101st Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Convention will be held November 19-21 in Lakewood

A picture named irrigation.jpg

From the Steamboat Pilot & Today (Marsha Daughenbaugh):

The 101st annual Rocky Mountain Farmers Union convention will be hosted by Colorado from Nov. 19 to 21 in Lakewood. The three-day event includes workshops, election of officers and board of directors, policy discussions and networking. Delegates from all areas of Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico will join for discussions and decision-making efforts to help preserve family farming and ranching operations that are important to the economy and heritage of the United States. All RMFU members are invited and encouraged to attend and participate.

The agenda and registration information is at http://www.rmfu.org

Estes Park: Students learn about water quality while participating in ‘River Watch’ program

A picture named studentslesherjhsamples.jpg

From the Estes Park Trail Gazette (Juley Harvey):

The students became involved after participating with Merrill in the CloudSat program last year, where they collected data on clouds and precipitation. Merrill found the River Watch program and asked the trio to participate this summer. In the River Watch program, they analyzed samples and stored data on the Internet, to be reviewed and evaluated by the Department of Wildlife. They performed tests for pH levels, alkalinity, hardness, temperature, dissolved oxygen, metals and nutrients. Next, they will train their peers. They hope to test more rivers and headwater streams. They started out monitoring Fish Creek, but the project ended quickly, because “the water was like THAT wide. There was not good data.” “The cool parts,” they said, “were learning about and working with chemicals, collecting stuff and knowing we`re collecting our own data. We feel like we definitely made a difference. We learned how to test…and how rivers interact with the ecosystem and how important they are, and how streams are important to the ecosystem. There is only a little bit of streams left. We need to do what we can to keep them clean and healthy.”

More education coverage here.

CSU: How long will Colorado’s water last?

A picture named riogranderiver.jpg

Here’s the release from Colorado State University:

Colorado State University will host a panel of water experts to discuss the current state of Colorado’s water supply from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the Cool River Café, 8000 East Belleview Ave. in Greenwood Village. The panel of renowned CSU water experts will report on the state’s current water supply and what it means for our economy and quality of life. The panel will explain the many ways – including a unique student effort that is having a global impact – CSU is working to manage Colorado’s water supply for the future.

Panelists will include: Reagan Waskom, director of the Colorado Water Institute; Larry Roesner, professor, CSU College of Engineering; Dick Wolfe, state engineer, Colorado; and CSU students from Running Water International in CSU’s College of Business.

The event is free and open to the public. To register go to http://www.alumni.colostate.edu or call (303) 376-2613.

Wiggins: New supply pipeline design underway

A picture named pipeline.jpg

From The Fort Morgan Times (Dan Barker):

The idea at this point is to build a pipeline following mostly state and county rights of way from a well site eight miles northwest of Wiggins, take it along the west side of town and just south of the Wiggins School District’s football field and then east to connect with the current water system, said engineer Tim Holbrook of Industrial Facilities Engineering Inc. as he gave the Wiggins Town Council a preliminary engineering report. However, some of the details must await design testing, he said. Currently, the plan is to treat the water at the well site, softening it and taking out sulfates before sending it to Wiggins, Holbrook said. That would mean the water would not have to go to the existing water plant and could go directly into the water main. This would be the least expensive and least difficult route to follow, he said. Only a little over a mile of pipeline would need to be on private land with this plan, according to the map of the pipeline. The treatment plant would be about 300 feet by 700 feet at the Smith-Jones farm site and include a 50,000-gallon water storage tank, Holbrook said. With this design, the town could use the existing water system to irrigate the city park through another water line, although planning is necessary to make sure some households can have access to drinking water, Holbrook said.

More Wiggins coverage here.

Hayden: Town Council raises rates

A picture named fountainpavementdrawing.jpg

From the Steamboat Pilot & Today (Jack Weinstein):

Monthly residential rates will increase by $3.05 to $19. Monthly senior rates will increase by $1.83 to $11.40. The ordinance was approved, 5-0. Council members Bill Hayden and Jim Haskins did not attend the meeting. Town Manager Russ Martin said the increase would generate an additional $25,000 to $30,000 to help close the gap in a fund that doesn’t make enough money to cover costs. The ordinance also increased tap fees to $4,800 from $3,800 for water, and to $2,400 from $1,900 for sewer. The ordinance will go into effect 15 days after being published. Martin said the rate and tap fee increases would help eliminate a $75,000 annual deficit in the town’s water fund.

More infrastructure coverage here.

Bayfield: Town trustees raise water tap fees

A picture named waterfromtap.jpg

From the Pine River Times (Carole McWilliams):

Bayfield town trustees have raised water tap fees to $6,600, up from $4,334 for a basic three-quarter inch tap and a similar percentage increase for larger taps. They approved the increase on Oct. 6, effective immediately. It applies to anyone who hadn’t already submitted construction paperwork to the town by that day. There was concern about builders loading up on cheaper taps if there was a time lag…

Clifton said water tap fees will bring in around $100,000 this year, and he’s projecting $86,000 in 2010. The water capital fund is paying $97,000 a year in debt, he said. “If the money isn’t available through tap fees, we have no choice but to take it from rates,” he advised. We have $215,000 in capital expenses, and we are bringing in $87,000.” The water treatment plant is at 80 percent of capacity and needs to be expanded in the next few years, and a system pump needs to be upgraded, he said. He is budgeting $100,000 a year to save up for plant expansion. He is expecting an average $218,000 in new water capital expenses in each of the next four years. Clifton then presented options for higher water tap fees, ranging from $5,500 to $6,600. The current fee is $4,334. Raising the fee to $6,271 would bring in around $188,000 a year, he said.

More infrastructure coverage here.

Land Owners United conservation easements meeting October 20

A picture named purgatoireriver.jpg

From the La Junta Tribune Democrat:

Land Owners United LLC has been diligently working for resolutions, regarding the assault on conservation easement valuations and will conduct an informative meeting on current status and action plans. The meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. at Las Animas Elementary School in the cafeteria, 530 Poplar Avenue (Hwy 50 and Poplar Ave), Las Animas. Guest speakers will include Mack Louden, Not 1 More Acre; Mortgage Brokers Coalition, DORA Law Suit; and Mark MacDonnell, Atty (LOU), DORA Open Records Request – Status. For more information, contact J.D. Wright (719)263-5449.

More conservation easement coverage here.