Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District board meeting recap

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From the La Junta Tribune (Bette McFarren):

The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District Board met in regular session at Rocky Ford on Wednesday. Appearing before the Board were two special reports: Update on Fountain Creek and Innovative Water Technologies…

Speaking on behalf of THK Design Associates, Kevin Shanks reported that the Fountain Creek projects have now expanded from four to seven, with a reassuring compliance with the Overall Master Plan Goals, which are as follows:

* Improve watershed health by reducing erosion, sedimentation and flooding and improving water quality.
* Create stable riparian and wetland ecosystems to attract and support native wildlife and vegetation.
* Sustain productive agricultural lands along corridor.
* Lay-out trail from Colorado Springs to Pueblo with recreational and educational opportunities.
* Gain public and private support through partnerships to facilitate future funding

One of the more interesting projects is the Clear Spring Ranch Fish Passage. A type of native three-inch fish was found to be unable to negotiate some of the fish diversions on the creek. New diversion gates are being designed, as economically as possible, and water levels will be controlled to permit the fish to remain mobile through the habitat…

The most popular project at present is the Fountain Creek Greenway, which has secured a GOCO grant.
Wetlands and diversions are important in flood prevention between Colorado Springs and Pueblo, and consequently on down the river in the Arkansas Valley.

Another important factor in flood prevention is the removal of sediment, the main job of the Pueblo Side Detention and Sediment Removal Project. This is a Sediment Collector Demonstration Project. The sediment is being collected at the rate of 17 or 18 truckloads a day from under the old railroad bridge in Pueblo. This sediment has value as fill and can be used as leverage for grants as well as mixed with sewer sludge to make organic planting medium. It is funded by a $485K Federal appropriation through NRCS, $75K City of Pueblo Stormwater, $225K Colorado Water Conservation Board, $250K Environmental Protection Agency 319 Grant. Another benefit is 25 acres of new wetlands.

More Fountain Creek coverage here and here.

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