Colorado Water
The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land. -- Luna Leopold

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.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A picture named republicanriversouthfork.jpg

Here's an update about how things are shaking out this year on the Republican River from The Sterling Journal Advocate. From the article:

Twelve thousand acre feet per year. That is about how far Colorado is out of compliance with the 1942 Republican River Compact with Kansas and Nebraska. And it's not a matter of whether, or if, something will be done to bring the state into agreement with the compact. The question is how. "I don't have any silver bullet. It's a matter of options," Dr. Ken Knox, chief deputy state engineer, said to the crowd of nearly 100 at the Peerless Center in Holyoke Monday afternoon.

The state engineer's office, with input from the RRWCD board, is writing two sets of rules concerning compliance with the Republican River Compact. One is a set of measurement rules and the other set outlines enforcement of the rules, Knox said. The plan is to have them finished in about two weeks, when they will be placed on the state Web site for reading and comments. "I'm trying to give you the bottom line and not hide behind things, because we have to think ahead," Knox told the crowd. "The Republican River Compact is binding and enforceable." The impetus for Colorado to sign the compact in 1942 was twofold, he said -- equitable apportionment of the Republican River water, and dealing with the aftermath of the 1935 Memorial Day flood. That flood resulted in the deaths of 105 people, as well as millions of dollars in damage. Bonny Reservoir was built on the South Fork of the Republican River by the Bureau of Reclamation to hold any future flood waters and to store water for irrigation and recreational use. Permanently emptying Bonny Reservoir is high on the priority list of options for bringing Colorado into compliance with the compact...

Rick Seedorf from the RRWCD talked briefly about another option to meet the compact. This is a proposed pipeline that would carry water from designated wells within the district to a measuring point in Nebraska. With the water inside a pipe, none would be lost to evaporation or seepage, as happens with ditches and streams. "We've hired GEI Consultants to conduct a feasibility study of the proposed pipeline," Seedorf said. The meeting at Holyoke was the third in a series of seven informational presentations the RRWCD is making within the district. Two previous meetings were held in Wray and Haxtun. Two more were planned for Monday evening, in Wray and Burlington, and two more for today, to be held in Yuma and Idalia. Another round of RRWCD meetings are planned for August, when the state engineer's rules should be ready for public comment. The rules will also be accessible on the Web site:

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water

8:00:28 AM    

A picture named measuringwithweir.gif

Tri-State Transmission hopes to have the use of their share of water in the Amity canal changed from agricultural to industrial and agricultural, according to The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has contracted for the purchase of more than half of the Amity Canal's 34,662 shares and on Monday filed its change of use application with Division 2 water court. Tri-State also has contracts for a variety of ditch and well rights in the area - enough to meet its goal of 20,000 acre-feet for cooling at two electric generation plants in the Holly area. In addition to the water rights, the application claims storage rights in the Great Plains Reservoirs, owned by Amity, and in John Martin Reservoir. It also proposes constructing a new 70,000 acre-foot reservoir near the proposed power plant site and using alluvial well fields for additional storage.

Tri-State will meet with Amity Mutual Irrigation shareholders at a special meeting Aug. 21-22 to seek ditch company approval for the changes in water rights and for new operating procedures being negotiated with the Amity board. Tri-State, which outlined its plans to shareholders in March, is seeking to expand the five-member board by two members of Tri-State's choosing, allowing current geographic representation of the canal to continue. Tri-State plans to allow irrigation to continue as it always has on the 80-mile ditch that irrigates 37,000 acres north of Lamar and Holly until it needs the water for power operations. Initially, Tri-State planned to build the first of two plants by 2020, but now says timing will be demand-driven...

Tri-State's change application also allows for water to be used for augmentation, or supplying water to the Arkansas River depleted by well pumping. Under Colorado water law, a specific amount of water must be put to a defined beneficial use. Agricultural uses on the Amity Canal date to 1887 and 1893, relatively junior water rights in the Arkansas Valley...

Amity is proposing taking the water in rotation, installing augmentation stations up and down the ditch and satisfying the concerns of irrigators on each of the laterals along the ditch, [Colin Thompson, a member of the Amity board] said. For the most part, shareholders seem satisfied, but there can always be problems, Thompson said...

Amity's attorney and engineer have had input into Tri-State[base ']s filing. Tri-State also has agreed to use the model adopted in the Kansas v. Colorado U.S. Supreme Court case to determine consumptive use. Consumptive use is the amount traditionally used to grow crops and in a transfer case represents the amount of water the new user can take. Virtually all of the water claimed for a power plant would be consumed during cooling operations, so the water that remains in the ditches is needed to maintain historic return flows to the Arkansas River...

The Holly plant is expected to be constructed after two units at Holcomb, Kan., are completed, Boughey said. The change in water rights could take several years to complete, however, and is a necessary first step toward building the plants. Tri-State is already collecting environmental data that will be needed for future permits.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water

7:34:21 AM    

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2007 John Orr.
Last update: 9/1/07; 12:36:49 PM.
August 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  
Jul   Sep