Colorado Springs to host The Conference of Western Attorneys General’s water law conference Thursday and Friday

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Speakers include U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Harris Sherman, Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, Alaska Attorney General Daniel Sullivan and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Mike Connor.

More water law coverage here.

Englewood: ‘South Platte River Cleanup Day’ recap

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From the Associated Press via the Sky-Hi Daily News:

More than 200 people participated in the 4th annual South Platte River Clean Up on Sunday. Some took to the water in kayaks and on rafts to pluck debris from the river and dump it in floating trash cans. Others walked or biked along the bank, cleaning up a parallel path. Organizers say they’ve removed more than six tons of garbage over the years.

More coverage from The Denver Post (Scott Willoughby). From the article:

With support from a host of river-centric sponsors, the intrepid team of volunteers has paddled the channel and fanned out along the banks of 6-10 miles of the South Platte to collect 6 tons of trash in the past three years. The official weigh-in from Sunday’s offerings is still pending. Boaters piled into rafts, canoes and kayaks to gather debris wrapped in the reeds and floating in eddies for 6 miles below the Union Street Whitewater Park put-in, while cyclists and pedestrians walked the recreation path to snatch trash littering the riverside down to Habitat Park…

With that in mind, Confluence Kayaks has teamed up with Denver Parks and Recreation partners at The Greenway Foundation and river stakeholders such as Colorado Whitewater and Denver Trout Unlimited (TU) to form an entity known as Protect our Urban River Environment, or PURE. PURE has initiated efforts to work with municipal leaders along the South Platte in Arapahoe, Denver and Adams counties to increase the focus on preventing trash and debris from getting into the river and its tributaries, as well as the actual removal. The first step, organizers say, is to retrofit sewage and storm-water outfall pipes with pollutant traps designed to collect the garbage before it flows into the river, rather than pulling it out piece by piece. The group has approached the state’s Water Quality Control Commission about listing the river as “impaired” because of the amount of trash. The river is undergoing an EPA-enforced effort to reduce levels of E. coli and other pathogens, and PURE would like to see a similar Total Maximum Daily Load established for trash…

“We’re asking the entities that are responsible for the water quality on the Platte to take responsibility for it without a regulatory or enforcement body coming down and saying that from above. The city governments of Denver, of Englewood and of Littleton — anybody who has a storm-water discharge permit — we’re asking those entities to take responsibility for the situation,” Kahn said. “The Greenway Foundation has developed this plan for the South Platte River, and we don’t really feel like it can live up to its potential until the water quality is dealt with.

More South Platte Basin coverage here.

El Paso County purchases Rainbow Falls land near Manitou Springs for open space

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From the Associated Press via the Fort Collins Coloradoan:

The county acquired Rainbow Falls last week for $10 from Mansfield Development Corp., which owns nearby land. The waterfall was once a tourist draw, but officials say it’s now frequented by drug users and plagued by vandals, and highway construction work dumped silt into the stream. L’Aura Montgomery, who led a citizens campaign to make the falls public property, says it will take time and money to restore the area. A volunteer cleanup day is scheduled for June 5.

More Arkansas Basin coverage here.

Energy policy — nuclear: Colorado University grad student to map groundwater flow at Powertech’s Centennial Project

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From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Bobby Magill):

CU master’s student Miori Yoshino is studying groundwater flow at Powertech’s Centennial Project site, a project she expects to be complete by the end of the year…

Yoshino said her study will look at only how groundwater flows directly above the uranium ore body at the mine site, but not beyond it. The study will involve “synthesizing modeling results and assessing potential impact on groundwater quality,” CU geological sciences professor Shemin Ge said. Yoshino said she will look at the horizontal flow of water to find out if the mining solution will be pulled down-gradient. She also will study the vertical flow of water at the mine site to find out if there is a connection between the aquifer above the uranium ore and the aquifer beneath it. As part of the study, she said she’ll try to learn how the geochemistry of the water in the underlying rock will be changed by the uranium mining. Yoshino is using data from five wells at the site. The data, she said, will be provided by Powertech.

More nuclear coverage here and here.