Interior Secretary Salazar calls for more high flows through the Grand Canyon

A picture named glencanyondam030508

From National Parks Traveller (Kurt Repanshek):

The secretary, in Copenhagen to attend the global climate change conference, made his comments Thursday via video to the Colorado River Water Users Association, which is meeting in Las Vegas.

“We must find a way to protect one of the world’s most treasured landscapes – the Grand Canyon – while meeting water and clean energy needs in the face of climate change,” Secretary Salazar said.

“Today, I am directing the development of a protocol for conducting additional High Flow Experiments at the (Glen Canyon) Dam. These experimental high flows [like the one in 2008] send sediment downstream to rebuild sandbars, beaches and backwaters. The rebuilt areas provide key wildlife habitat, enhance the aquatic food base, protect archeological sites, and create additional camping opportunities in the canyon.”

More instream flow coverage here.

Hoover Dam: Quaggas in the pipes

A picture named hooverdamaerial.jpg

From The New York Times (Scott Streater):

The organisms, which grow to about [20 millimetres], are clogging water lines that are used to cool the 17 massive hydropower turbines at Hoover Dam and have already forced dam operators to temporarily shut down the power plant that supplies electricity to 1.6 million people in southern Nevada, Arizona and California.

The mussels have caused similar problems at the downstream Davis Dam in Lake Mohave and Parker Dam in Lake Havasu, both of which provide electricity for thousands of people in Arizona and California. The mussels have also threatened to clog water intake lines in Lake Mead operated by the Southern Nevada Water System that supply water to more than 2 million people in the Las Vegas area.

“We’re very concerned,” said Fred Nibling, a Reclamation biologist in Denver who is helping lead agency efforts to combat the mussel invasion…

So the bureau has applied to U.S. EPA for an exemption waiver that would allow it to use an experimental pesticide that contains the freshwater bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens, which in laboratory tests has shown great promise to kill quagga mussels, and their invasive cousins zebra mussels, without harming other organisms.

More invasive species coverage here.

South Platte Basin Roundtable meeting December 17

A picture named ibccroundtable.jpg

The next meeting of the roundtable is December 17 in Loveland. Here’s the agenda (pdf) via Natalie Stevens at the City of Greeley Water Department.

More IBCC — roundtables coverage here.

Rico: Geothermal Academy December 12

A picture named coloradohotsprings.jpg

From The Telluride Watch:

Colorado School of Mines Professor Professor Masami Nakagawa comes to Rico Saturday, Dec. 12, for a “Geothermal Academy Kickoff in Rico,” Rico Mayor Barbara Betts reported this week. The event, essentially a forum for announcing the creation of a Geothermal Academy in Rico, and a discussion of the Rico area’s overall geothermal potential – begins at 9 a.m. in the Rico Courthouse, with a break for lunch, and ends at 4 p.m. Topics include Ground Source Heat Pumps and Civil Applications; Direct Use and Small Power Generation; National Renewal Energy Laboratory Geothermal Program; Renewable Energy Policy; San Miguel Power and a roundtable discussion/wrap-up.

More geothermal coverage here and here.

Cortez: 2010 budget includes funding microhydroelectric plant

A picture named microhydroelectricplant.jpg

From the Cortez Journal (Steve Grazier):

Additionally, Cortez plans to complete construction of a micro-hydroelectric plant at its water treatment plant. Construction of the hydroelectric plant is funded by a $500,000 grant and approximately $1.4 million in loan funds.

More hydroelectric coverage here and here.

Colorado Springs City Council abolishes stormwater enterprise with 5-4 vote

A picture named arkansasfountainconverge.jpg

From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Daniel Chaćon):

The council had voted 5-4 to phase the enterprise out over two years after the Nov. 3 passage of ballot issue 300, but Councilman Bernie Herpin changed his mind. The city-owned agency is getting ready to mail the final batch of bills for the last quarter of 2009, and city officials are expecting property owners to pay whatever they owe. “For those who have not paid, the city will pursue collections, whether that’s through liens on property or through collections agencies,” Mayor Lionel Rivera said. “The $1.7 million that’s still owed the city, we’re not just going to wave our hands and say it’s going to go away.”

More stormwater coverage here.

Glenwood Springs: Much uncertainty about bids for new wastewater treatment plant in light of Davis-Bacon Act requirements

A picture named wastewatertreatmentwtext.jpg

From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (John Gardner):

The current bids are due to expire before the end of the year. Without requiring a special meeting, Council will have to act on the current bids at its Dec. 17 meeting to avoid re-bidding the project, according to City Manager Jeff Hecksel. Hecksel said that he spoke with the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority — the state entity issuing the bond service for the loan — last week and it was clear that the city will have to include the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage provision, if the city decides to use the authority for financing the loan. “We are in the process of deciding what we are going to do with the bids and the new requirements,” Hecksel said.

The project was halted, along with 22 other water improvement projects statewide, last month due to the passing of the 2010 Interior and Environmental Appropriations Bill on Oct. 30. The bill requires all Federal, State, and local projects, using state of federal funds, to include the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirement, which could potentially increase the overall cost of the project.

More wastewater coverage here.

CDPHE: Kickoff of new program designed to keep pharmaceuticals out of surface waters

A picture named genderbendingpollution.jpg

From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

Working with grocers [King Soopers and City Market], health officials said they will campaign for Colorado residents to clear out medicine cabinets and dispose of unwanted medications in these containers. Chief Medical Officer Ned Calonge will announce the initiative today, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment spokesman Mark Salley said. Health officials planned to gather in the Stapleton King Soopers and demonstrate the safe disposal of appropriate medications using one of the containers.

More water pollution coverage here.