The Arkansas River Compact Administration annual meeting will be at 9 a.m., Dec. 8, at the Clarion Inn, 1911 E Kansas Ave, in Garden City, Kan. On or before Dec. 1, the meeting agenda will be posted on the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s website at http://www.ksda.gov/interstate_water_issues/content/143 and on the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s website at http://cwcb.state.co.us. The Arkansas River Compact Administration administers provisions of the Kansas-Colorado Arkansas River Compact, including how John Martin Reservoir operates. Topics to be covered at the meeting include a review of John Martin Reservoir operations and updates from state and federal agencies…
The administration’s engineering, operations and administrative/legal committees will meet at 2 p.m., Dec. 7, also at the Clarion Inn.
State water experts hope to develop an early warning system for drought using a grassroots network of trained weather watchers. Summit County and Grand County will be part of the data-gathering effort for the Upper Colorado River Basin, relying on readings from more than a dozen local volunteers who measure and report precipitation to help fill in the gaps between the National Weather Service’s three official stations in the county — Breckenridge, Dillon, and Green Mountain Dam…
Doesken has been interviewing dozens of water users, planners and managers in recent months, determining that water planners would like to have an accurate forecast of drought two years in advance. “That sounds like a reasonable request, and weather forecasts continue to get better. But accurate forecasts weeks to months in advance are still a very tall order,” he said…
For more information about this “drought early warning system,” contact Nolan Doesken, State Climatologist, Colorado Climate Center, Colorado State University. (970) 491-3690 firstname.lastname@example.org
To sign up to help measure and report precipitation, go to http://www.cocorahs.org and click “Join CoCoRaHS” or contact email@example.com or Gerry Divine firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the National Integrated Drought Information System, go to: www.drought.gov.
Here’s the meeting information:
Drought Early Warning System for Summit County – Meeting Dec. 2
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 6 at the Summit Senior Center in Frisco.
This program is free and the public is invited.
From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (John Stroud):
What was planned to be a 3 percent annual water/wastewater rate hike was cut in half by Carbondale town trustees at their Nov. 24 meeting, as a way of bringing some financial relief to town residents…
At 3 percent, the new monthly base rate for in-town residential and commercial water customers would have been $16.83 each, and for out-of-town users $25.24, plus the incremental charge based on water usage. Wastewater rates would have been $10.83 and $16.23, respectively, under the original proposal. Those rates will now be slightly less given the agreed-to 1.5 percent increase.
Here’s the release from Denver Water. There are four meetings starting Tuesday in Boulder:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold four Public Hearings on the Draft EIS. At each location, Denver Water will hold an Open House from 4 to 6 p.m. The Public Hearings begin at 6 p.m.:
Tues., Dec. 1 — Boulder Country Club, 7350 Clubhouse Road, Boulder, CO 80301
Wed., Dec. 2 — Inn at Silver Creek, 62927 U.S. Highway 40, Granby, CO 80446
Thurs., Dec. 3 — Doubletree Hotel, 3203 Quebec Street, Denver, CO 80207
Tues., Dec. 8 — Keystone Conference Center, 0633 Tennis Club Road, Keystone, CO 80435
As described in a draft environmental study, the Moffat Collection System project in Grand County would also have impacts on flows on the Blue River. Flows in the Blue River at its confluence with the Colorado River could be cut by as much as 4,800 acre feet annually, about 2 percent of the river’s flow, according to figures released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the draft study. Denver Water project manager Travis Bray said those figures apply when at full build-out of Denver Water’s existing system, and with the Moffat Tunnel on-line. Under the new configuration of diversions that would result from the Moffat Tunnel project, Denver Water would take between 4,000 and 5,000 acre feet of additional water from Dillon Reservoir each year. Bray said the draft study shows there would only be a negligible long-term impact to boating and no impact to fisheries in the Blue River…
Although 2 percent doesn’t sound like much, peak flows are important for the river’s ecosystem, said Becky Long, water caucus organizer with the Colorado Environmental Coalition. “If the project goes forward, the Blue River would see reduced flows in the summer months during wet and average years,” she said. The peak flows in wet years help flush sediment out of the river, create new habitat and support rafting and kayaking, she said.
The main focus of the project is on increased diversions from the Fraser River, but conservation groups are concerned about overall effects on the entire Upper Colorado ecosystem. They advocated for the Summit County hearing when the draft study was released a few weeks ago. Long said the Corps was responding to requests from Summit County residents by scheduling the local hearing…
Conservation groups have identified several broad environmental goals that should be included in the project’s mitigation plan, including:
— Adequate baseline flows in the Fraser throughout the year to sustain fisheries and recreation.
— Sustained peak flows at key times of the year to mimic a natural flow regime and ensure the health and resilience of the river.
— Aggressive urban water conservation and efficiency measures to save more water, such as incentives for homeowners to replace Kentucky bluegrass with drought-tolerant landscaping. More than half of residential water use goes to watering lawns.
— Ongoing monitoring of the river’s health and a mitigation plan with the flexibility to adapt to changing conditions…
Pueblo West is seeking state health department approval of a pumpback plan it says will not harm Lake Pueblo, which is contested by State Parks and the Pueblo Board of Water Works. The Pueblo County commissioners and Pueblo Area Council of Governments have balked at approval of Pueblo West’s plan to return treated sewer flows into a gulch behind the golf course above Lake Pueblo. Right now, all options are open, said Pueblo County’s water attorney Ray Petros…
“On the one hand, they say they have the science,” Petros said. “Then why are they so reticent about putting in an application for a 1041 permit so there could be public scrutiny and independent verification of that science?” The county still would have to permit a discharge into Lake Pueblo, even if state approval is given. There also likely would be issues with the Bureau of Reclamation for long-term storage contracts in Lake Pueblo, Petros said…
The pumpback option would allow Pueblo West to use more of [transmountain] flows because there would not be the transit loss associated with Wild Horse Dry Creek.