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 26, 2009

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Here's a primer on Woodland Park's future water needs, from Norma Engelberg writing for the Pikes Peak Courier View. From the article:

Water and growth were the issues of a special joint work session Jan. 21 that included Woodland Park City Council, Planning Commission and Utilities Advisory Committee. The first water-growth work session was on May. 29, 2008. Utilities director Jim Schultz said there will be other work sessions in the future. "We don't have a water shortage in Woodland Park," he said. "We're talking about ways to avoid one in the future when we reach grow out in about 20 or 30 years."[...]

"We can use the water from the wells, we just can't consume it without replacing it," [Utilities director Jim Schultz] said, explaining that 95 percent of each gallon of water removed from the ground ends up back in the ground through septic systems, wastewater treatment and irrigation. "We only have to augment that last 5 percent, the water that was consumed." By definition, augmentation water has to come from a river basin other than the South Platte where the city wells are located. It will be costly to find more water, he said. Water shares in the 1990s, when the city made a contract with Twin Lakes reservoir and Colorado Springs Utilities for augmentation water, cost $6,500 per share. Now a share would cost at least $30,000. It took about $8 million to develop the sources the city has now. Schultz estimated that the next expansion could cost between $20 and $30 million.

Category: Colorado Water
6:32:03 PM    

Here's an update on efforts to get towns in the Fountain Creek watershed to sign off on the intergovernmental agreement that will set up the Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control and Greenway District, from Pat Hill writing for the Pikes Peak Courier View. From the article:

Flood control, landscaped greenway and trails connecting Pueblo to Colorado Springs, with a route through Green Mountain Falls, Fountain Creek improvements would be funded through a taxing district. In a presentation to the Green Mountain Falls board of trustees, El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark made a case for the town's signing an intergovernmental agreement. The IGA is a first step for the town to be part of a district whose formation would have to be approved by the voters in consenting entities.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
6:26:41 PM    

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From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: "The city of Grand Junction is giving some thought to easing landscaping requirements on businesses. As things stand now, any business, commercial or industrial, that is looking to build or expand is required to install landscaping. It's long been a sore point among businesspeople that the requirements were expensive and hard to understand. More than a few have noted that the requirements seem more geared to a community that sits in a different, and moist, climate zone than the one we occupy in the high desert of western Colorado. Officials acknowledged in a story on Monday by Daily Sentinel reporter Mike Wiggins that those businesses could use xeriscaping and meet city requirements, but that they haven't made efforts to promote xeriscaping or even provide much information about it."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
5:59:36 PM    

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From the Associated Press: "For a decade, environmentalists and states have urged the federal government to limit greenhouse gases from automobile tailpipes. On Monday, President Barack Obama took a step toward making it happen. He ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider allowing California, 16 states and the District of Columbia to control the amount of greenhouse gases -- mainly carbon dioxide -- in truck and car exhaust. It was the clearest signal yet the Obama administration plans to regulate the emissions blamed for global warming."

Here's the press release from the Natural Resources Defense Council:

President Obama took swift action on the environment and energy this morning by directing the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider the California waiver and the Department of Transportation to raise national fuel efficiency standards.

Following is a statement from Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council: "What a thrilling moment to have our new president put his vision into action for a cleaner and safer environment. President Obama's announcement is a big step in fulfilling his campaign promises for a clean energy economy that will move America beyond oil, create new jobs and reduce global warming pollution. This is a strong signal to the world that America is ready to quickly step forward as a leader in the fight against global warming."

Specifically, these actions will:

* Require that new cars sold in California and at least 13 other states reduce their global warming pollution by 30 percent between 2009 and 2016.

* Ensure that America will have more fuel-efficient new cars by 2010 (model year 2011).

* Enable new cars to achieve the maximum feasible average fuel efficiency by 2020.

Category: Climate Change News
5:50:35 PM    

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From Water Secrets Blog: "Thames Water was find for dumping sodium hydroxide, which they use to clean water filters, into the Wandle River in south west London in September of 2007."

Category: Colorado Water
5:42:49 PM    

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Here's the press release for a joint climate change conference this week sponsored by the USGS and the USFWS:

Sea-level rise, severe winter storms, salmon populations, carbon sequestration, invasive plants, and migratory birds are among the many issues of concern to natural resource managers that are affected by changing climate. Climate change and its impact on coastal ecosystems is the focus of a 2-day workshop that will bring together more than 450 scientists, policy-makers, resource managers and others on January 29-30 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco.

