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

Error: Can't find file, "".

Project Healing Waters

Subscribe to "Coyote Gulch's 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.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A picture named rueter-hessplans.jpg

Parker Water and Sanitation has written a long column for YourHub. Click through and read the whole thing. Here are some excerpts:

Here is the reality: our current water use is reducing our groundwater aquifers by as much as 30 feet per year. Every well in the district records this reduced production. We are essentially mining a non-renewable resource. Once we have pumped the water to the surface, it will not be recaptured and returned to the aquifer. The Rueter-Hess Reservoir is part of the solution to this problem. But with groundwater depletion, PWSD management is working hard to find new sources to meet ongoing demand.

The amount of renewable water supply from Cherry Creek is limited to about 5,000 acre feet annually (an acre foot supplies two average sized families for a year). Currently, our residents and businesses use 8,000 acre feet every year! The District will capture as much surface water as possible in the Rueter-Hess Reservoir, which represents a major component of our future water security.

What is the answer to this mounting challenge? There are several opportunities related to purchasing renewable resources on the South Platte, Arkansas or Colorado rivers. Such buys are feasible but the cost is high because in addition to purchasing the water rights the District must launch major capital projects to construct pipelines and pump stations to transport the water to Parker. These kinds of capital costs are already being incurred by neighboring water districts, including several pipelines of 30 miles or more that will consume literally billions of dollars.

PWSD has also purchased consumptive water rights by buying 12 farms outside the District in Logan County that could supply as many as 9,000 acre feet of water. The good news is that these are performing assets, generating District revenues until the water might be needed. PWSD's foresight in obtaining "senior" water rights here will give Parker residents priority over other uses when the time comes. The District views this option as a last resort insurance policy.

Delivery from the Colorado River would bear the same infrastructure cost but would be less expensive to treat. The District is also looking at water from Flaming Gorge on the Green River, the largest provider of water to the Colorado River. We have also obtained permission to study this option from the Colorado Division of Natural Resources and the Wyoming Water Commission and the Bureau of Reclamation. With this option, 400 miles of pipeline would create significant capital costs and would require partnerships with other agencies.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
7:31:22 PM    

A picture named wastewatertreatmentwtext.jpg

Palisade is looking at the option of foregoing a new treatment plant in favor of hooking in to Clifton's new plant, according to a report from the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Le Roy Standish). From the article:

Because of stricter federal water regulations, Palisade's lagoon, wastewater-treatment plant at the west end of Riverbend Park, 451 Pendleton St., needs to be replaced within the next few years. A new plant would cost the town an estimated $7 million, plus all the ensuing maintenance costs.

A lifting station and a pipeline to Clifton Sanitation's new plant, on the southwest corner of D and 32 roads, would cost just about as much to build, but would be cheaper to maintain. Sewer rates for customers also could decrease if the town opts to connect to Clifton.

"We are in the $7 million range for either of these options," Palisade Trustee Jim Bennet said.

Category: Colorado Water
7:19:10 PM    

A picture named wetlandssouthplatte.jpg

Here's a look at HB09-1174 (pdf), Exempt Pre-1974 Well Depletions and SB09-147 (pdf), Water Supply Plans Pre-2003 Depletions, from K.C. Mason writing for the Sterling Journal Advocate. From the article:

House Bill 1174 affects about 400 wells users that the Central Water Conservancy District accepted into its plan after the demise of the Ground Water Appropriators of the South Platte (GASP).

While the bill garnered no debate on the House floor, it generated a claim during a committee hearing last week that well irrigators are "stealing water from people on the lower South Platte."


Senate Bill 147 would allow the State Engineer to approve substitute water supply plans in permanent augmentation plans for the repayment of out-of-priority depletions from the stream prior to 2003. The bill would apply only to wells in Division I and would expire in 10 years.

"Right now you can't use substitute supply plans for augmentation," said Hodge, who is preparing for a hearing on her bill Thursday before the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. "This would just give them a quicker way to get water when it's available."

