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

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Project Healing Waters

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Monday, January 19, 2009

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. must be smiling down on the USA today, the day before we inaugurate our first African-American president, Barack Obama.

Category: 2008 Presidential Election
8:42:14 AM    

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From the Broomfield Enterprise: "A proposal to charge developers more for hooking up new homes to Broomfield's water and sewer system was tabled by City Council on Tuesday after developers said increased fees would delay planned projects. Representatives of the Home Builders Association and Pulte Homes, which is building the Anthem subdivision, asked council to delay the fee increase until the economy rebounds. Broomfield charges $22,454 to add a single-family home to the water system, and $8,427 to connect sewer lines. The one-time fee is charged when a new home is built and pays for past and future construction and water rights. The proposal would have increased the water fee by 5 percent and the sewer fee by 6 percent."

Category: Colorado Water
8:35:56 AM    

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From the Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka): "Pueblo County commissioners will meet again with Colorado Springs Utilities this week in evaluating a 1041 land-use permit for the proposed Southern Delivery System. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center. Work by Pueblo County staff was not complete as of Friday, said County Attorney Dan Kogovsek. While many of the pipeline construction issues are close to being resolved, the more difficult questions dealing with mitigation on Fountain Creek and for water quality are still being considered, Kogovsek said."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Category: Colorado Water
8:26:16 AM    

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Mark Morley was at last week's meeting of the Arkansas Basin Roundtable to give an update on the proposed Stonewall Springs Reservoir and Phantom Canyon hydroelectric project, according to Chris Woodka writing for the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Mark Morley, a Colorado Springs developer, is developing sites near Brush Hollow Reservoir in Fremont County and near the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo County with an eye toward alternative energy development as much as filling water needs...

The project is split into two parts:

The Phantom Canyon hydro-electric pumpback project that would develop a 14,000 acre-foot reservoir and forebay 700 feet uphill near Penrose. Water to fill the reservoir would be leased from other sources, such as the Super Ditch, and the only depletion would be from evaporation. Eventually, a 75,000 acre-foot reservoir could be built at the site, if the need arises. The hydroelectric portion could be complete by 2014.

The Stonewall Springs complex of three reservoirs storing up to 25,000 acre-feet of water east of Pueblo. The reservoirs could be part of a pipeline plan developed by communities in northern El Paso County, or used in alternative energy pilot projects. Construction of the first reservoir could begin immediately if the opportunity arises, Morley said. The reason the project was conceived was to help meet a shortfall of 173,000 acre-feet of storage in the Arkansas River basin, identified by the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District in 1998, Morley said. That study led to the Preferred Storage Options Plan, which has stalled. That plan called for enlargement of Lake Pueblo and Turquoise Lake...

With wind or solar power attached to the hydro plant, there is the additional benefit of creating the energy to move water uphill without increasing carbon emissions. Operating at its full capacity of 400 megawatts for six hours a day, the Phantom Canyon project could reduce carbon emissions from gas peaking plants by 500,000 tons per year, or from coal-fired plants by 1 million tons a year. Morley, along with his brother Jim, owns the Stonewall Springs site, which was once eyed by the Pueblo water board, Colorado Springs and Aurora as a site to capture flows allowed to pass through Pueblo as part of the 2004 flow program. He told the roundtable that he is now looking at potential alternative energy projects as well as water storage at the site. The storage could also serve the Super Ditch, which has identified the need for storage to maximize the benefits of a lease-fallowing program.

Morley and his family have also been testing the water quality at the Stonewall Springs site and have found that it would be acceptable to many municipal systems, according to a report from the Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

In a presentation to the Arkansas Basin Roundtable last week, Mark Morley, whose family is trying to develop reservoirs at the ranch, said 15 lab tests showed total dissolved solids in the range of 200 to 536 parts per million, with all but two samples under Environmental Protection Agency recommendations of 500 ppm for drinking water...

Morley said similar results were found in 2007. Samples were taken at the headgate of the Excelsior Ditch, which is downstream from the confluence of Fountain Creek. Long-term results by the U.S. Geological Survey show slightly higher results at Avondale, averaging around 700 ppm. In Pueblo, at Moffat Street, the average is slightly above 500 ppm. The increase is attributed to loading of sediment primarily on Fountain Creek. The USGS data show, however, that in many years, dissolved solids are below the 500 ppm mark about half the time in Pueblo, and occasionally at Avondale, usually during times of high flows. The average at Pueblo Dam is about 300 ppm, and much lower above Lake Pueblo...

Colorado Springs Utilities has ruled out putting its intake for Southern Delivery System east of the confluence of Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River partly because of reverse-osmosis treatment costs. Additional pumping costs and the disadvantages of using a river intake, rather than a connection to Pueblo Dam, were also cited as reasons for rejecting the downstream alternative. According to the Bureau of Reclamation's Environmental Impact Statement on SDS, the below-the-confluence option would result in a lower cost per acre-foot for firm yield and more water each year.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Category: Colorado Water
8:11:42 AM    

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