Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

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From The Mountain Mail, "Annual and up-front costs of augmenting wells through the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District will increase because district directors unanimously approved a new fee schedule during their meeting last week."

Category: Colorado Water

6:35:04 AM    

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Here's an update about Governor Ritter's new South Platte River Basin Task Force from the Greely Tribune (free registration required). From the article:

The first meeting of the task force established by Gov. Bill Ritter to seek solutions for South Platte River basin water users will be June 29 in Greeley. The South Platte River Basin Task Force will meet at 9:30 a.m., with public comment encouraged from 1-5 p.m., at the Union Colony Civic Center. The 23-member task force was created to seek solutions for water users in northeastern Colorado. Junior water well users have been battling with senior water rights holders since the 2002 drought affected water availability in the state...

The public can comment from 1-5 p.m. Anyone interested in speaking should contact Russ Zigler at 303-866-3556 or e-mail him at Sign-up sheets will also be available at the meeting. Written comments can be mailed to Zigler at Executive Director's Office, 1313 Sherman, 7th Floor, Denver CO 80203. A second Task Force meeting devoted entirely to public comment will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. July 16 at a location to be announced later.

Category: Colorado Water

6:31:15 AM    

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Cheesman Reservoir opened for fishing yesterday after a hiatus imposed by conditions caused by the Hayman Fire, according to From the article: "The Cheesman Reservoir closed its doors after the 2002 Hayman Fire. The fire was the largest in Colorado history, burning 140,000 acres and destroying 130 homes. Cheeseman Reservoir reopened Wednesday, with many enthusiasts ready to cast their lines. The Goose Creek arm of the reservoir is once again open for fishing; a 1.5 mile stretch that is open to the public."

Category: Colorado Water

6:25:06 AM    

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The U.S. House of Representatives has approved $24 million for the cleanup of uranium tailings near Moab, Utah, according to the Deseret News. From the article:

The House approved nearly $24 million -- and a tougher deadline -- for the Energy Department to clean up a pile of radioactive waste near the Colorado River outside Moab on Wednesday, the same day the Energy Department awarded two contracts for work to be done at the site. The House was expected to pass the Energy and Water spending bill, which includes the money for the Moab cleanup project as well as language inserted by Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, requiring the department to outline what it will need to finish the project by 2019. Also on Wednesday, the Energy Department awarded the $98.4 million cleanup contract to EnergySolutions, headquartered in Salt Lake City. Matheson said getting the cost estimate is critical to ensuring adequate federal appropriations to complete the work. Matheson also put language into the Defense Authorization bill instituting a 2019 deadline after the Energy Department told Congress it would not be done with the project until 2028...

The department would move the radioactive mill tailings from the current site on the banks of the Colorado River about three miles northwest of Moab to a disposal facility at Crescent Junction. Under its contract, EnergySolutions has until 2011 to design and install a removal and handling system and perform the initial tailings movement and operations...

Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee that will write its version of the bill, has also been pressing the department to get a better handle on the timeline and costs.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water

6:13:07 AM    

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Palmer Lake is drying up and locals are working on a plan to keep it full, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. From the article:

A permanent solution to filling Palmer Lake's languishing namesake could be on the way. But like many issues in this northern El Paso County town, it's not without controversy. Palmer Lake officials have directed the town's water attorney to pursue legal storage rights to keep water in the lake and an augmentation plan to get water into it. "It's a simultaneous but separate deal," said Mayor Max Parker. The volunteer Awake the Lake committee, charged with keeping the recreation spot alive, offered to pick up the tab -- up to $20,000 in legal fees. It collected that money through donations. It hasn't been smooth sailing between the committee and town, however. Awake the Lake chairman Jeff Hulsmann said the group should have more input in the process...

In 2005, the Awake the Lake Committee spent $19,000 to pump in well water, raising the lake to one-third capacity, but the water later receded. Last fall, Palmer Lake voters rejected a ballot issue to build a $450,000 pipeline from a capped town well that would have brought water drawn from the Denver aquifer to the lake. This week, the lake is almost 4 feet deep, Hulsmann said, with a capacity of 10 to 12 feet. Heavy spring runoff after a wet winter raised its levels. When Mother Nature isn't so kind, the town needs an alternative. Parker said the town, through the water attorney, proposes a legal plan to take water from the town reservoirs and replace it with water from the capped well. The plan should go before the town council next month, he said. Hulsmann said he thinks the town should look at more options for replacing the water. That could include exchanging wastewater for reservoir water, he said.

Category: Colorado Water

6:05:04 AM    

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From PRWeb, "The Mt. Werner Water District in Steamboat Springs Colorado, announced today it has launched a program that will recognize condominium, apartment, hotel and townhouse managers for their water conservation measures. The District unveiled a list of standards that managers of these multiple dwelling units can achieve for certification at three levels: bronze, silver and gold. The program is designed to encourage water conservation throughout the year, but particularly during the high-usage period of June through August. 'We want to reward the property managers who have made this community-wide issue a high priority,' said District General Manager Jay Gallagher."