A similar bill was introduced last spring when water providers said they had some surplus water to sell because of the heavy snowpack. It was immediately opposed by surface water users and Western Slope interests.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
7:09:59 PM    

From the Sky-Hi Daily News: "Snowpack in the mountains around Middle Park ranges from 81 percent to 157 percent of the 30-year average. Last year at this time it was 92 percent to 133 percent of average. The southern drainages have the most moisture content: Fraser River, 133 percent; Williams Fork, 126 percent; and Blue River, 125 percent. The northern drainages have the least: Corral Creek, 92 percent; Muddy Creek, 112 percent; and Willow Creek, 116 percent. Overall, this is quite similar to Feb. 1, 2006. Snow density is averaging 24 percent, which means that each foot of snow contains about 2.9 inches of water."

Category: Colorado Water
6:51:40 PM    

A picture named arkansasriverbasin.jpg

Congratulations are in order for George Hugins, according to a report from the Cañon City Daily Record. From the article:

At 88 years old, he has been involved in the community since moving here nearly 20 years ago. For his efforts, George Hugins was named the 2008 Penrose Citizen of the Year during the Penrose Chamber of Commerce annual banquet Monday at Goose Berry Patch.

"He was heavily involved in the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy petition drive," said Chamber board president Pete Mugasis. "He was involved in arranging the original meeting and followed the petition processes and court appearances."

Category: Colorado Water
6:47:55 PM    

A picture named sdsfremontcountyalt.jpg

Colorado Springs' proposed Southern Delivery System is popular with the Fremont County Commissioners. They voiced support for the alternative route from the Arkansas River near Penrose along Colorado 115 and on up to the Springs. Here's a report from R. Scott Rappold writing for the Colorado Springs Gazette. From the article:

The board, however, did not vote on Colorado Springs Utilities' permit application. Commissioners decided to wait two weeks to hammer out conditions under which they could approve the plan.

Their concerns include lessening construction impacts, giving Utilities time to reach water-sharing deals with Beaver Park and Penrose water districts and to agree to participate in flood-control work near Penrose, and ensuring Utilities uses eminent domain with private property owners only as a last resort.

"We've got some details we've got to work out and we're going to work on it," said Utilities project manager John Fredell, after the hearing. "I think this is a great outcome."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
6:36:00 PM    

A picture named upperarkansasvalley.jpg

The election that saw Eastern Fremont County join the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District has been upheld in court, according to a report from Chris Woodka writing for the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The Colorado Supreme Court rejected an appeal by opponents to the inclusion, who contested Fremont County District Judge David Thorson's order last year affirming the legality of a November 2007 election in which voters approved inclusion. Voters in the Canon City, Florence and Penrose areas approved inclusion by a vote of 4,680-4,274. "I think the board is really happy with the decision. It's been a long time coming," said Terry Scanga, general manager of the Upper Ark District. "Really, this is putting together the Upper Arkansas River basin. With the commonality of the area, it makes sense to have it all together."

The vote was challenged by Ivan Widom of Canon City and Mark Emmer of Salida, who argued that voters were misled by pre-election materials. Thorson rejected the challenge, saying the election itself did not violate state statutes or the constitution. Thorson said the ballot correctly identified the 0.478 mill tax levy that was voted on in 2007. An appeals court referred the challenge to the state Supreme Court on Dec. 23. The high court declined to hear the case on Jan. 15. Thorson issued an order of dismissal, based on the Supreme Court decision, on Jan. 30.

Following the election, four board members from eastern Fremont County were seated, according to membership guidelines, which give two seats to each school district within the boundaries. Former Canon City Mayor Bill Jackson and orchard owner Mannie Colon were appointed by judges to represent the Canon City area; Penrose farmer John Sandefur and William McGuire of the Penrose Chamber of Commerce were selected to represent the Florence-Penrose area.

Other directors are Bob Senderhauf and Bill Donley of Custer County; Tom French and Tim Canterbury of western Fremont County; and Glenn Everett, Greg Felt, Frank McMurry, Jeff Ollinger and Pat Alderton of Chaffee County. Alderton is a director at large, while the others represent their respective school districts.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
6:30:25 AM    

A picture named sdspreferredalternative.jpg

From the Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka): "A hearing on the $1.1 billion Southern Delivery System scheduled for Wednesday will be continued until 6 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, the county announce Monday."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
6:22:11 AM    

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2009 John Orr.
Last update: 2/12/09; 7:12:43 AM.
February 2009
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
Jan   Mar