Coyote Gulch outage

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I’m heading down the two-lane blacktop with Mrs. Gulch for a little business and a little R&R. Posting may be intermittent until next Monday.

2009 Ag Water Summit

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From The Fence Post:

The 2009 Ag Water Summit will be Dec. 1 at the Jefferson County Fairgounds, 15200 W. 6th Ave., Golden. The summit will be presented by the Colorado Ag Water Alliance, Colorado Ag Council and the Jefferson County office of Colorado State University Extension. It will begin the evening before with a network reception at the Marriott Denver West where Gov. Bill Ritter has been invited to speak. The summit will feature a keynote by Pat O’Toole, president of the Family Farm Alliance and will include legislative and budget issues, optimizing irrigation water, “new water” needs, alternatives to ag transfers and alternatives to “buy and dry.”

Registration deadline is Nov. 20; cost is $50 for ag producers, $75 for nonproducers. For registration and other information, call Crystal Korrey (303) 749-7502 or e-mail

More Colorado water coverage here.

Old Dillon Reservoir expansion update

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From the Summit Daily News (Bob Berwyn):

Completion of the environmental analysis is a huge step forward for the $6.4 million project. The agency will take public comment on the environmental analysis for 30 days. Local officials hope to begin construction next summer. Dillon, Silverthorne and Summit County will share the cost of the project, which, first and foremost, would help bolster Dillon’s water supplies. The town relies mainly on surface water from Straight Creek, a source that’s susceptible to pollution. The town also felt a pinch during the 2002 drought, when Straight Creek flows dropped to record low levels.

The proposed project includes seven elements:

— enlarging the existing reservoir from 62 acre-feet to 288 acre-feet (an acre-foot is 326,000 gallons, so the capacity would go from a little over 2 million gallons to about 10.5 million gallons);

— restoring the outlet from ODR to the south to the Blue River (now Dillon Reservoir);

— reconstructing the head gate on Salt Lick Gulch and piping the entire length of the Dillon Ditch to serve the enlarged reservoir and improving the siphon under I-70;

— rehabilitating the outlet to Salt Lick Gulch;

— temporary road access improvements;

— burying existing overhead utility lines around Old Dillon Reservor; and

— wetland creation.

About 20 acres of wetlands would be affected by the reservoir enlargement, but the impacts would be addressed by adding new wetland on the southwest shorelines of the reservoir. In the long run, there would no net impact to recreational uses in the area, according to Paul Semmer, land specialist with the Dillon Ranger District. The enlargement of the reservoir would actually decrease total diversions from the Salt Lick Gulch drainage from 573 acre feet to 450 acre feet. The reservoir and dams would permanently impact 10.1 acres of forest and meadow habitat in the project area, according to the draft study.

More Old Dillon Reservoir coverage here.

Custer County looking closely at Upper Ark’s augmentation plan

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

On Tuesday, Aug. 11, county commissioners Lynn Attebery, Jim Austin and Carole Custer [hired] the law firm Duncan, Ostrander and Dingess of Denver to represent the county in its objection of the proposed water augmentation plan for Custer County submitted to water court by the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District in late June. Commissioner Austin will serve as contact person with the law firm. Commissioner Attebery also wanted to serve as contact person, however, commissioner Austin and Custer voted in favor of Austin. Also, attorney fees will be split with the city of Aurora as they have also retained the same law firm to handle the same matter. Austin noted Aurora is also objecting to the proposed water augmentation plan.

More Custer County coverage here.

Colorado Springs City Council moving to dissolve stormwater enterprise fund

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After last week’s election Colorado Springs Mayor Rivera claimed that Issue 300 would have no effect on the city’s stormwater enterprise fund. This week he’s saying that the people have spoken and that controlling stormwater runoff should be borne by the city’s general fund. Here’s a report from Daniel Chaćon writing for The Colorado Springs Gazette. From the article:

“I’m convinced that when people were voting on it, their primary vote was to eliminate or phase out the Stormwater Enterprise,” said Mayor Lionel Rivera, who previously maintained that Issue 300 would not affect the Stormwater Enterprise. The council’s about-face followed last week’s crushing defeat on Election Day, when voters slammed the door on a proposed property tax increase while approving a measure anti-tax crusader Douglas Bruce succeeded in placing on the ballot that phases out payments to the city from city-owned enterprises. Although some city officials had questioned whether Bruce’s measure affected fees collected from residents for the Stormwater Enterprise’s drainage projects, the council Monday told the city manager to prepare a recommendation on how to do away with the enterprise and associated fee with critical projects still in the pipeline.

More stormwater coverage here.

Fort Morgan: Emergency teams train to respond to chlorine leak

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From The Fort Morgan Times (Dan Barker):

This was not a real leak, but a training exercise meant to prepare those at the water plant and emergency responders in case there is ever a leak of the deadly gas, and a chance to see how well everyone had prepared for it. Tanks of liquid and gaseous chlorine are stored in an air-tight bay at the plant, used to make sure bacteria are killed before water goes to users in Fort Morgan, said employee Matt Padgett.

More water treatment coverage here.