$500 million makeover on tap – News on TAP

New treatment plant and high-capacity pipeline part of one of the largest renovation projects in Denver Water history.

Source: $500 million makeover on tap – News on TAP

Weather Modification-Cloud Seeding

Your Water Colorado Blog

IceNucleiGenerator Silver Iodide is burned using a ice nucleus generator.  Courtesy of CWCB

Think Mother Nature is the only one that can control the weather? Well think again. During times of drought and as we look toward an uncertain climate future, water managers and scientists are relying on cloud seeding to bring snow to ski resorts and a more reliable water supply along the Colorado River. Cloud seeding is increasingly popular in southwestern Colorado as a way of making snow as it’s becoming more accurate and less of a gamble thanks to research and weather data collection. However, with data comes accuracy, and there is still a need for more data.

Cloud seeding is used as a way to boost the amount of snow falling in the winter as well as the amount of runoff in the spring by increasing moisture levels in the clouds. The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) has…

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It took decades to decide and Aamodt settlement worries acequia communities

An acequia along the Las Trampas in northern New Mexico is suspended on a trestle. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

From The Sante Fe New Mexican (Tripp Stelnicki):

A federal court entered a final decree in the Aamodt settlement to much fanfare earlier this summer, ending more than half a century of litigation and negotiation in one of the longest-running water fights in the country. But even with the decree, a flood of questions lingers over the implementation of the settlement, and the Office of the State Engineer’s proposed rules have touched off particular concern in the centuries-old acequia communities, where there is anxiety about being left high and dry in a post-Aamodt environment.

The communities have operated communal river-diverted irrigation systems in a largely informal and entirely internal fashion for centuries. Many say their localized, community-oriented nature is what makes them special. Some call the acequias, with roots in Spanish colonialism, the oldest form of democracy on American soil.

Now the organizations are racing to interpret what the proposed new regulations will compel them to do, preparing for a public hearing this week that amounts to their last best chance to voice concerns and suggest alterations to the Office of the State Engineer before the rules are promulgated by Sept. 15.

In recent weeks, there have been a few informational meetings for those affected, but members of acequia communities say the rules have come upon them too quickly and, until recent weeks, without sufficient input from the hundreds of parciantes, or irrigators, in the Nambé-Pojoaque-Tesuque water district.

“They had the pueblos, the state, the county — everyone. Everyone came before the acequias. We came last,” said Pablo Gonzales, president of the Acequia de los Trujillos. “And unless we go back to fight all this in court again, we’re going to end up being screwed.”

In a statement, the engineer’s office said acequia leaders and irrigators have been invited to participate in “the pending rulemaking process.”

“Like other affected water right owners, they have the opportunity to comment on the proposed rules through the public hearing process,” the statement read, adding that all public comments will be considered before the rules are finalized.

‘A big burden’

The rules concern the distribution and administration of the water supply and water rights in the Nambé-Pojoaque-Tesuque basin. They implement the terms and conditions of the Aamodt settlement agreement and final decree.

One significant change codified in the rules, to be enforced by a water master or masters, is the compilation and submission of an annual report about lands to be irrigated, or TBI, from each acequia.

By March 1 of each year, according to the proposed rules, the mayordomo, or ditch boss, of each acequia must provide to the water master a written report about the acreage under the ditch to be irrigated; maps will accompany these TBI letters. The water master or masters in the engineer’s office will then determine the maximum diversion rate for each ditch in the system.

But obtaining the information and ensuring its accuracy “places a big burden on the mayordomos,” said Edward Romero, mayordomo of Acequia de Las Jollas for more than 30 years, referring to the TBIs.

Mayordomos and commissioners, many if not all of them volunteers, have always been responsible for maintenance and repairs in each ditch, the division of water, watering schedule and more. But these time-consuming tasks have never before been regulated with meticulous scrutiny or from the outside, Romero said…

Paula Garcia, executive director of the New Mexico Acequia Association, said the nonprofit has been pushing for irrigators to make their concerns about the proposals heard at this week’s hearing. All comments will be considered before a final draft is promulgated…

Vague rules

Another concern for acequias in the proposed rules is protection against priority enforcement by the pueblos. A priority call is the rarely used mechanism, reserved for times of scarcity, in which junior water rights are curtailed so more senior water rights can be met. It “should be a measure of last resort,” according to the state engineer’s website.

