Colorado-Big Thompson Project update

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From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

I hope everyone is enjoying the full reservoirs we have this spring. As most of you already know, Carter and Horsetooth are each only a couple of feet down from full. Horsetooth remains at a water level elevation of 5427; Carter is at an elevation of 5757.

We are anticipating these higher levels for a little while, although now that it is starting to get hot, we also anticipate we will start seeing water users begin to pull water from both reservoirs. Some water has already been going out of Carter. Although we had initially projected it would not come on for a few more weeks, we will actually resume pumping water to Carter tomorrow, Friday June 25.

Also, for more information on Horsetooth and Carter reservoirs, please visit our new Webpage. Bookmark it! www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/horsetooth_carter/index.html.

More Colorado-Big Thompson coverage here.

Silverton: Workshop on the effects of dust on snow and ice recap

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From The Durango Herald (Dale Rodebaugh):

Eighteen scientists and graduate students, including representatives from Japan and China, met in Silverton to share their research on the effects of airborne dust and soot on mountain and polar snow and ice. The group, led by Thomas Painter of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Chris Landry from the Center for Snow & Avalanche Studies, known as CSAS and headquartered in Silverton, traveled Wednesday to the top of Red Mountain Pass to a snow-science research site. It was the last day of a three-day workshop in which participants presented research on snow degradation from the Himalayan region, the Tibetan Plateau, Greenland and the United States, including the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada…

Recent research has tied soot from industrial emissions to temperature increases in the Arctic and land-use changes in desert regions to dust that causes early and intense snowmelt in mid-latitude mountains such as the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado, Landry said. Look no further than the San Juans, where dust blowing in from the south and west has turned snow tan. Landry has documented “dust events” annually since 2002-03. The phenomenon is increasingly serious, but it’s way too early to show a trend, Landry said…

Landry said the Center for Snow & Avalanche Studies is supported financially by a variety of sources, including the Animas La Plata Water Conservancy District, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Water-management agencies are becoming increasingly interested in the impact of dust and soot on snow because it directly affects their work, Landry said. A dust storm that blanketed western Colorado on Feb. 15, 2006, made believers of many, Landry said. The dust cover led to an early and intense runoff of what little snow there was that year, he said. “A single event affected the whole state,” Landry said.

CWCB: Proposed floodplain rules public meeting recap

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From The Greeley Tribune (Bill Jackson):

About 100 people attended a meeting Wednesday to hear from staff members of the Colorado Water Conservation Board concerning the board’s proposal to modify the 100-year flood plain to include a 500-year flood plain for critical facilities. It was the second of four planned meetings around the state prior to a full board meeting Nov. 17, when the board is expected to require municipalities to adopt the plan or suggest they start planning for a 500-year flood plain.

At Wednesday’s meeting at the Southwest Weld County Complex, staff members of the CWCB gave a presentation on the proposal and answered questions. Doug Rademacher, commission chairman, once again expressed the county’s objections to the plan.

More CWCB coverage here.

Pueblo: Construction on new wastewater treatment plant slated to begin in August

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The new cost estimate for the project is $20 million, more than $6.5 million less than originally estimated. Contracts are expected to be awarded in the near future, said Gene Michael, Pueblo wastewater director. “We reaped the benefit of the economic downturn and were able to save on the cost,” Michael explained.

The plant won’t increase the capacity of Pueblo’s wastewater treatment, but immediately will allow for the removal of ammonia from the discharge. Pueblo must meet new state standards for ammonia releases…

The project will have three phases, leveling the ground, constructing the plant and adding a new ultraviolet disinfectant plant. Right now, Pueblo treats an average of 11 million gallons of wastewater daily, with a maximum capacity of 19 million gallons per day. The money for the project came via a 2.5 percent interest loan through the Colorado Water and Power Development Authority.

More wastewater coverage here and here.

Great Outdoors Colorado grant application update

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From email from Great Outdoors Colorado (Emily Davies):

The State Board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund is pleased to announce its next round of competitive grant cycles. The Board will accept applications for Conservation Excellence, Local Parks and Outdoor Recreation (LPOR), Mini, Open Space and Planning Grants. Additionally, the Board is offering three Special Opportunity grants within the Fall 2010 grant cycle:

· Special Opportunity LPOR Development Grants―The maximum grant request for Special Opportunity LPOR Development Grants is $700,000 for park/outdoor recreation development/enhancement. There is no maximum limit for the total project cost. Applicants seeking grants of $200,000 or less should apply using the regular LPOR Grant application.

· Special Opportunity LPOR Land Acquisition Grants―The maximum grant request for Special Opportunity LPOR Land Acquisition Grants is $1 million. Applicants seeking grants of $200,000 or less should apply using the regular LPOR Land Acquisition Grant application.

· Special Opportunity Trail Grants―Grant requests for Special Opportunity Trail Grants must be no less than $200,000 and cannot exceed $500,000. Applicants seeking grants for less than $200,000 should contact the State Trails Program for potential funding.

Open Space, LPOR, Mini and Planning Grant applications are available online at www.goco.org.

All other applications are available by request only. Contact Kathleen Staks at kstaks@goco.org for information about Conservation Excellence Grants.

Contact Aimee Wesley at awesley@goco.org or Jackie Miller at jmiller@goco.org for information about all Special Opportunity Grants available during the Fall 2010 cycle

DUE DATES

JULY 26, 2010: Conservation Excellence applications are due at GOCO.

AUGUST 2, 2010: Open Space applications are due at GOCO.

AUGUST 27, 2010: All other grant applications are due at GOCO.

DECEMBER 8, 2010: All Fall 2010 grant awards will be decided and announced.

For complete information about applying for a GOCO grant, please visit www.goco.org.