Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Friday, July 6, 2007

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The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has awarded a grant for eradicating tamarisk to Weld and Larimer counties, according to The Greeley Tribune (free registration required). From the article:

Private landowners may purchase herbicides at 20 percent of cost to control tamarisk, an invasive plant infesting an estimated 1.5 million acres along waterways in the western U.S. alone. Tamarisk is a shrubby tree native to Asia and was first introduced to the U.S. 100 years ago. The plant tolerates frequent drought, freezing winters, fire and flooding, so it's perfect for Colorado. That's one reason why the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation awarded a grant to Larimer and Weld counties to help private landowners eradicate the weed and, consequently, help Weld and Larimer counties as well...

No known extensive infestations exist in northern Colorado, but there are intermittent patches along riparian areas. But the sooner the weed is eradicated, the better, to prevent solid stands such as those found along the Arkansas or Colorado rivers. The grant is available through September. For more information about the grant money, contact (970) 498-5768 or 304-6496, ext. 13770.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water

6:51:58 AM    

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Here's a short report about stream flow in the Arkansas River from The Lamar Ledger. They write, "The water level in the Arkansas River has risen significantly in the last few days giving rise to questions about the source of the additional water. Julie Davis, administrative assistant with the Lamar office of Corps of Engineers said the higher levels are due to a combination of water released from the dam at John Martin Reservoir and water feeding into the river from Caddoa and Mud Creeks, a result of heavy rain Tuesday night. Davis said the state had initially requested a release of 1600 cubic feet per second (CFS) but due to high water in area creeks and streams, the corps requested a reduction to 1200 CFS to avoid overfilling the river system."

Category: Colorado Water

6:43:25 AM    

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Around Coyote Gulch we spend a lot of time on water rights, consumptive use, augmentation, trans-basin diversions and the like. Here's an article about celebrating rivers for their aesthetic and spiritual values from The Ouray County Hub. From the article:

Kathleen Dean Moore, philosopher and writer, has written a wonderful book about what rivers can teach us called Riverwalking: Reflections on Moving Water. In the Preface she writes, "I would rather travel down rivers on foot, walking along trails that run the length of the river or, best of all, wading through the river itself. When I walk in a quiet river, I move through a reflection of the landscape."

Here in Ouray County we are so lucky to have our own river, the Uncompahgre, though it's not a quiet river or an entirely navigable one. It is the river I have spent the most hours watching and walking along, even skiing along in winter. A tributary of the Gunnison, the Uncompahgre River is 75 miles long, and its headwaters are in Lake Como up in the San Juan National Forest at over 12,000 feet. The Uncompahgre flows northwest after it leaves Ouray and Ridgway and joins the Gunnison River at Confluence Park in Delta. We know it closer to home as forming Poughkeepsie Gulch and the spectacular Uncompahgre Gorge. The river is dammed in two places, most notably below Ridgway where it forms the Ridgway Reservoir, a beautiful blue lake used by boaters and swimmers in the summertime. Most importantly the river's water is used for irrigation in our valley. Named by the Utes, Uncompahgre loosely translates as "dirty water" or "red water spring," referring to the many hot springs in our area.

Category: Colorado Water

6:33:13 AM    

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Tri-State Generation is planning to go to water court to file a change of use on water shares it owns on the Amity Canal, according to the today's Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

"We're still planning on filing the change case by the end of July," said Jim Van Someren, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association spokesman. Tri-State owns or has contracts for about half of the Amity Canal, following through on a plan announced in 2005 to buy enough water in Southeastern Colorado to supply two 500- to 700-megawatt coal-fired power plants. In March, Tri-State told Amity shareholders the plants would be built in the Holly area sometime during the next two years. At that time, Tri-State had 46 percent of the Amity shares, and has acquired a few more since then...

Tri-State needs about 8,000 acre-feet of water annually for each power plant. The water rights would provide about 20,000 acre-feet of consumptive-use water, on average, from the Amity, which historically has irrigated nearly 40,000 acres. Consumptive use is the amount of water historically used to produce crops. The rest of the water, the historic return flow from the ditch, must remain in the Arkansas River for downstream users. Tri-State must change the use of its shares from agricultural to industrial use under Colorado water law, which requires a defined amount of water for a specific use. The change case in Division 2 water court at Pueblo would involve only the water rights Tri-State purchased on the Amity...

Tri-State also has purchased some water options on the Fort Lyon Canal and several shares in the Lower Arkansas Water Management Association, which augments well rights. Tri-State has purchased land mainly on the far end of the Amity Canal, which diverts below John Martin Dam and irrigates land north of the Arkansas River from Lamar to Holly. Amity also operates the Great Plains Reservoirs. At the March meeting with Amity shareholders, Tri-State outlined a plan to build a terminal storage reservoir and possibly use well-field storage to keep at least a year's supply at hand to operate the power plants.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water

6:24:43 AM    

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