Romero, the nonprofit attorney, said a section of the settlement protects parciantes against priority calls by those with more senior water rights, whether pueblos or other acequias — but not if the water right “is not beneficially used for more than five consecutive years,” according to the rules…

How beneficial use will be determined was a cause for concern at the Nambé gathering. Water banking is not addressed in either the settlement or rules, Romero said, and it is unclear as yet whether it will qualify for protection against losing priority.

The need for more documentation of acequia water use than has been compiled in the past, then, becomes ever more important under the proposed rules, Romero said.

“We kind of view all of these provisions as adding more pressure in general to acequias,” Garcia said. “In particular to those individuals who serve as mayordomos, commissioners. They will have to step up their game.”

The state engineer’s rules come out of the terms of the Aamodt settlement, an agreement reached between the United States government, the state, Santa Fe County, the city of Santa Fe and four Northern pueblos — Nambé, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso and Tesuque. The settlement established priority water rights for the pueblos, and all water rights in the Pojoaque Basin north of Santa Fe were adjudicated.

But Aamodt developments were hardly finished with the entrance of the final decree in July.

First, the rules governing the administration of water rights in the basin will be finalized.

Hurdles remain, namely the construction of a multimillion-dollar regional water system that is part of the settlement, the funding of which hinges on both state appropriations and the resolution to roadway disputes between pueblos and Santa Fe County. And domestic well users have expressed concerns about the proposed rules, as well. Ongoing road disputes over rights-of-way between the county and some pueblos have also clouded the settlement proceedings.

The latest “Colorado Water” newsletter is hot off the presses

Click here to read the newsletter. Here’s an excerpt:

Water storage may be through surface recharge methods such as ponds and river channels. It may also be through Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR) wells, Aquifer Storage Transport Recovery (ASTR) wells, Vadose Zone wells or Recharge wells. The objective is to get the water into storage during wet months and years so that it will be available for recovery during dry months and extended droughts. This paper primarily addresses ASR wells.

John’s excellent EV adventure — Steamboat Springs #CWCSC17

Steamboat Springs camp August 21, 2017.

My campground in Steamboat Springs has charging stations for the tent campers. I was able to connect the Leaf’s trickle charger.

Leaf charging at my camp in Steamboat August 21, 2017.

I was a bit worried on the leg from Kremmling to Steamboat Springs. Highway speeds and a climb really knock down the battery charge. I gained a whole bar (8.33%) of charge coming down the west side of Rabbit Ear’s pass due to the regenerative charging system. Did not have to break once, regenerative charging held the speed limit.

Now I’m on my bicycle until the drive home Friday.

The Yampa River Core Trail runs right through downtown Steamboat. Photo credit City of Steamboat Springs.

John’s excellent EV adventure — Kremmling #CWCSC17

Leaf Byers Canyon August 21, 2017.

Winter Park to Kremmling was a short jaunt. It was difficult to seat the connector in the Leaf at the Town Park. I worried that I was going to have to return to Winter Park and hope a full charge would get me over the hill to Steamboat Springs.

Thanks to the Town of Kremmling!

Leaf Town of Kremmling Town Park August 21, 2017.

John’s excellent EV adventure Winter Park #CWCSC17

Leaf, Berthoud Pass Summint, August 21, 2017.

I made it to Winter Park to the town parking lot and the charging station. Easy as pie to find the hookup. Thanks Winter Park.

Leaf reported ~14 miles of range left on the top of Berthoud and ~1/4 of a charge after the long climb from Denver. After the long downhill, hardly using the accelerator, the Leaf report ~40 miles of range and still ~1/4 charge when I pulled into the parking garage. The regenerative charging system slowed the Leaf really well on the downhill side of the pass. I didn’t need to break very often.

This is my first road trip in the mountains with the EV. Next stop Kremmling Town Park for the charge to get over the hill to Steamboat.

Leaf connected in the parking garage in Winter Park, August 21, 2017.