Sponsored by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey, the workshop will also feature speakers from NOAA, the Minerals Management Service, U.S. Forest Service, Washington Department of Natural Resources, California Resources Agency, The Nature Conservancy, PRBO Conservation Science, the National Wildlife Federation and Stanford University.

The purpose of the workshop is to share information and provide resources for natural resource scientists and managers working to conserve the coastal ecosystems of California, Oregon and Washington and address the challenges associated with a changing climate.

The workshop will kick off with a broad discussion of climate change, its drivers and the existing tools that are being used to understand it. Elements of the ecosystems will be presented in three modules, with each module consisting of an overview presentation, specific case studies and projects, and will conclude with an opportunity for discussion. Special attention will be given to species, populations and land management.

The agenda is available online at:

Category: Climate Change News
7:19:41 AM    

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From the Tri-Lakes Tribune (Nicole Chillino): "The [Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority] is discussing an engineering project that would allow Monument, Woodmoor Water & Sanitation District and Donala Water and Sanitation District to take in renewable water from the south, though the plan could also be used for water coming from the north. The project is estimated to cost $38,216 in addition to $30,000 for an infrastructure study. The authority's board approved a cap of $38,216 for the project at its Jan. 21 meeting, which will come from money in the authority's budget from the members involved in the project."

Category: Colorado Water
7:10:45 AM    

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Here's a background piece on Colorado Springs' proposed Southern Delivery System, from Chris Woodka writing for the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

"SDS is a huge and grand project," [Pueblo County consultant Ra Petros] said, reviewing his analysis of the Bureau of Reclamation's environmental impact statement. "We are talking about a fairly large project and need to be concerned about its impacts." Petros estimated SDS would, at maturity, reroute about 86,000 acre-feet of the Arkansas River between direct pumping, exchanges and storage. That is about 18 percent more than the yield of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, which Reclamation manages.

Petros went on to characterize SDS as lowering Lake Pueblo water levels by 10 percent, its surface area by 7 percent and the Arkansas River by 13 percent of existing conditions. At the same time Fountain Creek would increase by 35 percent over existing conditions and would flow at four times its rate from 50 years ago.

Beyond that, the SDS pipeline would pump 78 million gallons daily north - as well as up 18 million gallons a day to Pueblo West - when the project was complete. But, there would be room to send another 25 million gallons a day through the pipeline to other water users, if Colorado Springs decided at some point to become a water wholesale dealer for El Paso County. Those concerns are at the heart of Pueblo County's deliberations over the impacts of SDS in the areas of water use, water quality and controlling Fountain Creek...

"We have not had a chance to analyze (Petros' report on the EIS), but we will have a written rebuttal," said John Fredell, SDS project director. "I can't say today whether it's right, wrong or indifferent." Colorado Springs water attorney David Robbins, at the hearing last week, indicated Colorado Springs was not interested in bantering about the EIS, which endorses Colorado Springs' proposal to bring the pipeline from Pueblo Dam rather than from Fremont County or an intake below the confluence of Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River.

County staff, building on Petros' review of the EIS, still has plenty of concerns about SDS impacts on the county and the Lower Arkansas Valley. For instance, if the pipeline were used to its full capacity, the drawdown on the lake would be greater, the Arkansas River further diminished through Pueblo and recreation more depleted. The staff projects another 15,000 acres of farmland could be dried up if others are allowed to move water through the pipeline. The base flows on Fountain Creek could be even higher, and no one has studied how much sediment moves down the creek on a day-to-day basis, staff claims...

"The impacts of diverting this additional water, the additional flows down the Fountain, the decreased Lake Pueblo levels and the likely reduced flows through Pueblo have not been studied or addressed in the EIS," Petros wrote in the report. "Also, adding different users could increase the demand and also could change and accelerate the timing of the impacts to the county." The EIS was criticized on several fronts - mostly by environmental groups familiar with the National Environmental Policy Act - for presenting too narrow a focus because of a tightly worded statement of purpose and need that addressed only impacts to Colorado Springs and its SDS partners.

More Coyote Gulch coveage here, here and here.

Category: Colorado Water
7:01:32 AM    

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