Aspinall Unit update

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From email from Reclamation (Dan Crabtree):

The Uncompahgre Valley Water Users will be discontinuing their diversions through the Gunnison Tunnel within the next two weeks. Those of you who monitor the gage below the Tunnel via the Internet will be seeing some fluctuations as Reclamation reduces releases from Crystal in response. However flows in the Canyon and Gorge will generally remain in the 500 cfs range for the remainder of October and November. (Currently, the release from Crystal Reservoir is 1,300 cfs.) The latest model runs show that December flows are anticipated to be in the 1,400 cfs range in response to higher power demands and to meet the winter elevation target at Blue Mesa. As always, these flows are subject to change as a result of variable hydrologic conditions. Please contact Dan Crabtree at 970-248-0652.

More Aspinall unit coverage here.

Energy policy — oil shale: Colorado School of Mines 29th oil shale symposium recap

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From the Associated Press (Judith Kohler) via

Exxon Mobil’s projections suggest that all forms of energy, including oil shale, will be required to meet the demands, company executive Richard Lowe said during an oil shale symposium at the Colorado School of Mines. Mining the oil shale underlying eastern Utah is an important part of the state’s focus on the economy and energy, said Alan Walker, with the governor’s economic development office and the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative. He repeated former Gov. Jon Huntsman’s declaration made last year at the same symposium that Utah is open to commercial oil shale development. “I want to let you know that you’re very welcome in Utah,” Walker told the crowd, which included industry and government representatives.

A Colorado official took a more cautious approach, saying the state supports oil shale development. “We think everybody agrees that all options need to be on the table” in energy development, said Bob Randall of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. But Randall said the state wants more information about the technology, still in the experimental stages, as well as the costs and potential impacts on water supply and quality, environment, public health and communities…

…companies, including Exxon Mobil and Shell Oil, are still testing ways to squeeze the oil out of the rock. Federal and industry officials have said it likely will be at least a decade before commercial development starts. Five leases of 160 acres each were issued on federal land in Colorado and Utah in 2006 and 2007 for research, development and demonstration projects. Randall said nothing has happened on the parcels and Colorado wants the Interior Department to assess those leases before issuing a second round…

The 29th oil shale symposium, hosted by the Colorado School of Mines and the Center for Oil Shale Technology and Research, runs through Wednesday.

More oil shale coverage here.

Steamboat Springs: Funding for water projects

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From the Steamboat Pilot & Today (Mike Lawrence):

Local staff of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-CO, will join representatives from the Colorado Rural Water Association, the Rural Com munity Assistance Corpor­ation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, at Centennial Hall on 10th Street, to provide information about funding and technical assistance for water systems…

“Our water and wastewater program has significant funding,” said Pattie Snidow, Northwest Colorado’s area director for the USDA’s rural development programs. “I think the effort is to get the word out and let people know there is funding available to them.” Snidow said programs she will discuss at Wednesday’s workshop benefit domestic water providers serving populations of 10,000 or less. She said her office is working with the town of Oak Creek, for example, on improvements to its wastewater system.

More infrastructure coverage here.