Colorado Springs: Council poised to raise water rates May 11

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From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Eileen Welsome):

The rate hikes are the first of six planned increases through 2016, documents submitted to the City Clerk’s Office show. If approved, water bills will more than double.

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.

The Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District is buying a reservoir site at Stonewall Springs Ranch

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From The Tri-Lakes Tribune:

The Board of Directors of the Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District No. 1 approved on May 6 contracts for an additional water right along the Lower Arkansas River and a portion of the Stonewall Springs Storage site near Pueblo. The district’s board approved one contract for 6.6 shares of Rocky Ford Highline, representing approximately 100 acre feet of water in an average year. This will be added to the 40 shares of Rocky Ford Highline that were put under contract by the board on April 8. Additionally, Woodmoor contracted for a portion of the Stonewall Springs Storage site. Woodmoor is purchasing just over 300 acres downstream of Pueblo along the Arkansas River. Once constructed, this reservoir will allow the district to release stored water rights into the Arkansas River in exchange for diversions out of Pueblo Reservoir or off Fountain Creek near the City of Fountain. The Stonewall Springs site also includes 771 shares of Excelsior Ditch water rights — about 326 acre feet per average year— to augment other water sources. Woodmoor continues to fill in the pieces of its Renewable Water Plan to move the district away from dependence on Denver Basin aquifer water.

More Arkansas Basin coverage here.

Snowpack news

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From the Grand Junction Free Press (Julie Sutor):

Weather turned wetter and cooler throughout the mountains in late April, halting, and in some cases even reversing, the melt trend. Statistics from the latest NRCS surveys show snowpack is below average in all of the state’s major river basins. Snowpack in the Blue River Basin in Summit County is 70 percent of average and 65 percent of last year’s snowpack. At one NRCS survey site in the lower Snake River, snowpack is at only 7 percent of average…

Colorado’s statewide snowpack decreased to the lowest reading of the season on May 1 at only 78 percent of average…

Inflow into Dillon Reservoir is expected to be 73 percent of average during the April-July period. Inflows into Green Mountain Reservoir and Williams Fork Reservoir are projected to be 75 percent of average and 78 percent of average, respectively. “Reservoir stores are now in good shape, but they’ll probably drop quite a bit as we go into the fall. They will be put to use in late summer to make up for these deficits in natural flows,” Gillespie said. “Without having much of a cushion, it increases the need for a good year next year.”

Aspinall Unit update: Black Canyon Water Right 24 hour peak flow target of 3,883 cfs set for May 18

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From email from Reclamation (Dan Crabtree):

Reclamation has set the 2010 spring operation plan for the Aspinall Unit. The May 1st Blue Mesa Reservoir April through July runoff volume forecast from the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center is 560,000 ac-ft. This results in a Black Canyon Water Right 24 hour peak flow target of 3,883 cfs. Reclamation plans to operate the Aspinall Unit to allow this target to be met on about May 18th. To accomplish this, releases from Crystal Reservoir will begin to increase starting tomorrow, [May 11] and ramp up at about 500 cfs per day, using two changes per day until a maximum release of around 5,000 cfs (depending on side-inflow fluctuations) is achieved on the 18th. This will require a spill in the neighborhood of 800 cfs at Crystal Dam. The spill will take place starting on Monday the 17th ending on Wednesday the 19th. Flow decreases should begin on May 19th. Again, two changes per day totaling 400 cfs per day and stabilize in the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge on about May 26th in the 700 – 800 cfs range. Please reply to this email or contact Dan Crabtree at 970-248-0652 with questions regarding this operation.

Here’s a late addition:

Starting at 8:00 a.m. releases will increase about 250 cfs with a second 250 cfs increase planned for 4:00 p.m. Similar increases will take place each day until the peak release of about 5000 cfs occurs May 18th. Ramp-down will begin on the 19th and flows should stabilize in the 700 – 800 cfs range around May 26th.

Please contact me with questions by [] or call 970-248-0652.

Update: From email from Reclamation (Dan Crabtree):

We’ve had a few questions regarding the possible actual peak flows in the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge. The target peak in the Black Canyon is 3,883 cfs however, in order to accommodate diversions through the Gunnison Tunnel for the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users and compensate for possible side-inflow fluctuations, total releases from Crystal Dam will have to be about 5,000 cfs. Sorry for the confusion.

More Aspinall Unit coverage here.

Colorado Water Trust’s ‘Riverbank’ June 1

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Click here to purchase tickets for the event. From email from the CWT:

Join us for a new tradition! You’re invited to CWT’s 2nd Annual RiverBank–a gathering of Colorado water professionals and enthusiasts to celebrate CWT’s successes. The event will include an open bar, appetizers, silent and live auctions, and the opportunity to socialize with people across the Colorado water world. It’s also a time to gather and show support for our efforts to preserve streamflows across the state!

DATE: Tuesday, June 1, 2010
TIME: 5:30-8:30 pm
LOCATION: EventGallery 910arts, 910 Santa Fe Drive, Denver
$45 Stewardship level for students, non-profits, and government staff
$90 Patron level for all others

More Colorado water coverage here.