Third annual Ridgway River Festival June 26

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From The Telluride Watch:

One of the festival’s most popular events is the whimsical Junk of the Unc race. Sure to inspire shoreline laughter, this competition invites novice and experienced boaters alike to launch homemade vessels into the water and demonstrate their river-worthiness. Boaters will attempt to successfully float one quarter of a mile from the Rollans Park foot bridge to the eddy just south of the railroad bridge. Most any vessel is acceptable and awards are given for creativity. Start designing and building your vessels now…

A variety of river events will round out the rest of the River Festival, including boat races in three categories (racing kayaks, inflatable crafts and whitewater kayaks), as well as a whitewater rodeo. Registration for all events will take place at the event, at a well-marked picnic bench in Rollans Park from 9 to 11 a.m. Participants can also register before the festival by downloading the River Event Form online at Contestants are encouraged to bring their American Canoe Association card with them to receive discounts on registration fees.

For more information or to volunteer, visit the official Ridgway River Festival website,

Flaming Gorge pipeline: Aaron Million pitches the project to the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“We have a fairly short window to get other users into the project before the train leaves the station,” Million told the board at its monthly meeting. The Lower Ark board agreed to consider Million’s proposal at its May meeting. The district is only being asked to declare an intent to participate, and would not pay any money at this time, Million said…

Million’s company would not own the pipeline if it is built, but instead turn it over to a special district made up of cities or agricultural districts interested in using the water. Million did not provide details on what kind of financial investment that would take or how much water would cost under the plan, but said the pipeline would have obvious benefits to Colorado by providing an additional source of clean water, improving water quality and relieving pressure on agricultural water rights. The project also fits in with both the Colorado River Compact and the Upper Colorado River Compact by developing the state’s share of water, Million said…

A second group, the Colorado-Wyoming Coalition, a coalition of water users that was organized by the South Metro Water Supply Authority that includes Donala Water and Sanitation District in the Arkansas River basin, along with major players in the South Platte basin, wants to develop the pipeline as well. Million said his plan differs substantially because he would provide some water for agriculture — “at ag prices” — that would be protected by conservation easements. He proposes cost-plus pricing for municipalities. The projected price of water could be between $15,000 to $20,000 per acre-foot at the high end of the scale, Million said.

The Arkansas Basin and Denver Metro water roundtables are studying whether to form a task force to study both Million’s proposal and the Colorado-Wyoming Coalition plan.

More Flaming Gorge Pipeline coverage here and here.

Energy policy — oil and gas: Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies divsion pitching new treatment system for produced water

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From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (John Colson):

Called the “OPUS II,” the system is made by VWS Oil & Gas, a global division of Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies. It involves sending produced water, as well as “flowback water” from the hydraulic fracturing process, through a series of ceramic membranes and other filtration devices. Once the treated water has made it through the process, what comes out is “high-quality water suitable for reuse” and “very low volumes of waste” in the form of bricks that can be dumped in a landfill, according to Patrick Ryan and LNSP Nagghappan of Veolia, who gave the presentation to the board of county commissioners.

The OPUS II system, according to Nagghappan, is a step up from current disposal options, which include deep-well injection — which he said has a limited capacity — and evaporative ponds, which have the potential to emit volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere and ground water. Or, said Nagghappan, the liquids can be hauled away for disposal, which creates traffic impacts, is expensive, and relocates rather than eliminates the problem of ultimate disposal.

The process is undergoing pilot testing at a Chevron oil drilling operation in San Ardo, California, and Nagghappan said that it is able to remove up to 99 percent of the contaminants in the water to be treated. The two men told the board of county commissioners that they are hoping to sign up companies working the Piceance Basin gas patch, noting that the use of the OPUS system reduces truck traffic, because the water is treated and reused on site rather than being hauled in and then hauled away after it is used.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

40th Earth Day

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Don’t forget to celebrate Earth Day today. Take a bike ride around North Denver for example. The saucer magnolias on Wolfe St. just south of Berkeley Park are in their glory as are pears all over the neighborhood. Redbuds are just starting to bloom and of course you have the early bulbs like tulips, daffodils and hyacinths to gawk at.

Here are some tips for making every day earth day from the Summit Daily News.

Colorado Science and Engineering Fair recap

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From the Fort Collins Coloradoan:

Rocky Mountain High School sophomore Kelli Lynch won five first-place awards, a $3,000 scholarship to the school of her choice, $800 in prizes and a second-place award during the fair. Lynch will represent Colorado at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, Calif., on May 9-14.

Currently attending the International Sustainable World Project Olympiad, or ISWEEEP, in Houston, Texas, Lynch is the first student from PSD asked to compete at both international competitions.

Pete Justice, a Colorado State University professor, mentored Lynch as she developed her two-year project, “Irradiation Extermination: A Portable System to Eliminate Water-Borne Microorganisms Part II.”

Her project and research won first place in the Microbiology Division. Special awards include first place, Water Environment Federation; first place, Colorado Environmental Health Association; first place, Society of Women Engineers; first place, SPIE-The Inter-national Society for Optics and Photonics; second place, American Water Works Assoc-iation and Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association.

Other high school and middle school students also earned recognition, including Poudre High School freshmen Gerri Roberts and Jessica Constant. Roberts took second place in the Chemistry Division; and Constant earned an honorable mention in the Math and Computer Sciences Division and a special award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Blevins Middle School eighth-graders who earned recognition for their projects include Evan Hummel, first-place special award from Hands and Minds Inc.; Grant Wray, honorable mention for the Animal Sciences Division; and Kaitlyn Nagel, third place in the Medicine and Health Division. Preston Middle School seventh-grader Kaily Adair earned first place in the Behavioral and Social Sciences Division and second place for the Junior Division Best Individual Project Award.

Preston Middle School science teacher Mary Klass received a PACE Teacher Award.