Senator Udall proposes legislation to fund upgrade for Pine River Project

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From The Durango Herald (Jason Gonzales):

On Monday, [U.S. Senator Mark Udall] proposed a bill that, if passed, will repair the decrepit system that pumps irrigation water from Vallecito Dam to serve a 13,000-acre tribal and nontribal area. The irrigation system funded by the federal government has been neglected and meets only about 60 percent of the acreage it is intended to serve, Tara Trujillo, Sen. Udall’s communication director, said in an e-mail. “Currently, people who live farthest away from the project seldom get the water allocated to them, even though they pay operating and maintenance fees (to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for Native American tribes),” she said.

Colorado State University: ‘Bridging the Gap: Collaborative Conservation from the Ground Up’

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From a CSU release:

Colorado State University is hosting a public conference, “Bridging the Gap: Collaborative Conservation from the Ground Up,” Sept. 8-11, 2009 on the CSU campus in Fort Collins. Co-hosts for the conference are the Center for Collaborative Conservation, Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, Colorado State Forest Service and Colorado State University Extension.

The first generation of collaborative conservation initiatives forged new ways to bring together diverse stakeholders to achieve joint conservation and livelihood goals. The second generation challenges entail strategically sustaining and expanding collaborative conservation to new levels and this is what will be discussed at the conference.

Gallup: Water pollution tops list of American’s environmental concerns

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The four water-related issues on the poll fill the top four spots in this year’s ranking. In addition to worrying about pollution of drinking water, roughly half of Americans also express a high degree of worry about pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs (52% worry a great deal about this), and water and soil contamination from toxic waste (52%). About half worry about the maintenance of the nation’s supply of fresh water for household needs (49%).

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Colorado Conservation Voters: 2009 scorecard

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Here’s the link to the Colorado Conservation Voters 2009 Scorecard. They’re pleased overall with the 2009 legislative session.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Energy policy — geothermal: Secretary Salazar is banging the renewable energy drum

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From the Associated Press via the New York Times:

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the West has vast untapped potential for harnessing wind, the sun and geothermal energy to create electricity. But ”it doesn’t do any good to generate energy if you can’t get it to market,” Salazar said during the annual meeting of the Western Governors’ Association. That’s long been the concern of Western governors eager to develop renewable energy projects but frustrated by limitations in the transmission system and sluggish bureaucracies…

Salazar said four Western states — Arizona, California, Nevada and Wyoming — will get federal renewable energy planning offices to help make sure projects don’t get stalled.

More coverage of the Western Governors Association Annual Meeting from Mike Stark writing for the Denver Post. From the article:

Sunday’s main discussion, which included Canadian officials and experts from the Middle East and Australia, focused on managing water amid changing climate conditions…Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, an environmental think tank based in Oakland, Calif., was one of four panelists who spoke Sunday. He said there’s evidence of intensified water disputes, ecosystem collapse in some places and a population growth that’s driving a sometimes-fractured water management system.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District welcomes new commissioners

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From The Mountain Mail (Ron Sering):

Three returning directors and a new one were sworn in Thursday during the regular Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District meeting in Salida. Taking the oath of office for four year terms were returning directors Jeff Ollinger of Chaffee County and Tom French and William McGuire, both of Fremont County. Tom Goodwin of Fremont County, appointed by a panel of three district judges, was sworn to the at-large seat vacated by Pat Alderton of Poncha Springs. Goodwin is former Bureau of Land Management field office manager and U.S. Forest Service district ranger for the Saguache district field office. He retired from the Forest Service in 2007. Goodwin is the son of former UAWCD member and long-time board chairman Denzel Goodwin.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Pueblo: Drinking water passes state tests

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From The Pueblo Chieftain:

Pueblo’s drinking water surpassed all federal and state standards for water quality, according to a new report by the Pueblo Board of Water Works. A synopsis of the report is available on the Web site and will be mailed to all customers in this month’s bill. The report describes efforts by the Pueblo water board to monitor for a broad range of potential contaminants, including water quality data, sources of water supply and steps taken to treat the water. The report looks at drinking water testing in 2008, listing tests for bacteria, arsenic, barium, chromium, fluoride, nitrates and selenium. In a press release, the water board noted the level for selenium should have been reported as 5 parts per billion, not million, which is well below the standard of 50 ppb.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Colorado City: Metro District in line for $1.78 million of stimulus dough

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Colorado City wants to add a membrane filtration system to its Cold Springs supply, groundwater which is currently simply chlorinated, said District Manager David Valdez. The district is under a state compliance order to install filtration by Jan. 31, to use the well, which supplies water to about 120 of the 900 taps on the system. Most of the supply for Colorado City comes from Greenhorn Creek and Lake Beckwith. Since the stimulus funds are designed for “shovel-ready” projects, Colorado City is scrambling to meet deadlines. The grant will mainly pay for the filtration system hardware, while Colorado City will pick up engineering and installation costs, Valdez said. “We were fortunate enough to have started the project before we even knew about the stimulus money,” Valdez said.

Colorado City also would participate in a separate grant to the town of Rye. Rye is seeking $1.97 million to tie into the Colorado City sewer system, rather than continue using a lagoon system.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.