The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District sets the Colorado-Big Thompson quota at 80%

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From The Fort Morgan Times:

The 80 percent quota will make available a total of 248,000 acre-feet of C-BT Project water. C-BT allottees — those water users within Northern Water boundaries who own units of C-BT water — include municipalities like the city of Fort Morgan, domestic water districts like the Morgan County Quality Water District, industries and farmers…

In determining the quota, the board also considers the need to maintain C-BT Project storage reserves. The board strives to utilize the supplemental water supply provided by the C-BT Project to complement the supplies available from native sources to ensure adequate regional water supplies through the current water year.

More Colorado-Big Thompson coverage here and here.

Morrison, Idaho Springs and Georgetown pool their resources and share de-watering and de-sludging equipment

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From the Clear Creek Courant (Ian Neligh):

The municipalities entered into a partnership in 2008 to purchase a unit worth $300,000. They received a $200,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and are splitting the remaining cost.

The mobile system is mounted inside a small trailer and can be moved from town to town along the Interstate 70 corridor. “So (the unit) will be on site here for the time we need it. It will be hauled to Georgetown and also to Morrison,” said Idaho Springs City Administrator Cindy Condon. “So all of us are getting cooperative effort out of one piece of machinery — instead of everybody having to own their own.” Condon said she came up with the idea after talking with the other town administrators. “We were (all) contracting out to a company … that comes in and does (the work) for a …five-day period (or) whatever it takes to take the sludge out of the system,” Condon said. “And when you’re talking $100,000 a year among the three of us, we felt like within a short time we could pay this piece of equipment off and have it be a real asset to the citizens.” The three municipalities will work together to train operators, schedule use of the equipment and share maintenance expenses.

More wastewater coverage here.

Snowpack news: Dust storms blanket snowpack with dust

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From The Aspen Times (Carolyn Sackariason):

The red dust blanketing area mountains and virtually every surface in town is a result of oil and gas development and off-road vehicle activity in southeastern Utah, according to David Garbett, staff attorney with Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. He informed the Aspen City Council on Monday of the effects the dust has on the community. The snow stained by dust melts faster because it absorbs more solar energy, which affects the snowpack in Aspen and surrounding areas…

Beyond an expedited snowpack and quicker spring runoff, dust-covered snow affects Aspen’s water supply, officials said. The city’s water department has to spend more money in increased treatment chemicals to remove the dust, which resists coagulation. It makes its way through the city’s filters and is difficult to remove, according to city officials. “Water treatment plants in Colorado are experiencing this phenomena throughout areas affected by these storms,” wrote Chuck Bailey, the city’s water treatment plant supervisor, in an e-mail regarding the issue. “It is usually temporary during spring/summer runoff, but still a new challenge to us.”

Destabilization of the soil on the Colorado Plateau in Utah is the primary cause of the local dust storms, contrary to other reports that it’s from rockslides in Mexico or weather events as far away as Mongolia, Garbett said…

A cold front was expected to move across Utah and Arizona, generating strong south-southwesterly winds with gusts potentially reaching 50 mph. The strong winds were expected to cause blowing dust in parts of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado, which could be transported long distances, causing hazy skies and restricted visibility at times even in areas where the winds are lighter.

Cherokee Metropolitan District looks to Colorado Springs Utilities for help in meeting summer demand

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From KRDO.com (Mireya Garcia):

In the last agreement, Cherokee provided it’s own water, and Colorado Springs provided services – -that aid ended in 2009. The current proposed agreement is different. Cherokee is asking for both water and services from the Springs. “We are in a really good situation in terms of having a robust water supply, so Cherokee approached us and explained their need for drinking water in their system,” says Patrice Quintero, of Colorado Springs Utilities.

The agreement will take effect Wednesday if approved by the Colorado Springs City Council on Tuesday. It would include provisions to prevent any sale of the water and services that would violate city code. “As we understand it, they are in a critical situation where their residents are in need of safe and reliable drinking water, ” Quintero tells NEWSCHANNEL13.

More Cherokee Metropolitan District coverage here and here.

Conservation easements: Land Owners United wins access to appraiser’s records

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Land Owners United, a group that represents landowners who are having difficulty with conservation easements in Southeastern Colorado, filed for the information under the Colorado Open Records Act. Last week, Judge Sheila A. Rappaport ruled the state Division of Real Estate wrongly withheld material on appraisers Bill Milenski, who surrendered his license in 2008, and John Stroh, who was put on probation in 2006. “The ruling by the Denver District Court is a significant step forward for our group,” said J.D. Wright of Fowler, president of Land Owners United. “Some of us have been trying to get to the bottom of charges against our appraisers for the last six years. The only answer we received has been that the appraisal value was too high.”[…]

The appraisers had provided information to numerous owners of farm and ranch lands in Southeastern Colorado who entered into conservation easements.

More conservation easements coverage here and here.

Alamosa: City attorneys deny libility in 2008 salmonella outbreak

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Matt Hildner):

The city also denied that a covered reservoir and a pair of water towers were in significant disrepair, as the plaintiffs had claimed. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had pointed to the covered reservoir on the city’s northwest side as the likely cause of contamination in a November report. The report, which was cited in the plaintiffs’ lawsuit, also found the city had failed to follow up on a 1997 report from a private engineering firm that found cracks in the foundation.

In the response, the city’s attorneys also maneuvered to deny or otherwise limit any damages the city might face, citing Colorado law that limits judgments to a claim from multiple parties at $600,000. State law also allows that the immunity of a government against damage claims can be waived under a number of instances, including those involving the operation of a public water system. Alamosa denied that the plaintiffs’ claims fell within the circumstances that warrant a waiver of immunity.

More Alamosa coverage here and here.