pay an additional $9 for water and $9 for sewer per month to pay for the expansion, no matter how much they put in or take from the system. As part of the project, there will be an expanded flow equalization tank that will slow the velocity of water coming into the treatment facility by holding it until it can begin the treatment process, which will also have increased capacity. Treating the wastewater at the Crested Butte South facility involves a system called activated sludge, where microorganisms, namely bacteria, fungi and others, convert the waste into energy for growth and put out water and carbon dioxide as byproducts. Combining this method with a fixed film, for collection, will minimize the required tank capacity, says Tone."

Category: Colorado Water
7:58:11 AM    

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Here's a report about efforts to drain the Leadville mine pool and the new drainage well being drilled into the Leadville Mine Drainage tunnel, from The Leadville Herald Democrat. From the article:

The water level in the newly drilled well into the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel rose 158 feet once the drill bored into the tunnel. This was reported by Lake County Commissioner Ken Olsen at the update meeting on Tuesday afternoon. It was confirmed by the Environmental Protection Agency representative on the phone conference meeting...

The drilling into the tunnel is complete, and the next step is a pump test to verify the proper size of pump for the job at hand. The water will be pumped to a water-treatment plant run by the Bureau of Reclamation, which has assured Lake County they will treat whatever water is given them to the whatever capacity they are able to handle. High water runoff from a year of record snowfall is creating an obstacle to the pump test, according to Olsen, as runoff is filling a pond designated for the pump test. This pond will have to be emptied before the test can be done. Once the test is done, according to the EPA representative, it could take three weeks to get the permanent pump in place.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Category: Colorado Water
7:50:14 AM    

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Access to clean drinking water is a human right? Correct? Not if you're one of the large multi-nationals lining up to sell it to the highest bidder. Here's some background from The Environmental News Service. They write:

Water, Dow Chemical Chairman Andrew Liveris told the World Economic Forum in February, "is the oil of this century." Developed nations have taken cheap, abundant fresh water largely for granted. Now global population growth, pollution, and climate change are shaping a new view of water as "blue gold." Water's hot-commodity status has snared the attention of big equipment suppliers like General Electric as well as big private water companies that buy or manage municipal supplies -- notably France-based Suez and Aqua America, the largest US-based private water company. Global water markets, including drinking water distribution, management, waste treatment, and agriculture are a nearly $500 billion market and growing fast, says a 2007 global investment report.

But governments pushing to privatize costly to maintain public water systems are colliding with a global "water is a human right" movement. Because water is essential for human life, its distribution is best left to more publicly accountable government authorities to distribute at prices the poorest can afford, those water warriors say. "We're at a transition point where fundamental decisions need to be made by societies about how this basic human need -- water -- is going to be provided," says Christopher Kilian, clean-water program director for the Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation. "The profit motive and basic human need [for water] are just inherently in conflict."

Category: Colorado Water
7:41:37 AM    

From The Denver Examiner: "[Governor] Ritter [has] appointed three new members of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission. They are Peter Butler of Durango, who was on the water panel from 1996 to 1999; attorney Jill Harris McConaughy of Glenwood Springs; and Janelle Barrilleaux of Golden, director of environmental programs for Denver's Department of Aviation."

Category: Colorado Water
7:28:26 AM    

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Here's an update on the Pioneer/Laird litigation from The Denver Post. From the article:

The Colorado Division of Wildlife has withdrawn from litigation involving rights to water that supplies its Wray Hatchery, a move that might forestall a threatened farmer boycott of the 2008 pheasant season in key eastern Colorado counties. The complicated scenario involves a battle between holders of historic surface rights and those who irrigate crops from wells. Issues are tangled in a greater interstate dispute over rights to all water in the Republican River drainage. DOW currently uses surface water for the Wray Hatchery, which has operated since 1937 and processes approximately 40 percent of the state's warmwater fish. With the aid of key legislators, the agency now plans to use an alternative water source. Farmers who use irrigation wells that would have been shut down by the lawsuit had reacted angrily, forming the Eastern Colorado Lockout to close their lands to hunting. The lockout centered in Yuma County, but spread to several neighboring counties. Proponents threatened to withdraw their lands from the Walk-In Program operated by DOW.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
7:16:08 AM    

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It looks like Reclamation, the Forest Service and the state of Colorado are not going to require boat inspections for Ruedi Reservoir in the ongoing fight against the spread of zebra mussels, according to The Aspen Times. From the article:

Recreation managers will focus on educating the boating public about the spread of zebra mussels this summer at Ruedi Reservoir, as opposed to the mandatory boat inspections and potential quarantining of watercraft that are taking place at some Colorado reservoirs. Reservoir operators, municipal water utilities, marinas, wildlife officials and the U.S. Forest Service are all scrambling to prevent the spread of the invasive mussels after they were detected in Lake Pueblo in southern Colorado late last year...

Representatives of the Bureau of Reclamation, which operates Ruedi in the Fryingpan Valley east of Basalt, recently met with the officials from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the Forest Service to coordinate a strategy for preventing the spread of zebra mussels within the Fry-Ark Project, according to Kara Lamb, Bureau of Reclamation spokesperson. The Fry-Ark system of diversion tunnels and reservoirs includes five bodies of water -- Ruedi, Pueblo, Twin Lakes, Mt. Elbert Forebay and Turquoise Lake...

While the bureau operates Ruedi, popular for both motorized boating and sailing, the Forest Service manages recreation there and will take the lead in implementing what is currently an evolving strategy to prevent the organism's spread. The bureau produced signs to post and brochures for the Forest Service to distribute at Ruedi's boat launch, Lamb said. Small signs were quickly posted, with a plan to replace them with larger ones. The Ruedi launch, however, is manned at busy times and is a self-pay affair at others, meaning there isn't always a staffer on hand to monitor boaters. Through signs and fliers, the Forest Service will strive to apprise boaters of the potential to spread the mussels, said Christine Hirsch, fisheries biologist with the White River National Forest...

However, the Forest Service will likely close the small, gravel boat launch at Dearhamer Campground, on the upper end of the reservoir, to better manage access to the lake, said Mike Kenealy, recreation special uses coordinator for the White River. "We may well, as we move forward with this, do some spot inspections," he added. Boaters who transport their watercraft from one lake to the next are the target of the public outreach effort, Kenealy said. Those who put their boat in only one body of water don't pose a risk of transporting zebra mussels. Like the owners of large boats, kayakers, rafters and canoeists also need to take precautions to prevent the spread of mussels, he said. "Essentially, the word to the public is, remove all plants, mud, etc. from your boat when you pull it out of the water and let it dry for five days," Kenealy said. Boat trailers should be washed down and dried, too, though they're less likely to collect mussels as they're only in the water a brief time. Bilge water, bilge pumps and live-bait wells or buckets that contain water from a particular lake should be emptied there, not dumped in another body of water, Kenealy advised...

At Lake Pueblo, state park rangers are checking for zebra mussels on any boat that's been in the lake more than 24 hours and power-washing boats with 140-degree water if mussels are found. Vessels coming from mussel-contaminated areas in other states are automatically checked at launching. At Dillon Reservoir along the Interstate 70 corridor, the threat of zebra mussels means mandatory inspections, possible quarantines and limited boat-launching hours. The reservoir has two access points -- at the Dillon and Frisco marinas, and there is a decontamination station at the Frisco Bay Marina. The inspection program there applies to all boats, including untrailered crafts such as kayaks and canoes.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

7:12:09 AM    

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