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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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

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Here's an excerpt from a review of the film Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk, from the St. Louis Java Journal:

The star of this beautiful ... offering is the ancient, endangered Colorado River -- the heroes are river environmentalists Robert F. Kennedy and Wade Davis and their Native American river guide, Shana Watahomigie. With their crew, they embark on a river rafting excursion on the Colorado River that, when captured by the camera, is transformed into the most visually exciting film I have ever seen. There is nothing like a four-story domed screen and a 15,000-watt sound system to catch your attention and put you in the center of the action.

The film starts next week at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Category: Colorado Water
6:25:56 PM    

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From the Fort Collins Coloradoan: "We adults can find ourselves in situations where we want to do something but feel it is too hard or we don't have the information we need. One thing difficult is trying to recycle items that can't be put in your curbside bin but not knowing how to find out if there is a way to recycle them.

"The first place to look is the Larimer County ( or city of Fort Collins ( Web sites. At the county landfill, we get many calls from residents who ask about alternative recycling opportunities. While we don't have all the answers, we're always glad to hear about businesses that take items and recycle, reuse and repurpose them so they don't wind up in the landfill. "

Category: Climate Change News
6:00:53 PM    

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Here's the Colorado snowpack news, from "Colorado's mountain snowpack continues to track at above average levels this month. The latest snowpack surveys, conducted by the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), indicates that all of the major river basins in the state are now above average, ranging from 103 percent of average in the South Platte Basin to 130 percent of average in the Rio Grande Basin. Statewide totals are now 117 percent of average, showing just a slight decrease from the statistics of a month ago, when the state was reporting 120 percent of average. These latest readings are 90 percent of last year's snowpack totals on this same date, according to Allen Green, State Conservationist, with the NRCS."

In the Big Thompson, that water content was around 17 percent, [John Fusaro NRCS] said, which isn't bad, but in the Poudre it ranged from 27-31 percent. "But you know, it seems like we've got off to a start like this for the past few years and the snow quits coming. But if we can just get a 'normal' February and March, we're going to have a pretty good year," Fusaro said. And while that snowpack is important, the plains also need moisture, which they haven't gotten to date. "Winds have really been bad this winter down here and that sucks moisture out of the ground. We really need to recharge the soil moisture down here. But who knows? Maybe this year will be the year we always hope for," Fusaro said.

Category: Colorado Water
5:53:02 PM    

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From the Sky-Hi Daily News: "Middle Park Stock Growers and Middle Park Conservation District will host their annual dinner on Feb. 21 at Daven Haven Lodge in Grand Lake. Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a social half-hour.

"The public is invited to enjoy a prime rib dinner with all the trimmings. Reservations are required and the cost is $30 per person.

"The featured speaker will be Dr. Tim Holt, a veterinarian from Colorado State University."

Category: Colorado Water
5:39:37 PM    

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Here's a recap of last week's discussion about agricultural to municipal (and industrial) transfers at the Colorado Water Congress, from Chris Woodka writing for the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Last week, the Colorado Water Congress dug into the topic with the zeal of early canal builders, listening the progress of various reports and studies on the topic. There was little indication that the studies will be applied in any way to water projects now moving in the Arkansas River basin: Southern Delivery System, the Arkansas Valley Conduit or the pending Bessemer Ditch sale. For one thing, they are only studies: six totaling $1.5 million funded by the Colorado Water Conservation Board and a water transfers guidelines report by a subcommittee of the Arkansas Basin Roundtable. Also, none of the ideas has the same force of law as county 1041 land-use regulations or federal environmental reviews.

All of the plans got a robust workout in front of crowds that hadn't heard much about them, during the two-day Water Congress convention. Clearly, there is an overwhelming sentiment to leave the water on farms. "When's enough, enough?" asked John Stulp, Colorado's commissioner of agriculture, commenting on the [Arkansas] roundtable document. "If we continually transfer ag water, there won't be any ag water."[...]

Another effort that ties into the Super Ditch is a study by Colorado State University Agriculture Research Center at Rocky Ford on what it takes to bring land back into production after it has been fallowed. Plots of ground on the Highline and Holbrook canals will be fallowed for up to three years, then planted to see how crops respond, said Perry Cabot, a CSU researcher...

The Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Co. leases water to cities, but retains the rights. Started after the 2002 drought, the program has helped farmers by making irrigation easier. Besides system improvements, farmers have not had to pay assessments for several years, said consultant Kelly DiNatale. The latest study takes the concept of sharing to a new level, as FRICO is trying to determine if it is feasible for cities to store water in the ditch system's reservoirs.

Parker and Colorado State University have a joint program to determine if farmers can reduce the use of water on crops and lease the difference to cities. Parker bought several farms near Iliff in Northeastern Colorado and wants to determine if they can be kept in production to soften the blow to the local economy. New crops, less water-intensive plants, more profitable crops and reduced planting costs are all part of the picture. It might be possible, said Neil, a CSU researcher. "There's a wide array of options besides just fallowing the land," said.

Category: Colorado Water
6:57:06 AM    

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