Northern Integrated Supply Project: 300 rally for project

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From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Kevin Duggan):

About 300 people attended the rally sponsored by the Colorado Farm Bureau and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, which has proposed building Glade as part of the Northern Inte-grated Supply Project, or NISP.

A series of politicians and representatives of farm associations told the crowd that without the water-storage provided by the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, which includes Horsetooth Reservoir, Weld County wouldn’t be one of the top agricultural producers in the country and the region wouldn’t enjoy such a high quality of life.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

CWCB: Old Dillon reservoir upgrade chasing $1.5 million

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From the Summit Daily News (Caitlin Row):

Dillon’s town staff seeks to secure substantial funds from the Colorado Water Conservation Board for a project that will create water reserves for Dillon, Silverthorne and unincorporated Summit County. “We want to nail (the loan) down,” said Devin Granbery, Dillon’s town manager, noting that an emergency ordinance would put the financial agreement into effect right away. The town is moving quickly to access the loan because Granbery said he’s unsure if more money will be available for water projects in the near future.

While Dillon sought a loan to pay for 90 percent of its portion of the expansion, Silverthorne and the county plan to pay for the project with reserved internal funds. Dillon will pay the remainder of its costs through its water fund. In all, Dillon must pay $1.7 million. The total cost estimate for the expansion is $6.3 million, and it will be shared proportionately between the three entities. The project will include reservoir enlargement, associated improvements, wetlands mitigation and rehabilitation of outlets to the reservoir. The U.S. Forest Service is still reviewing the project’s permit application — the reservoir is located on Forest Service land — and project bids could go out later this year if it’s approved. Construction is slated for 2010.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Green Mountain and Ruedi reservoirs update

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From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

It looks like we might have seen the peak of the snowmelt run-off over the weekend. As inflows to Green Mountain Reservoir dropped off Saturday night, we responded by reducing releases from Green Mountain Dam to the Lower Blue River. Sunday, we reduced releases from above 3000 cfs to around 2700 cfs. This was done in three separate intervals of about 100 cfs over the course of the day. This morning, Monday, we reduced again, cutting releases back by about 200 cfs to a flow of 2500 in the Lower Blue River.

From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

We may have seen the peak of the snowmelt inflow to Ruedi Reservoir over the weekend. Yesterday, inflow to the reservoir began to slow down. As a result, we were able to begin reducing our releases to the Fryingpan. Currently, at 2 p.m. Monday, we are reducing releases from the dam to the Fryingpan again. We are cutting back by 50 cfs. This should result in a flow of about 510 cfs in the Fryingpan River.

Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) 44th annual International Fly Fishing Show and Conclave

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From the Cherry Creek News (Josset Gauley):

Fly fishers from across the United States and world are uniting July 28 – August 1 for the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) 44th annual International Fly Fishing Show and Conclave in Loveland, Colorado that is the premier event dedicated to the art and sport of fly fishing. The event features more than 80 workshops and clinics on casting, fly tying, on-water fishing techniques and other topics taught by well-known instructors. The fly fishing show features exhibits with the latest in gear, outfitters, conservation information and the Authors Booth.

Lower South Platte watershed meeting July 8

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From the Greeley Tribune:

A Lower South Platte Watershed meeting has been scheduled for July 8 in Fort Morgan. The meeting will offer an opportunity for landowners, organizations, agencies and businesses to be involved in making decisions about water quality issues in the watershed. The meeting will be from 3-5 p.m. at Morgan Community College, Founders Room, 920 Barlow Road, Fort Morgan. It is open to the public…

The watershed planning project, funded by the state health department’s Water Quality Control Division through the Colorado Non-point Source Program, will encompass about 3.45 million acres from Platteville north and northeast to the Colorado-Nebraska state line and all or portions of nine smaller tributary watersheds within the planning area. The goal of this planning process, scheduled for completion in November 2010 with the publication of the Lower South Platte Watershed Plan, is to empower a group of landowners, managers, conservation professionals and residents to implement and oversee the plan in their watershed and review the plan on a regular basis to determine whether changes are needed to keep the plan functional.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Precipitation news

