Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

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The Pueblo Chieftain takes a look at what Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust plans to do with the $1.5 million they've asked for from the Rio Grande Roundtable. From the article:

The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust hopes to preserve 26,000 acres of [private land along the Rio Grande River] for future generations. The land trust took a small step toward that goal earlier this week when the Rio Grande Basin Roundtable forwarded an application for $1.5 million in funding to the Colorado Water Conservation Board. If that grant goes through, the land trust would put the money up as a match to an application for a Great Outdoors Colorado Legacy Grant...

The trust would use the funds to pay for conservation easements with willing landowners who have property within the 100-year floodplain. Landowners would receive partial payment for permanently restricting their property from subdivision and tying their water rights to the land. In selling the project to the roundtable, the land trust said its project would protect senior water rights and sustain historical water-use patterns and flood plain function. It would also preserve agricultural productivity by preventing the conversion of agricultural land to other uses. Federally protected species, including the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, the Yellow Billed Cuckoo and the bald eagle, would benefit from the protection of the Rio Grande's riparian habitat...

Rio de la Vista, a consultant for the land trust, said there were close to 20 organizations assisting the land project. She singled out the San Luis Valley Wetlands Focus Area Committee, Ducks Unlimited and the Nature Conservancy as key partners. The backing of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, she added, would help the trust in its efforts to secure GOCo money. De la Vista said a decision from GOCo would likely be made in December.

Thanks to SLV Dweller for the link.

Category: Colorado Water

8:14:14 AM    

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Last week Montezuma Valley Irrigation District received approval for a loan from the Colorado Water Conservation Board to construct a pipeline to replace the May lateral, according to The Cortez Journal. From the article:

The Colorado Water Conservation Board approved a loan Thursday to help MVI with the May Lateral pipeline, which runs north to south and crosses U.S. Highway 491. "The story is that we really are going to build the pipeline," said Jim Siscoe, general manager of the irrigation company. The CWCB approved a $5.24 million loan, but Siscoe said the project won't cost that much. "The actual cost of the project is very likely to be less than what we're talking about here," Siscoe said. "But you don't want to go and ask for half a sandwich."[...]

The May Lateral pipeline will replace about five miles of an uncovered concrete ditch. The ditch was built in the early 1900s and is in serious need of replacement, said Kirk Russell, a CWCB employee who worked with MVI on the project and recommended it to board members Thursday. "They did some concrete repair work in the '70s that is in bad shape now," Russell told CWCB members. The new project will replace the open ditch with an enclosed pipe, which should cut down on water losses. The pipeline will be able to handle 18 cubic feet per second of water. Construction is expected to start this fall.

MVI has 1,358 shareholders. About 7 percent of them use water from the May Lateral ditch, Russell said. The irrigation company takes its water from the Dolores River and sends it south. The May Lateral is part of the company's 124-mile network of ditches that make agriculture possible in Montezuma County. MVI's shareholders won't pay any extra fees for the project. Instead, the company's investment income will help it repay the loan. The company will use its own equipment and employees to build the pipeline, Siscoe said. That helps explain why fees will not rise.

Category: Colorado Water

7:44:35 AM    

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