Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

Subscribe to "Colorado Water" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A picture named waterefficienttoilet.jpg

Live Science: "The Western World's dependence on flush toilets could be its environmental downfall. Toilets that use less water, such as the 'squat toilet' in which one squats over a hole in the ground, are prevalent in parts of Asia, Europe and Africa, but a new historical study suggests that after decades of flushing, it will take radical innovations for the mainstream West to adopt any new system. "Most people can hardly imagine that other ways of handling human waste have ever existed,' said study author Maj-Britt Quitzau, an environmental sociologist with the National Environmental Research Institute of Denmark."

6:19:24 PM    

A picture named nukeplantcattenomfrance.jpg

Here's an update on Powertech's prospecting operation up in Weld County, from Earthtimes. From the article:

Powertech (USA) Inc., has received approval from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety (DRMS), for its second Notice of Intent to Conduct Prospecting Operations, and that Powertech is proceeding with its program to drill 16 rotary holes, six core holes, and additional monitor wells on its Centennial Project, located in Weld County, Colorado.

The rotary drill holes associated with the coring program will be used to site the core holes and to confirm results of historic drilling conducted on the project by Rocky Mountain Energy Company in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Powertech recently filed a National Instrument 43-101 compliant Technical Report on the Centennial Project which calculated a total Inferred Resource of 9,730,490 pounds of uranium, with an average grade of 0.094% U3O8, based upon this historic drilling. Confirmation drilling is expected to increase the confidence level of many of these 43-101 compliant resources such that they may be upgraded from an Inferred category to an Indicated or Measured category.

The Company plans to complete the core holes in six separate resource areas to provide data on the chemical and physical characteristics of the mineralized Fox Hills Sandstone, as well as the overlying and underlying confining sequences. The six core holes and one additional hole will be completed as monitor wells. Chemical laboratory analyses will be performed on the core to assess the leachability of the uranium, to test for associated metals and to examine the overall geochemistry of the host sandstone. The Company plans to incorporate the results of this testing into engineering and technical studies on in-situ recovery operations and permit applications for the project.

Hydrological pump tests are scheduled for the areas where this coring program is being completed. Laboratory analyses of the core will provide physical characteristics (e.g., density, permeability, porosity, etc.) of the mineralized sandstones and confining units, to be integrated into the hydrologic testing program. This will help to ensure the results of the hydrologic testing are as complete and accurate as possible.

Concurrent with the drilling program is the implementation of other environmental baseline studies. Baseline studies are underway for air quality, meteorology, surface water quality, vegetation, soils, wildlife, background radiation, and socio-economics.

This drilling program includes the installation of seven new monitor wells, which along with the 23 monitor wells approved in the initial Notice of Intent, and more than 20 existing wells, will provide the baseline data for the groundwater in the project area. This data will be critical to the environmental report and permit applications for the Centennial Project.

Category: 2008 Presidential Election

12:26:43 PM    

A picture named upperarkansasvalley.jpg

The Pueblo Board of Water Works has closed Clear Creek Reservoir, according to The Mountain Mail. From the article:

Pueblo Board of Water Works officials will close the reservoir Wednesday to begin work on the dam...

The project, anticipated to cost from $210,000 to $220,000, includes replacing hydraulic lifts and gates. Rick Sexton, reservoir caretaker, explained the reservoir poses no danger, but the water board is doing routine maintenance to ensure everything on the dam is working properly. "The lifespan of seals, everything, is worn out. They are leaking more water than we would like," Sexton, said...

Sexton said water will be released from Clear Creek Reservoir into the Arkansas River through Aug. 15. However, he explained this would not increase the cubic feet per second requirements of the river. "When we make a drop (release water), we have to coordinate with the Bureau of Reclamation to keep the river at proper levels," Sexton explained. "We are limited to 50 cubic feet per second regarding how fast we can drain the reservoir."

Greg Policky, division aquatic wildlife biologist, doesn't expect the draw down to have any significant effects. "Some fish will probably move into the river. Last time, we had kokanee in the river," Policky said. Sportsmen and anglers are concerned about another fish, tiger muskies. Tiger muskies are a hybrid of northern pike and muskie, known for voracious appetites. Introduced in Colorado during the 1980s to biologically control suckers and carp, they also list trout on their menu. "We could expect a tiger muskie to move down, but the Arkansas River is bad habitat for tiger muskies. They will probably move all the way down until they find suitable habitat."Another concern is how fish species in the lake will rebound. Wildlife officials did a fish species composition and abundance sampling about a month ago and will repeat the sample next year. Policky said he doesn't believe there will be any problems based upon experience. After the reservoir was drained in August 1997, species composition and abundance was the same in May 1998...

