Republican River Water Conservation District $49.1 million purchase of groundwater rights may close soon

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The RRWCD is trying to save a little groundwater pumping by buying up wells and pumping their output to the Nebraska border. Nebraska and Kansas so far haven’t agreed that the pipeline will make the river whole. Here’s a report from Tony Rayl writing for the Yuma Pioneer. From the article:

The groundwater, representing about 50 wells, will be used for the proposed compact compliance pipeline, if Colorado can get approval from Kansas and Nebraska through the Republican River Compact Administration (RRCA).

Meanwhile, State Engineer Dick Wolfe has stated the continuation of the Special RRCA Meeting that began in May has not been scheduled yet as the three states are continuing settlement negotiations in regards to Colorado’s proposed compact compliance pipeline. Wolfe, in an e-mail to the Pioneer, reported the hope is to set the date soon. However, he added Colorado did not want to set the continuation until the state knows it has a deal with Nebraska and Kansas, or that it is determined the states definitely are at an impasse. At that point, a final vote would be needed to initiate the arbitration process.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Precipitation news

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From the Yuma Pioneer:

Yuma itself has mostly experienced relatively gentle rainfall, though it did come down hard and heavy late Sunday afternoon when Yuma officially received .55 of an inch. Once again, the real “gully-washers” occurred elsewhere, such as the Wiggins area reportedly receiving 6 inches of rain Sunday. Total rainfall in Yuma was up to 3.47 inches after Monday’s light rain, according to the official weather station at the W-Y Combined Communications Center. The most that has come down in any one day was 1.10 inches on June 2, when it rained most of the day. Yuma now has received 5.84 inches of precipitation since May 1, most of that falling since May 21, which marked the beginning of a prolonged wet, cool and cloudy period that lasted more than three weeks…

Total precipitation in Yuma now is up to 8.83 inches to date in 2009.

Colorado-Big Thompson Project: Reservoir status

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From email from Reclamation (Michael Odle):

– Estes Powerplant will have 250 acre-feet of water available for power generation on Friday. That is an increase of 50 acre-feet from previous days.

– The Adams Tunnel diversion od 200 cfs will continue until tomorrow night. That means that the Marys Powerplant will have water available for power generation the entire day tomorrow.
– Olympus Tunnel flow will continue set at 500 cfs tomorrow.
– The Dille Tunnel flow will be adjusted to 68 cfs tomorrow morning.
– The Big Thompson Powerplant flow will be increased to 394 cfs tomorrow morning.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Northern Integrated Supply Project: Rally to show support June 30

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From the Greeley Tribune: “The rally will be 11 a.m.-1 p.m., June 30 at the Russ and John Leffler farm, about one and three-quarters of a mile west of Eaton on Weld County Road 74.”

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Water authority for the lower Arkansas Valley?

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Small water districts are feeling the crush of dealing with tighter federal and state standards along with the cost to replace or rehabilitate older systems. Regional water authorities where they can pool their infrastructure resources are one answer. Here’s a report from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District voted unanimously Wednesday to provide up to $14,000 to look at the possibility of forming a water authority for small districts in the valley. There are 26 small water companies or districts in Otero County, some that serve only a few families, and a preliminary meeting last week with some of the water providers indicated some interest in an umbrella organization. Half of the districts serve less than 200 people. “These are run by people who have full-time jobs who are struggling just to keep the leaks fixed and generating enough money to pay the electric bill to keep water coming out of the tap,” said Bill Hancock, conservation director for the Lower Ark. Hancock’s family runs one of the small districts as well. An authority was brought up following a meeting with the Colorado Water Quality Division two months ago, where many of the water companies experienced sticker shock over the cost of recommended upgrades to their systems…

The water providers are facing new water quality regulations on radionuclides in well water that could require millions of dollars to meet. At the same time, they are working with the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District on the $300 million Arkansas Valley Conduit, a water supply line that would solve many of their problems. However, since many are private companies, they are not eligible for public funding, and connecting to a public source can be expensive.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.