Castle Rock is teaming up with Denver, Aurora and the South Metro Water Supply Authority for joint operations

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From the Douglas County News Press (Chris Michlewicz):

Town council entered into an intergovernmental agreement Aug. 25 with Denver, Aurora and the South Metro Water Supply Authority, of which Castle Rock is a member. The WISE partnership – which stands for Water Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency – is a joint collaboration to explore opportunities to acquire water and share infrastructure to support the development of water in the South Platte Project Region, an area that stretches from Chatfield Reservoir to the small town of Balzac, Colo., on the eastern plains.

The agreement promotes regional cooperation among water providers and enables the participants to share costs on large projects instead of duplicating efforts. It also brings bigger partners into the mix, said Heather Beasley, water resource engineer with Castle Rock’s utilities division. The partnership does not obligate the town to participate in projects. Members will bring opportunities to the group for discussion, but each entity can decide individually if it wants to join in, Beasley said.

More Denver Basin aquifer system coverage here and here.

Durango: Animas River bank stabilization project

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From The Durango Herald (Garrett Andrews):

Ridgway company Western Stream Works will be installing boulder structures to divert water away from Roosa Avenue starting in early September. Boulders will also be placed at points in the river to improve fish habitat, minimize erosion, protect existing cottonwood trees and lessen the current undercutting the steeper sections of the riverbank. The four- to six-week project is being funded through an $86,400 Colorado Division of Wildlife Fishing is Fun grant, which was secured through the efforts of local nonprofits Animas RiverKeeper and the Five Rivers Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Three years ago, the two groups raised about $8,000 to prepare a study of the section of the Animas River corridor falling under the city’s authority that highlighted areas overdue for repair. Trout Unlimited prioritized the list of nine trouble spots and presented the Durango City Council with a project proposal.

More Animas River watershed here and here.

Arkansas Valley Conduit: Valley officials psyched that Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar is talking water issues

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“This is a big deal. Very rarely have we seen a Secretary of Interior walk into a community to talk about water issues,” Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District Executive Director Jim Broderick said Thursday…

The Southeastern district is the primary sponsor of the conduit, which would deliver water from Pueblo Dam to 42 communities as far east as Lamar and Eads. “When I visited Bureau of Reclamation officials in Washington, there were a lot of encouraging words on the conduit,” Broderick said. “I think they’re starting to get an indication this is a highly visible project.” Under legislation passed earlier this year, the conduit will receive funding, which the district has sought since 2003. Part of the reason the bill passed this year is a concept first suggested by Broderick to use excess-capacity revenues to pay off unfunded parts of the Fry-Ark Project, including the conduit. The House approved funding of $5 million for next year, at the request of Reps. Salazar and Betsy Markey, D-Colo., but the appropriation still must survive a conference committee. The Senate made no recommendation for funding…

Broderick also is encouraged because Jennifer Gimbel, executive director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, last week at Colorado Water Congress confirmed the state’s loan for the conduit is still active. The loan was among items potentially on the chopping block to balance the state budget…

The Southeastern board approved $300,000 in contracts Thursday under an Environmental Protection Agency grant to begin work on environmental, engineering and mapping tasks associated with the conduit. The contracts are the first steps toward building the conduit. In a related move, the board agreed to work with Colorado Springs in exploring ways to use a proposed North Outlet Works at Pueblo Dam to provide system redundancy for the South Outlet Works, the conduit’s connection to water in Lake Pueblo.

More Arkansas Valley Conduit coverage here and here.