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From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Douglas Crowl):

As of Sunday, the city of Loveland treated 300 million gallons less water than it did in 2008 during the same time, and 234 million less than in 2007, said Ralph Mullinix, Loveland’s director of water and power…

Water use in recent days has been about 20 million gallons a day, but Mullinix said he expects usage to increase with dry, hot weather in the forecast and this month being the peak. The city of Loveland treats 42 percent of its annual water production within a three-month period when people usually water their lawns in the summer, Mullinix said…

Besides green lawns and low water bills, Loveland residents can look at Lake Loveland to see the rain’s impact. The lake is tiptop full, along with Horseshoe Lake and Boyd Lake, which all are in the Greeley-Loveland Irrigation Co.’s system. Though Loveland owns some shares in that system, the company primarily supplies water to Greeley, Evans and to 14,000 acres of farmland between Loveland and Greeley…

What’s most unique this year is how long the lakes and reservoirs have remained full, or nearly full. In recent years, the spring runoff fills the lakes but immediately are drained as farmers begin to irrigate crops because of dry weather, Brinkman said. This year, farmers with row crops, such as beans and beets, have yet to irrigate, when in typical years they are on a second or third round of irrigation, he said.

Southern Delivery System: Partners want Pueblo West to give up stand on flow program

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Southern Delivery System partners have expressed “significant concern” over Pueblo West’s refusal to accept the Arkansas River flow management program as a condition for the $1.1 billion pipeline project. A letter also proposes ways to support Pueblo West’s pumpback plan, which could reduce the projected losses of water that Pueblo West fears.

A June 19 letter from Colorado Springs Utilities Chief Water Services Officer Bruce McCormick to Pueblo West Utilities Director Steve Harrison raised concerns about Pueblo West’s lawsuit against Pueblo County over the county’s conditions that all SDS participants must participate in the flow program set up in a 2004 intergovernmental agreement. A copy of the June 19 letter was provided to The Pueblo Chieftain. Apparently, Pueblo West has responded to the letter, but no one would make a copy of that response available. “We’re talking through the issues,” McCormick said Monday. “We’re in the process of scheduling a meeting.” “I can’t tell you what’s in the letter. Things are kind of intense on negotiations right now,” Harrison said…

Colorado Springs Utilities is still leaning toward bringing SDS through Pueblo County, rather than along its fall-back route in Fremont County, and expects a decision from Colorado Springs City Council at a July 22 meeting. Utilities also is looking at how large it would size its North Outlet Works to accommodate future users as it advances the engineering for SDS in Pueblo County.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

U.S. Representatives Markey and Salazar announce $5 million for Arkansas Valley Conduit

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

U.S. Reps. John Salazar and Betsy Markey, both Democrats, made the joint announcement of a $5 million appropriation by the energy and water subcommittee Monday.

“We’re extremely pleased and hopeful things continue to go this well in the Senate,” said Bill Long, president of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, sponsors of the conduit project. Long and other Southeastern officials are in Washington today to further discuss with members of the Colorado delegation how a plan to use Bureau of Reclamation contracts to help repay the cost of building the conduit will work. The concept was approved in an authorization bill signed into law earlier this year by President Barack Obama…

Salazar is a member of the appropriations committee and has made several public statements in the past few months about the need for the conduit, even assuring valley residents last month that construction will begin before he leaves office…

Markey stressed that the funding will save the communities of the Lower Arkansas Valley millions of dollars in expenditures they could face in meeting water quality standards. Radium and uranium are contaminating some of the wells in the area, and smaller water systems would be hard-pressed to cover the costs projected by preliminary estimates by the state Water Quality Control Division…

The Southeastern District had sought $9 million in funding, but the $5 million will be enough to advance the project significantly, said Phil Reynolds, project manager. The money will go toward finalizing the route, determining property ownership, identifying geologic or technical obstacles, begin work on an environmental impact statement and begin the pre-design of the pipeline. The pipeline would be gravity-fed along about 140 miles and spurs would serve Crowley County and Eads along the way.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.