Category: Colorado Water

5:52:58 AM    

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Many officials in southeastern Colorado are looking at ways to keep water in the Arkansas River Valley rather than having it go out of basin. One idea that has legs is that of forming a "Super Ditch" in the lower valley to help with permanent augmentation. Here's an article about the ditch plan from the Pueblo Chieftain. They write:

An ongoing Colorado State University study of Lower Arkansas Valley irrigation will turn its attention to the potential impact of a proposed "Super Ditch" that would fallow farm land on a rotational basis for water leases. "In the last two or three years, issues have been emerging and coalescing that we weren't ready for 10 years ago," Tim Gates, a professor at Colorado State University, told the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District on Wednesday. "Now we have eight years of good data and some tools we can use. I honestly believe (Super Ditch) has the possibility to change the basin for the better." Gates is studying salinity and groundwater levels in the large farming areas of the Arkansas Valley with the aim of improving agricultural efficiency and improving water quality in the river. By fallowing some farm ground each year, removing only the consumptive use, the quality of water could improve. Water tables which are too high in many cases could be lowered if return flows are reduced, Gates said.

The CSU study looks at the valley on three levels: individual fields, regional impacts and basinwide effects. Computer modeling can look at the effect of a fallowing program to ensure it could be executed without harming water rights, or the Arkansas River Compact. It would also show the best pattern of leasing to correct waterlogging and improve water quality, Gates said...

The study also includes some off-shoots, such as a look at how polyacrylamide, or PAM, lining can improve flows in ditches to satisfy the water needs of farmers who are not leasing water...

The Lower Ark board also reviewed legal, corporate, engineering and economic studies surrounding the Super Ditch. So far, the district has spent $500,000 studying the concept and ditch companies are cautiously tracking the studies. It is seeking a $700,000 state grant for more studies. None of the seven ditch companies studied - Bessemer, Catlin, Fort Lyon, High Line, Holbrook, Otero and Oxford - have agreed to form the Super Ditch, although their directors have met on the concept. The cooperative association would be run by shareholders, not the Lower Ark district, but the Lower Ark wants to give irrigators a better bargaining position with large municipal interests and prevent permanent agricultural dry-ups.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water

5:43:37 AM    

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Here's an article about the issues that may be showcased at next summer's 2008 Democratic National Convention, from the Fort Collins Coloradoan. From the article:

David Waid, chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party, who is in Denver to pick out hotels and meeting rooms for his 150 delegates, said the convention will be a good opportunity to showcase major issues facing the West, including water. "I think all of the states in the West are really proud and excited to be having this in the West. It's about time, and I think it shows a lot about where the Democratic Party is nationally, but also right here in Colorado, because Democrats have just been coming on so strong and showing what they're all about," Waid said. Waid said Denver has resolved most of its problems with organized labor that threatened to derail the convention. He said the convention forced...

Moody said the convention will be less disruptive in Denver than it was in previous venues because it will be held downtown. He said delegates will travel downtown before the afternoon rush hour and return to their hotels late at night, allowing them to stay downtown for dinner and other activities. Convention officials are trying to reduce the environmental impact by posting hotel details on the Internet instead of sending out the huge notebooks to delegations required in the past. They also hope to use mass transit, including light rail, as much as possible.

More coverage from the Denver Post. They write:

Democrats on Wednesday kicked off the process of divvying up hotel rooms for the 7,000 delegates who will attend the 2008 national convention in Denver. Party officials from seven states, including Colorado, are in town to tour hotels Wednesday and today. Visits scheduled for mid-July and mid-August will round out the chance for the 56 delegations to view prospective living places for next summer when they come to anoint the presidential nominee. Starting the day at the Denver Tech Center Marriott, the delegate representatives said they were making it a point to work with hotels to make their stays as environmentally friendly as possible...

The party hopes hotels will offer more recycling and reuse of linens and towels, as well as explore energy and water conservation programs. National party officials revealed details of the "paperless" system they will use to book the rooms. In the past, thick, heavy binders filled with brochures were mailed to delegate offices. This year, the party asked the Ambassadors International convention services company to design a secure Internet system the delegations could use instead.

More coverage from the Rocky Mountain News. From the article:

Denver hotels got their first inspection from Democratic officials from around the country Wednesday, as state delegations began the process of selecting headquarter hotels for the party's national convention next summer...

Each state will be allowed to submit a list of its five preferred hotels, which will be assigned this fall. Two more tours by party officials from around the country are planned this summer. State party leaders held a lottery earlier this year to see which state would get first choice, and Utah won. Party officials say many delegates staying in downtown hotels will be able to walk to the Pepsi Center, and Stapleton and the Tech Center are close enough to allow easy access...

Besides Arizona, party leaders from Illinois, Washington, Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia all toured the hotels.

Category: 2008 Presidential Election

5:33:55 AM    

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