Clear Creek Reservoir was completed in 1909 for the Antero Canal Co. It was purchased by Pueblo Board of Water Works in 1955 for $2,700,000. The dam is constructed of native dirt, rock and earthen materials and the reservoir level is fed by Clear Creek. Last major construction on the dam was a $2,000,000 improvement project on the berm and emergency spillways in 1984. The emergency spillways can manage 44,500 cubic feet per second. Engineers based that amount of water upon a 500 year maximum probable flood.

Category: Colorado Water

11:03:28 AM    

A picture named fountaincreek.jpg

Pueblo County officials are warning residents to stay out of Wild Horse Creek and Fountain Creek due to E.coli bacteria, according to The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Elevated levels of E. coli bacteria on tributaries to the Arkansas River continue to appear in higher flows at higher temperatures and continue to remain above state standards in some places, although levels are dropping on Fountain Creek. Weekly tests by the Pueblo City-County Health Department show E. coli counts on Fountain Creek and Wild Horse Creek, which both flow into the Arkansas River from the north, have remained above state standards for much of the year. However, as levels in Fountain Creek have dropped during the summer months, so have the E. coli counts. "Overall, levels have been down on Fountain Creek lately. This seems to correspond with a drop in the volume of water we've been seeing in the creek," said Scott Cowan, environmental health specialist...

Tests on Fountain Creek show counts were 109-331 last week, compared to levels of 6,870-15,500 during the first week of July, when summer flows and temperatures peaked. Fountain Creek has been above the state standard most of the time since May 2. A standing advisory warns people to stay out of Fountain Creek because of water quality concerns. Meanwhile, water quality on Wild Horse Creek continues to be of concern. "We have a standing health advisory issued for Wild Horse Creek," Cowan said. Wild Horse Creek drains the northern and eastern portions of Pueblo West, as well as Pueblo's West Side. E. coli levels above the state minimum have been found in the creek nearly continuously, except for most of March, since January. Last week levels ranged from 224 to 1,119 colonies per milliliter. The high count most likely was caused by storms, Cowan said...

Residents are advised to stay out of Fountain Creek and Wild Horse Creek. Children and pets should stay out of the creeks at all times. Anyone who has contact with the water in the creek should immediately wash with soap and clean, warm water. Those with open sores who come into contact with Fountain Creek water should seek medical attention and advice on tetanus and diphtheria shots.

Category: Colorado Water

4:32:27 AM    

A picture named gunnisonblackcanyon.jpg

Some progress has been made in settling the 1933 water right for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, according to The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. From the article:

After four months of contentious negotiation, Gunnison Basin water users, a slate of environmental groups and the state have reached an agreement in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park water rights case. The agreement, which defines who must yield water rights to Black Canyon National Park, is the next step in resolving a larger case quantifying the park's 1933 water right. All the parties in the case agreed to a general subordination, which means that all adjudicated water rights in the Upper Gunnison Basin dating before Nov. 11, 1957, and the first 60,000 acre-feet stored in the Aspinall Unit will never have to yield to a call for water rights by Black Canyon National Park, said Alexandra Davis, Colorado Department of Natural Resources Assistant Director for Water. "Technically, you can be a 2030 water right -- if that pool of 60,000 acre-feet is still available, the Black Canyon cannot call you out," she said. "If it's not available, then you would be called out by a Black Canyon call."

During the negotiations the parties disagreed whether there should be a selective subordination or a general subordination. "A general subordination is where you step back in line, so if, say, you're in line at a deli and you're number two, a general subordination is where you say you'll be number 50 and the 49 in front of you take food first," or in this case, water rights first, Davis said. A selective subordination is when someone else chooses who would yield to Black Canyon and who wouldn't, regardless of the seniority of the water rights in question. Many Gunnison Basin water users signed stipulations in 2003 that said the national park's water rights would yield to the water rights of the Aspinall Unit and others whose rights date between 1933 and 1957. The state, however, objected to some language in those stipulations...

Environmental and sportsmen groups, including Trout Unlimited, High Country Citizens Alliance, Western Resource Advocates and others, also signed the agreement, Davis said...

It's important to remember the agreement does not constitute a resolution of the larger Black Canyon case, said Peter Fleming, general counsel for the Colorado River District. The next step is to return to the table and work with the federal government to reach an agreement about the minimum amount of water that will be allowed to flow in the Gunnison River through Black Canyon National Park.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Category: Colorado Water

4:24:49 AM    

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2007 John Orr.
Last update: 8/1/07; 8:20:15 AM.
July 2007
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
Jun   Aug

e-mail John: Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.