ResourceSmart Colorado

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From the Denver Business Journal:

Denver Water and Xcel Energy Inc. have teamed up with industry group NAIOP Colorado to promote energy and water conservation in commercial buildings. The three organizations have launched a new program toward those ends called ResourceSmart Colorado, they said Tuesday.

NAIOP Colorado is the local chapter of the national NAIOP trade group, formerly called the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. This state’s NAIOP branch is one of the group’s largest, with 800 members.

Huerfano County: Petroglyph Operating Company Inc. angling to restart coalbed methane wells

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Anthony A. Mestas):

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission shut down the methane wells in 2007 because of seepage into private water wells.

Residents, however, still are complaining that coal-bed methane has migrated into their water wells and that some of those wells are drying up. Farmers and ranchers also are expressing fears that drilling for coal-bed methane could contaminate groundwater. The Boise, Idaho-based company has requested a 10-year permit to pump water from one formation, treat it and then reinject it into another formation that contains domestic water wells and is used for agriculture. The company hopes to create a barrier of water to prevent methane from going where it shouldn’t.

More than 100 people gathered Monday at the Walsenburg Community Center for a meeting with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials to speak out against the permit. Valois Shea, an environmental scientist with the EPA, led the meeting.

More coalbed methane coverage here and here.

Arkansas Basin Roundtable is taking a close look when allocating Water Supply Reserve Account dough

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“The CWCB budget is decimated and will be for several years,” Dils said. The original plan was to provide $10 million statewide annually to the Water Supply Reserve Account for four years, beginning in 2006. The fund was cut to $6 million in 2007, restored to $10 million in 2008 and lopped again to $5.8 million this year. That leaves only $173,000 for the Arkansas basin’s account, plus whatever it can convince the CWCB to give it from $4.2 million in a statewide account. The roundtable can only count on that amount being 40 percent funded in the first cycle this September, Dils said.

Based on that information, the roundtable agreed to fund a project sponsored by Pueblo to remove bed-load sediment from Fountain Creek for $225,000 and a $180,000 study to look at water availability in the Upper Arkansas region. Between the two projects, about $70,000 would come from the basin funds.

A third, $110,000 project to look at water availability in the Upper Black Squirrel groundwater basin in El Paso County was put on hold for now. Roundtable President Gary Barber, who represents El Paso County on the panel, abstained from the decision.

More Arkansas Basin coverage here and here.

Next water availability task force meeting August 26

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From email from the CWCB (Ben Wade):

The next Water Availability Task Force (WATF) meeting is scheduled for August 26, from 9:30-11:30a at the Division of Wildlife Headquarters in the Bighorn Room. The agenda will be posted on the CWCB website.

In the event you are unable to attend the meeting in person, you can attend the meeting via the web using services of See N’ Share and a conference call in. The See N’ Share software allows you to access the desktop of the computer used to run the PowerPoint presentations. An email will be sent to you shortly before the meeting starts with a link to the conference and a conference phone number to call in. Instructions are given in the email to connect to the online conference.

For any other questions or if you will be joining us thru the web, please contact Ben Wade at 303-866-3441 ext. 3238 or at by August 25.

More Colorado Water Conservation Board coverage here.

Microbial desalination cells based on using air cathodes

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From Science Daily

“Water desalination can be accomplished without electrical energy input or high water pressure by using a source of organic matter as the fuel to desalinate water,” the [Penn State researchers, Bruce Logan, Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering and Maha Mehanna postdoctoral fellow] report in a recent online issue of Environmental Science and Technology…

The team modified a microbial fuel cell — a device that uses naturally occurring bacteria to convert wastewater into clean water producing electricity — so it could desalinate salty water.

“Our main intent was to show that using bacteria we can produce sufficient current to do this,” said Logan. “However, it took 200 milliliters of an artificial wastewater — acetic acid in water — to desalinate 3 milliliters of salty water. This is not a practical system yet as it is not optimized, but it is proof of concept.”

A typical microbial fuel cell consists of two chambers, one filled with wastewater or other nutrients and the other with water, each containing an electrode. Naturally occurring bacteria in the wastewater consume the organic material and produce electricity.

More wastewater and water treatment coverage here and here.

Flaming Gorge pipeline: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sides with opponents

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It’s a good thing the Aaron Million is a young man. He may age a bit before he sees his dream of a pipeline from Flaming Gorge Reservoir to the Front Range bear fruit. Here’s a report from the Associated Press via From the article:

The agency submitted written comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is conducting an environmental study of the proposal. The Fish and Wildlife comments focused concern on how the pipeline would affect threatened or endangered species, migratory birds and habitats and ecosystem balances.

More Flaming Gorge pipeline coverage here and here.

Wiggins: New water attorney named

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From The Fort Morgan Times (Jesse Chaney):

The council hired [Frederick] Fendel of Petrock and Fendel, P.C. to replace former water attorney Steve Jeffers, who left due to a conflict of interest. Town Administrator Bill Rogers said after the meeting that Jeffers’ firm represents the Weldon Valley Ditch Co., which has control of water the town may seek to acquire…

Fendel said local Gary Teague is interested in selling the town 10 shares of Weldon Valley Ditch Co. water. The ditch company would have to approve the exchange, Fendel said, and he has been working to specify exactly which shares Teague would like to sell. “I plan to have a draft agreement this week that I hope everyone here can look at,” he said.

More Wiggins coverage here and here.

Republican River Basin: Still no settlement between Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska

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From the Kearney Hub (Leslie Reed):

David Barfield, Kansas water czar, said his state continues to assess whether to take the long-running dispute to the U.S. Supreme Court. “Obviously there’s substantial distance between the states on these issues, particularly with Nebraska’s future consumption,” Barfield said in an interview following the meeting. “You can expect Kansas to pursue this matter until we’re satisfied.”

It was the first meeting of the Republican River Compact Administration – the top water officials from each of the states that share in the basin – since an arbitrator made a nonbinding ruling last month that Nebraska irrigators need to reduce pumping in the basin to allow more water to flow to Kansas. The arbitrator also concluded that Kansas so far has established only nominal monetary losses as a result of Nebraska irrigators overusing their share of water during the drought years of 2005 and 2006. Although the states remain at odds, there was little saber-rattling at the meeting. Each official made a point of acknowledging the other states’ work on the issue.

Plentiful rain in the past two years has brought Nebraska back into compliance with the Republican River agreement, but Barfield warned that Nebraska would quickly fall out of compliance should the weather turn dry.

More Republican River Basin coverage here and here.

Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program: Senator Udall introduces legislation for permanent Ruedi Reservoir pool

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From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:

The bill would let the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation permanently use Ruedi water to help the Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker, humpback chub and bonytail chub…Water users negotiating the agreement have decided half of the water will be provided by converting old, unused agricultural rights, and half will come from unobligated water in Ruedi Reservoir…Additional unsold water would remain in the reservoir to help defray construction costs. But because the water targeted by the bill would be used for fish recovery, the bill would waive the requirement that it be used to pay for reimbursement of costs, Udall’s office said.

More endangered species coverage here.