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

Project Healing Waters

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

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If you didn't take advantage of early voting get out there today -- no matter how long it takes-- and VOTE.

If you need a ride to your polling place (Denver County only) email us at coyotegulch [AT] mac [DOT] com.

Category: 2008 Presidential Election
6:35:48 AM    

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From the International Business Times: "Climates cientists from the University of Colorado and the University of New Mexico studying the water cycle have successfully deployed a Picarro precision water isotope analyzer at a remote monitoring station near the top of Mauna Loa, Hawaii. Sampling water vapor at this extreme altitude (11,000 feet above sealevel) is notoriously difficult because the water concentration can drop as low a few hundred parts per million. Yet the Picarro G1102-i, which utilizes WS-CRDS (wavelength scanned cavity ring down spectroscopy), is directly sampling the outside air at this location and providing simultaneous measurement of both delta-D and delta-18O every ten seconds. The absolute calibration is checked with liquid water standards every few hours, which confirms that the instrument has virtually no drift over a six day period. During this extended period the standard deviation of all measurements has been 0.65 per mil for delta-D and 0.08 per mil for delta-18O -- levels of absolute precision comparable to laboratory methods using an IRMS (isotope ratio mass spectrometry) instrument.

"Dr. David Noone of the University of Colorado explains, 'While much attention has been focused on the role of CO2 in driving global warming, changes in the water cycle and the amount of water vapor in the air also have a significant impact. Simply stated, we need more water field data, both concentration and isotope ratios. But before the advent of portable isotope analyzers, obtaining water isotope data from a remote site required capturing samples and chemically processing these before separately analyzing them for deuterium and oxygen-18 in two separate mass spectrometers. Until now, this has precluded continuous real-time isotope monitoring.' He notes that the preliminary Mauna Loa data for delta-D and delta-18O are consistent with expected values, and the high frequency variability seen with the G1102-i reveals a richness in the isotope data that could only have bean dreamed of only a few years ago.

"Dr. Joe Galewsky, University of New Mexico Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, in an interview with Nature added, "Real time isotope tracking could be a new way of detecting fundamental changes in Earth's atmospheric circulation." He points out that Mauna Loa was the obvious place to conduct the experiment because of its high elevation and its location in the subtropics, which is influenced by both tropical and northerly atmospheric currents."

Category: Climate Change News
6:19:33 AM    

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Aurora is facing claims from a patent troll over their Prairie Waters project, according to Carlos Illescas, writing in the Denver Post. Patents, of course, are supposed to stimulate innovation, not guarantee royalties for trolls. From the article:

A Lakewood company claims Aurora stole the idea for the city's $800 million water-purification and recycling project and is seeking up to $100 million in compensation. The patent-infringement dispute centers on how treated water from the South Platte River will be stored underground. The company, PS Systems Inc., said it met with Aurora Water officials in 2002 and presented a proposal about using water from the river, treating it through the ground, storing it in reservoirs underground, then piping it to customers. PS Systems president Don Summers said he filed for two patents that year on the underground-storage idea and both were granted several years later...

Aurora is asking that the issue go before a federal jury. "We have a high-level business dispute," Summers said. "It's an unauthorized use of our technology." Aurora officials denied stealing the idea and questioned the validity of the two patents, saying the idea to store water underground had been developed years earlier. "They're claiming they have a license on this technology, and we're saying they don't," said Aurora assistant city attorney Christine McKinney. "I think we have a very strong case in winning this. We're not infringing on their patent."[...]

The outcome of the federal case will not put the project in jeopardy. However, the city could have to pay between $75 million and $100 million if a jury sides with PS Systems. Summers said he met with Doug Kemper of Aurora Water in 2002 and told him of his idea. Kemper, now with the Colorado Water Congress, said he didn't meet with anyone from PS Systems six years ago. "I don't recall that meeting," Kemper said. "Obviously, I'm not involved in the (litigation)."

Peter Binney, who was the head of Aurora Water in 2002 until he left for another job this spring, said he was unaware of any meeting between PS Systems and Aurora at that time. Binney was lauded in the water community nationwide for developing the Prairie Waters Project. "I have seen it done in other places," said Binney, who gave a deposition to the court about the issue. "The use of soil-aquifer-treatment areas and lined gravel pits have been around for years." In court records, Aurora officials name several projects that use a similar type of storage, including the South Dahlia Gravel Pit in Thornton and Siebring Reservoir on the Poudre River west of Greeley. And in the court records, Aurora says one of Summers' partners even toured those sites back in 1991.

But Summers says the underground storage was his company's idea alone. In 2004, city officials said they began to look for new ways to provide water because drought had caused a significant drop in supply. Both sides went to mediation last summer but were unable to reach an agreement.

It's a shame that Aurora has to spend any dough defending their project. More Coyote Gulch coverage here. Here's a link to an article about aquifer storage in the Los Angeles Basin. Sorry troll, underground storage is not a new idea. The quality of patents issued over the last few years from the USPTO has been very weak. It's almost like they want the courts to do their work for them.

Category: Colorado Water
5:56:20 AM    

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